Big Effing Printer

New on Kickstarter, the ARC-one 3D Printer is Big and Affordable

ARC-one 3D Printer

New Kickstarter promises a high-end machine with a massive build volume for an incredibly low price. Is the ARC-one 3D Printer too good to be true?

A new Kickstarter campaign by Australian startup Arcadian 3D promises a high-end machine that big on size and low on price. For just $1,399, the ARC-one 3D printer is a large-format, next-generation additive manufacturing platform that “is in a class of it’s own, and out performs all other models under $10,000”.

As when reporting on any other crowdfunding campaign, we must always reiterate that you’re being invited to pledge support for a product that hasn’t yet begun production, and there is always the risk of delays and setbacks before backers receive their goods. Caveat emptor!

But scanning our eyes over the feature list for the ARC-one, it’s hard not to start drooling. For a price that’s roughly equivalent to a Makerbot Replicator Mini, you have a 3D printer with a heated build-plate that’s rigid and self-levelling, plus metal-machined parts, a speedy easy-flowing nozzle, full-color onboard display, and objects capable of 50 micron resolution.

There’s also the option to add dual-extrusion for another $70. Last — but definitely not least — there is the build volume of 400 x 400 x 400 mm, and a physical dimension of 600 x 600 x 600 mm. Frankly, this kind of functionality is astonishing at this price point.

ARC-One 3D printer

Should you back the ARC-one 3D Printer?

ARC-One 3D Printer 3DBenchyThat’s a really tough question (but we’re glad you asked). Because, while the ARC-one sounds absolutely amazing on paper, there’s a couple of flies in the ointment.

For one thing, there’s the matter of the $300,000 required to fund the project. That’s a lot of money for a Kickstarter campaign, and to date they’ve raised just over $20,000 — a fraction of the total — with 27 days left to run. Arcadian 3D are going to need a lot more momentum if they’re going to cross the finish line and go into production.

Secondly, the campaign material needs to show us something that utilizes the massive build space of the ARC-one 3D printer. So far, we’ve seen a couple of shots of smaller scale items like 3DBenchy. Very nice, but you could fabricate those on a Printrbot Play. Potential backers need some more compelling examples that showcase this spectacular build space.

The campaign still has a lot of road left to run, so let’s see what the folks at Arcadian 3D come up with. In the meantime, if you’re looking for an equivalent printer in price and size, then consider the BigBox from E3D. This machine is also the product of a Kickstarter campaign, and officially began sales this month.