Many 3D printers are small enough to carry, but the Bukito portable 3D printer by company Deezmaker can keep printing while in transit, even when held upside down.
Weighing less than 6 lbs., the Bukito was designed to make 3D prints on the go. The device can print in PLA and ABS, the most common 3D-printing plastics, and can run on a 12- to 16-volt battery. It's available for preorder on Deezmaker's website for $699.
The Bukito prints with a resolution of 50 microns (or 0.05 millimeters) horizontally and 100 microns (0.1 mm) vertically. This is a good resolution for a home printer, though the individual layers of printed material may still be visible, giving the finished product a slightly rough look.
"Some other printers claim to be portable because they're fairly light and you can move them around easily, but they can't print while moving around," said Deezmaker's Rich Cameron, who demonstrated the device to Tom's Guide at the New York City Maker Faire on Sept. 21-22.
What's more, the Bukito can even print upside down, as Cameron showed by flipping the device he was holding upside down.
Cameron said that many of Deezmaker's customers had been requesting a portable printer, so the company turned to the crowdfunding site Kickstarter to test the waters. There, the Bukito set a fundraising goal of $54,000 and earned more than 2.5 times that amount, or $136,984.
"You could take [the Bukito] to a coffee shop, you could take it to school. You could take this to the library, it's so quiet," Cameron said.
He also gave an example of how to use the Bukito. "For instance, a plumber needed specific fittings, and he didn't want to keep all the fittings in the car — that's too many different possibilities. But [with the Bukito]… you can just print out the one you need on the spot."