Let's face it - 3D printing is a rather luxurious technology. Very few can afford printing machines and expensive materials. It is also difficult to learn how to print things and where to get blueprints from. Generally speaking, the technology appears to not be ready for the general consumer market or the other way around.
A startup named New Matter teamed up with the people from the legendary Frog Design studio to create a 3D printer for the masses. Mod T, the fruit of their joint effort, is a truly beautiful machine that you can pre-order now via a Indiegogo campaign. But what is even more important, the printer is extremely affordable. Priced at just $249, Mod T blows the competitors out of the water, most of which cost $500 or more. Moreover, if you want to be an early adopter and buy the device when the campaign kicks off, you will get it for as little as $149.
Despite the price, the printer comes with custom-controlled electronics and complex motion system that offer high-quality performance. Even the hardware is excellent as it was designed by Frog Design, the company responsible for many Apple computers from the 90s. It has a minimalist, approachable appearance that brings to mind some kitchen appliances. The machine is of rather compact size, with clean white base and transparent protection screen.
The Mod T is more than just a printer, though. When it will begin shipping in early 2015, New Matter will launch an AppStore-like market, where users will be able to browse and purchase curated blueprints submitted by professional designers. It's a great idea that may turn a niche technology for homegrown enthusiasts (which 3D printing is now) into a profitable and rapidly developing market for designers.