The iBox Nano uses UV LEDs to make resin prints instead of the more costly plastics that many large printers use. The printers that use plastic are known as FDMs and they extrude a plastic filament into your desired shape. Resin is actually more suited to tiny details.
The $299 price tag is crazy compared to what someone would pay for a typical mid-level home unit. The Formlabs Form 1+ for example, goes for $3,299, is extremely slow, and costs between $30 and $60 to print a small 4″ x 4″ x 4″ object. By comparison, the iBox Nano will print a small chess piece for about 50 cents.
The trade-off is the limit on what you can print. The founder, Trent Carter, suggests printing small models, jewelry, game pieces and toys, and small replacement parts. We would also add that you could put larger things together from small parts, build sculptures, or try to make one of these bad boys. The project is currently seeking funding via a Kickstarter campaign, but with 10 days to cover the remaining 4% of funds, it’s safe to say the iBox Nano is on its way to becoming a mass-produced reality.
Here’s a quick time-lapse of it working, but the video above is way better quality and more thorough:
(Photo: iBox Nano)