We’ve seen our share of 3D printers ’round these parts, but the iBox Nano could be one of the smallest yet. Its creators claim that the gizmo is not only the most diminutive resin printer, but also the most affordable in addition to being the word’s quietest and lightest 3D printer to date. It achieves these bullet points in a few ways, namely by using LEDs instead of a DLP bulb for light and acrylic parts for the actual printer body. The end result is a box measuring 4 x 3 x 8 inches and weighing in at three pounds.
The two biggest factors when it comes to choosing a printer are price and capacity. The bigger an item you want to print, the more expensive the printer will be. But if you’ve decided to just tip-toe into the world of 3D printing, and are just testing the waters, the $299 iBox Nano looks like a great choice, as long as your printing plans aren’t overly ambitious. Starting life on Kickstarter with a $300,000 fundraising campaign that’s two-thirds the way to its goal, the iBox Nano takes the road less traveled when it comes to 3D printing technology to keep it small and affordable. Instead of the plastic microfilament that most consumer-level 3D printers melt and extrude to slowly build up a model, the iBox Nano uses a small pool of liquid resin that’s hardened, layer by layer, using ultra-violet LEDs. So the printer doesn’t need noisy cooling fans, doesn’t produce that awful melted plastic smell, and can actually run on battery power when needed.