Tiny Tiko: $180 Unibody 3D Printer Raises Over $1.5 Million


Aiming to make 3D printing a truly affordable, simple, accessible and dependable staple of everyday homes, this unit has already raised more than 15 times its crowdfunding goal with over 2 weeks left in its campaign.

tiko final print

Three sets of arms together move the printer head for precise control and consistent layering – it can print as fine as 50 microns.  Strong but light, the solid external housing also means that gusts of wind won’t impact the printing process, and if you remove the top it automatically stops printing. The machine takes all kinds of filaments, not just ones sold by the manufacturer, and works wirelessly with your devices.

tiko printing

Tiko’s slender unibody frame, delta mechanism, and ultra-compact liquefier/end-effector enable it to print objects far larger than any similarly sized 3D printer. Like most delta printers, we started with a circular print volume. But we wanted more than that, so we expanded Tiko’s print volume into the corners for those extra-long prints, maximizing space efficiency.”

tiko filament

The pitch: “As inventors, we use 3D printers all the time. We love 3D printing and all the doors it opens, but we don’t like our printers. It seems like every day something jams, breaks, shifts, or fails. Even when our printers do work, they need fine-tuning to print well. All in all, we probably spend more time working on our printers than on our inventions.”

tiko print detail

tiko 3d printer

A solid-body solution without all of the messy moving parts, this new 3D printer promises to become a household item right alongside your vacuum, fridge, microwave and other appliances. Indeed, the unibody idea is what got this idea going: “In most 3D printers, the most expensive (by far) item is the frame. That’s because most 3D printers have a frame built from multiple beams that are fastened together. In delta printers, this frame is often made from three vertical extruded-aluminum beams. We had a simple thought… what if we extruded all three rails together?”

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See more in Home & Personal or under Gadgets. April, 2015.