Jerry and Jake Wood, the father and son team behind Ez3D, seem to have found the right balance between price and performance with the Phoenix. Set for a short three week run on Kickstarter, the printer is 176% funded after three days.
"A lot of people just can't stomach the idea of spending over $1,000 on a device they're not even sure they'll use. By building a printer at a comfortable price point, we hope that 3D printing can find its way into more homes," said Jake Wood. "It can finally be a fun creative outlet for kids and adults, not just financially practical for engineers creating prototypes."
The Phoenix is an FFF personal 3D printer with a heated bed, so it can use both PLA and ABS (1.75 mm). It can print at 0.1 mm resolution (100 micron layer height) using a 0.35 mm brass nozzle and has a 240 x 215 x 200 mm (9.45" x 8.46" x 7.87") build envelope. The extruder has been designed to avoid heat creep up the filament and the printer's z-axis is belt-driven, rather than by screw. Photos of thin-walled prints are available on the campaign page to demonstrate X/Y accuracy.
Aside from price, the most unusual thing about the Phoenix is Ez3D's custom software. Jerry Wood is a software developer by trade, so one might expect a little more in that area and the Phoenix delivers. It includes filament tracking and management, a library where STL files can be grouped into projects, the ability to pause and back up the filament (print recovery mode), diagnostic and calibration tools, and an iOS mobile app that can monitor print jobs (an Android version is planned).
Early bird specials are gone. DIY kits can be had for $374 and fully assembled units are going for $399.