3D printers are not known for their ease of portability, up until now perhaps. The Portabee GO is a new fully-portable, foldable 3D printer that claims to be the tiniest of its kind thus far. It’s fully portable, which means users can transport the device much like one can with laptops and other electronics.
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When the US$595 GO is folded, it looks more like an extravagant cigarette lighter than a printer. Although not as compact as a smartphone, it’s less bulky than most desktop ink printers on the market. Cubic dimensions of 208mm x 22.5mm x 79mm makes it small enough to port around town in a bag, with the filament spool probably the bulkiest part of the device. Humorously, the device’s website notes that every 3D printer in comparison, is “like [a] gigantic microwave oven”. This may actually be the case.
The Portabee prints with the mandatory PLA filament used in most 3D printers today, and can construct artworks up to 160mm tall, 120mm wide and deep, which means anything from mugs, to vases and little plastic wrenches are fair game. Thanks to auto-levelling technology, Portabee is also quoting an accuracy of 0.05mm (or 50 microns) for the GO, which is as close as 3D printers could theoretically get to the William Tell/Apple scenario.
Although, because of the compact size, a few compromises needed to be made. It cannot print large scale projects like “microwave oven” sized devices, nor is it very affordable when considering other, albeit larger, 3D printers and their feature lists.
But those considering this device will be looking for a 3D printer that offers quick and painless prints on the fly. Portabee quotes a six month guarantee on the device too, and is available for order via the Portabee website.