Have you wanted to tinker with your own 3D printer but the price tag was always out of reach? Well, you definitely will not find a plug & print machine anywhere near as affordable as the new Obsidian desktop 3D printer. It’s no wonder they have already made over 6.5 times their asking goal on Kickstarter.
Obsidian has been in development since 2015 and is the first in-house, self designed 3D printer made by Kodama. Their goal is to make the most affordable, ready to print 3D printer on the market, and it seems they are succeeding in doing so.
How it Comes:
3D printing always requires some background knowledge in order to consistently get clean prints. That being said, it is basically unheard of to find a 3D printer under $300 that is “Plug & Print”. This means there are no DIY instructions, you can just take it out of the box, load your filament, plug in the power, and you’re good to go.
It also seems you are getting quite a few injection molded pieces on this machine, instead of 3D printed parts. This means tolerances will be tight and you will have less need for replacements over time.
For $99 you are getting the basic Obsidian, but for just $50 more you can get the Obsidian Plus which comes with an touchscreen LCD – allowing you to easily print from an SD card.
Even though the price-tag is under $200, their Obsidian Plus actually comes with an extremely unique feature – Power Outage Recovery. I have personally worked with dozens of different 3D printer manufacturers and have never seen this feature. I sincerely cannot tell you how many times power outages caused failures – both as user error and something that could not be avoided. You could be 20 hours into a 22 hour print when power is lost and you have to start all over.
Another extremely beneficial part to this feature is not even covered by Obsidian, but you essentially have the ability to pause a long print overnight, and start again in the morning. If you plan on printing in your bedroom or a place where noise is an issue, you can comfortably unplug the machine before going to sleep, and know you can start from where you left off in the morning.
Multiple Material Options:
Most people who use 3D printers know that the lower end machines are limited to printing PLA and other materials that do not require a heated build plate. Well, you can easily upgrade your package with Obsidian for a heated build plate – allowing you to print in Nylon, ABS, PETG, and many others.
Since the printer is not enclosed, you will likely be limited on build size for high shrinkage materials such as ABS and PC-ABS, but you will easily be able to print PETG and other materials with low shrinkage rates.
From what I can tell – it seems that Obsidian is using a propietary hotend setup, with a Bowden extruder. Obsidian advertises a quick-release nozzle which should help to clean out clogs easily, and will allow for easy swapping. Since they state that it can print down to 50 micron layer heights, I would assume that the nozzle is 0.3mm – 0.4mm in diameter.
The rest of the specs are as follows:
Print Volume:120mm x 120mm x 120mm
Max Extruder Temp:250°C
Max Build Plate Temp:100°C
File Accepted:Gcode (non-proprietary)
Printer Dimensions:270mm x 290mm x 310mm
Unfortunately their early bird $49 Obsidian is sold out – but you can still upgrade to the Obsidian plus for only $149! This is actually the printer that I would suggest someone new to 3D printing get anyway, since you would be surprised just handy an LCD screen is.
Most 3D printers are cold looking and utilitarian, but the Obsidian is something to be marveled at for its superior fashion and functional ability, not to mention the starting price is 99 dollars. We all accept that technology grows at an exponential rate, but it’s products like Obsidian that accelerate the rate of that growth, propelling it upward and outward. The more people can afford and access something like this, the more they are going innovate and branch off, making breakthroughs across disciplines.