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World's cheapest 3D printer moves forward


May 24, 2014

Assorted QU-BD printers on display at Maker Faire

Assorted QU-BD printers on display at Maker Faire

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If you want a home 3D printer for under $200 that's not made out of LEGOs, you're not alone, as the successful Kickstarter launch of the $199 QU-BD One Up proved last year.

Over 1,400 backers committed over $400,000 to the crowdfunding campaign that had an original goal of just $9,000. The Little Rock, Arkansas-based company has been scrambling to fulfill all those orders ever since, but have managed to also bring forth a few new versions of their 3D printer kit and also prepare to start taking new orders.

I stopped by the QU-BD (an acronym for Quintessential Universal Building Device) booth at the Bay Area Maker Faire in California this past weekend and navigated the throng of 3D printing fanatics gathered around a new batch of models from QU-BD offered in bright neon colors.

A company rep told me that they are still working through getting printers to all the Kickstarter backers, but were also taking new orders and hope to be able to start delivering those orders next month.

That's a pretty big transition for a tiny family operation to make in a short amount of time. The overwhelming success of the crowdfunding campaign wrapped up just about six months ago, and now QU-BD is already moving from fulfilling that initial wave of orders that was 50 times larger than expected, to fulfilling new orders and taking up standard operations as a manufacturer of a low-cost, ready-to-assemble home 3D printer.

The company says that one of the keys to keeping the price down and to moving so many 3D printers out the door is the fact that they come unassembled. There are also plenty of options for modifying the basic unit, including a heated bed, increased production area and adding those pretty bright colors to the frame itself.

You can get more details on these budget printers in our original post on the One Up.

Source: QU-BD

About the Author
Eric Mack Eric Mack has been covering technology and the world since the late 1990s. As well as being a Gizmag regular, he currently contributes to CNET, NPR and other outlets. All articles by Eric Mack

I think it is not only neat looking but very affordable. It would be cool to make things with it. I think it will spur creativity when one can see what one has designed becoming a reality.


So, why don't they use the actual printers to manufacture the parts for new printers? Isn't that the reason people are doing this? To get rid of the custom fab plants and middlemen?


Careful with the word "cheapest". The Peachy Printer is half the price and promises better quality.


The printer pricing and capability are fine. Now some one should come up with an affordable way of scanning a 3D part into the PC.

Following is the perfect example of this need. I have an 3 year old expensive front loading Whirlpool washing machine. Due to faulty design and bad material selection the hinge on the front loading door broke. Whirlpool won't supply a replacement. Once I have it in even plastic form I can manage to get it made out of metal. A far cheaper and environmentally friendly solution than to replace the washing machine itself.


I ordered one from the initial Kickstarter posting. It's in the "March 2014" batch and I am still waiting for it. I used to get a lot of status updates ("now shipping the January batch") but there has been no relevant shipping-related update from them for many weeks.

I am starting to wonder, but I'm not quite ready to start bugging them yet. It is, after all, a Kickstarter project and I would not want to be in their shoes, having promised many things to many people.


MakiBox - $ 200 for the LT / $ 300 for the HT (with Heatbed) but be careful, it's not a fully functional one in v1 yet. As was Ultimaker back in 2012 ^^

Also: Printrbot Simple, 349 $

Nils Hitze
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