Pirate3D, a 3D printing startup seed-funded by Red Dot Ventures and incubated by the Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES), has signed a distributorship agreement with Keienu Trading Company to bring its Buccaneer 3D printer to the Japanese market from June 2014.
“We are very excited. Japan is a key market for Pirate3D, and this is a huge step for the company,” said Roger Chang, CEO, Pirate3D.
In addition, Pirate3D will also be working with Alien Technology Asia to bring the Buccaneer to South Korea. This collaboration will enable Alien Technology, which currently specialises in RFID technology, to diversify into 3D printing.
Founded in late 2012, Pirate3D had launched a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign for the Buccaneer 3D printer, on Kickstarter in late May 2013, raising over US$1.4M from 3,520 contributors by the time it closed on June 29.
Encased in a rigid two-piece polycarbonate frame, the Buccaneer sports a minimalist design with no buttons and only a discrete light indicator. This unassuming facade belies its true ability though. Using a fused filament fabrication (FFF) technique for printing, the Buccaneer melts and passes filaments of polylactic acid (PLA) through a precision nozzle, with the movement of the nozzle depositing plastic in layers indistinguishable to the naked eye. This has led to it being able to print continuously for more than 200 hours, as well as reach a vertical printing resolution as high as 85 microns.
Another feature of the Buccaneer is its heated printing platform and a full-metal unibody extruder, which together with an auto-calibration functionality, allows for a smooth filament flow and precisely positioning of the printing platform for higher print quality. To communicate with devices such as personal computers, tablets, and smartphones, the printer boasts both WiFi and mobile capabilities, letting it execute print jobs just like any network-enabled paper printer.
Not just hardware
Not content with just the Buccaneer, Pirate3D also has other plans. It is going to build a repository of designs, which users can download and print easily. Additionally, it is going to develop a modelling program for users to create their own designs easily.
“We’re developing a 3D printing cloud service to enable our users to seamlessly download and print models in one click,” said Chang.
The final iteration of the first Buccaneer is currently available for pre-order at US$497 on the company’s website. It will start selling in Japan and Korea from June 2014.