Tiko Could Be a $179 3D Printer For Everyone

$179. For the same amount one can buy a Moto 360 smartwatch, a budget smartphone, or an expensive clickety-clack mechanical keyboard. Or you could dip your toes into the world of 3D modeling and print your very own designs with the Tiko, an upstart compact 3D printer unveiled at SXSW which brings the formerly cost-prohibitive technology well into the realm of the design student, hobbyist, or exploratory design professional.

At just 3.7lbs, 9.3″ wide, and a little over 15″ in height, the wifi-enable Tiko is an impressively compact design compatible with all common 3D model formats. A clear bottom half reveals a configuration of arms which operate in a delta robotic configuration directing a polylactic acid filament extruder capable of printing resolutions between 200 micron down to 50 micron, with a maximum print volume of 138 cubic inches. One could consider this little-printer-that-could the 3D modeling equivalent of the Honda Fit: affordable, deceptively spacious, and designed with fun in mind.

The Tiko’s price is reflective of a smart and very strong unibody construction with a more mainstream consumer in mind (in fact, their Kickstarter page makes mention of an onboard accelerometer that automatically shuts the printer down if tipped over by curious children or pets). By keeping paring down parts to a minimum, manufacturing costs are kept in check, assembly simplified to home appliance simplicity, and user-accessibility improved. The Tiko might be the first 3D printer we’ve seen which we could imagine parents purchasing for a creative teen, used within classroom settings for the next generation of shop class, or used in the crafting community crossing traditional usage of the technology, an exciting premise on par when desktop publishing crossed over from the realm of professional to a more democratically available endeavor.

More about the Tiko printer here.

Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at