Major Chinese smartphone maker has taken a big interest in additive manufacturing; leaked pictures show first look at the Xiaomi 3D printer.
Product leaks are a dime a dozen in the consumer technology world. But this particular case has us more than a teeny bit intrigued.
Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi, widely renowned for producing budget smartphones with flagship features, are prepping a foray into desktop 3D printing. And it could be as low-cost as their phones.
The photos first appeared on GizmoChina, and show a Delta-style fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printer. The company “Mi” branding is stamped in silver on the front.
Of the batch of leaked images, one is a digital rendering of a compact, enclosed 3D printer made from transparent and frosted materials.
The rest are actual photos of the 3D printer, and confirm their progress from concept renderings to actual working prototype.
There are no other details or specs to accompany the images. So until there’s an official launch, everything you hear and read about the Xiaomi 3D printer is pure speculation. Still, isn’t that part of the fun?
Xiaomi 3D Printer is a Delta Machine
Judging by the pics, the Xiaomi 3D printer features a plastic body and a metal frame, with electronic components and motors tucked away inside.
The 3D printer also has a perforated top cover — which we assume is where the plastic filament spool will be stored — and a hinged door at the bottom where users can remove finished prints.
Because the base of the unit is very flat, there’s no scope for a heated build plate that we can see. If true, then this machine is most certainly limited to printing with PLA materials.
Nothing is yet known about the build volume, resolution, or pricing. But based around the simple construction and design cues, we predict it’ll be marketed for complete beginners on a budget.
In fact, the Xiaomi bears more than a passing resemblance to another desktop 3D printer, the Tiko 3D. That machine was a huge smash on Kickstarter, based around a simple unibody Delta design and an appealing price.
Xiaomi is probably angling for the same audience with a mass-produced unit. Accordingly, we’d be surprised if it retailed for more than $200 dollars.
We’re looking forward to learning more details (and being proven right) in the weeks and months ahead.
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