Every now and then a Kickstarter campaign combines innovation and simplicity with timing to create a real hit on the crowdfunding site: right now that is the case for The Buccaneer, a sub-$400 3D printer ‘for all’.

The project from Palo Alto-based Pirate3D Inc only launched on May 30 and already its campaign has passed the $500,000 mark, as noted by SGE — and it followed an impressive first 10 minutes in which pledges topped its $100,000 goal. Certainly the product is ideally timed given the current focus on 3D printing, not to mention that it is supremely affordable and simple.

thebuc 730x431 Sub $400 3D printer, The Buccaneer, passes $500,000 on Kickstarter in just 4 days

The device is inherently consumer friendly, unlike many others that are priced in a similarly ‘budget’ bracket. It is easy to set up, works on desktops or mobile, and uses the company’s Smart Objects program to make 3D printing as simple as traditional paper printing, as the company explains:

Smart Objects allow everyday users to easily customize 3D objects without having to learn how to use 3D Design Software. Just drag/click a few buttons and you will be able to edit and create basic objects in any way you want. Once its done, you can share your image with your friends or send it directly to The Buccaneer to have it made!

As of now, the lowest pledge that buys a printer — the early-bird $297 rate — is sold out. Those wanting to get in on the initiative can pledge upwards of $397 (plus shipping) for one of the third batches of printers, which is estimated to be ready for shipment in April 2014.

The Singaporean team behind the project has high hopes for the future of 3D printing:

Our dream is to make the user experience of this technology as seamless as it can be and to open up the technology while at the same time not being greedy and squeezing our customers for unsustainable profits.

They have already raised some funding — just shy of (US)$500,000 from Singapore-based seed-stage VC Red Dot Ventures — and with significant media coverage and a popular Kickstarter campaign, they are aiming to deliver on their ambition of making 3D printing affordable.

It will be interesting to see how much more money the campaign can secure from Kickstarter, while, in the longer term, the project from these 3 university graduates may serve to inspire would-be Kickstarters in Asia.

Kickstarter launched in the UK in October 2012 but, for now, the crowdfunding platform does not support projects in Asia. That means that entrepreneurs must base their efforts in the US, as Pirate 3D has done.

➤ The Buccaneer: Kickstarter

Headline image via Kickstarter