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Kickstarting affordable 3D printing suffers setback

Posting in Technology

Panda Robotics' Kickstarter campaign to build a "friendly, affordable 3-D printer" has been kicked to the curb less than a month after its launch.

The PandaBot, a cute printer that could fit on a standard desk, received funding from 130 backers and managed to reach a total of $38,959 out of the developer's $50,000 goal. Aiming to become an affordable device for those wanting to print 3D objects at home, it quickly gained backers and many waited in anticipation for the printer to be released commercially.

However, in order to focus on building a better printer, the team have decided to drop the project. On the PandaBot blog and Kickstarter campaign page, the team wrote:

"In the past weeks, we've received requests from institutions like universities, resellers, distributors and individuals who want to buy final PandaBots in bulk. This is wonderful, but we don't want our Kickstarter backers, those who put their money on the line for us, to settle for a beta product so we can build a better product for all those who waited."

The PandaBot team say that product development is going to continue, and to say sorry to their backers each contributor will be given a t-shirt and $200 coupon towards a future version of the home 3D printer. With some luck, Panda Robotics wants to have a ready-made printer ready in the first half of 2013.

There's no indication how much the to-be printer will cost, although the original project states that the PandaBot would cost around $800. If you can't wait, there's always the option of the $499 Solidoodle.

Image credit: Panda Robotics

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— By on October 29, 2012, 12:25 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure