Shai Schechter, from Purchase College, State University of New York, developed the low-cost device called Deltaprintr.
"We have a laser- and powder-based 3D printer at school, but it costs about USD 500 for a bucket of powder and that only lasts for about one or two prints," Schechter said.
"It's never used because it is so expensive and classes weren't offered that much in the curriculum," Schechter said.
He approached his sculpture professor about building a new 3D printer that uses plastic instead, and sought the help of three good friends.
Schecter and his business partners launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring their low-cost design to the masses. While a new MakerBot 3D printer costs USD 2,000, the Deltraprintr is significantly less: USD 475 unassembled or USD 685 assembled for the large size (2 feet high). It is also available in extra large (2.5 feet), which has a doubled printing capacity, two more inches in diameter and six more inches in height, for a price of USD 705, 'Mashable' reported.
The Deltaprintr uses three stepper motors, located under the acrylic platform where the objects are printed. Motors control the carriages that move the hot end and ultimately create the 3D-printed objects.
Since a Deltaprintr design doesn't require as many parts as other 3D printers, the savings are passed on to consumers. "MakerBot uses belts to move the print head, but ours uses a fishing line," Schechter said.
"With the fishing line, you can expand it to make it taller if you want by changing the aluminum rods. It allows it to go faster than the MakerBot and is more accurate," Schechter added.