There are now a good many desktop 3D printers vying for dominance in the home office, making it difficult for newcomers to stand out from the crowd. Italian digital prototyping laboratory 3DRap is looking to make its mark with a 3D-printed 3D printer that makes use of open source software and will retail for just over $250.

Details are in short supply as of writing but we do know that the Poly 3D printer is constructed using 3D-printed biodegradable PLA material. 3DRap says that PLA should remain solid and stable at room temperature, but will start to degrade at temperatures higher than 65° C (149° F) and more than 20 percent humidity.

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Non-printed components include motors, PCB, wires and a 2,000 mAh LiPo battery that's reported to offer more than an hour's printing for every hour on charge.

Open source software runs the printing show, with Marlin firmware, Cura slicing software and Pronterface printing software taking care of business. Supported print file formats include STL, OBJ and GCODE and can be loaded in over USB from a connected computer or via SD card. A premium version of the printer will also allow wireless file transfer over Bluetooth.

The printer has a 6 x 6 x 6 cm (2.36 x 2.36 x 2.36 in) bed, and will come with a non-printed extruder head for plastics and the option of another for printing chocolate creations.

The Poly 3D project is currently in the pre-release prototyping stage, with its design team due to launch a crowdfunding campaign to fund production in March. The base model is expected to retail for €249 (about US$260).

Source: 3DRap

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