Although the more mainstream 3D printers still cost a few thousand dollars, the transition is beginning to occur — just as it did with personal computers and desktop laserjet printers — where the technology is getting more affordable for the masses.

In fact, a project by Pirate3D, which has been exceedingly successful so far on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter, is offering 3D printing technology for less than $500.

Affordable 3D Printer Sees Demand on Kickstarter

The Buccaneer 3D printer by Pirate3D. (Photo: Pirate3D via Kickstarter)

“We at Pirate3D are creating a full 3D printing solution for home consumers. We want this technology to be freely available to everyone (at great and affordable prices!) and also easy to use (great user experience!). Our long term mission is to be innovative at every level of 3D printing, from object design all the way to printing,” the company said on their Kickstarter page.

Here’s more on the system:

Backers of the project contributing $447, which includes a $50 shipping charge within the United States, will receive the The Buccaneer printer and five cartridges of the printing material. Estimated delivery of the device would be by April 2014. There are even a few under $400 options left as well.

Affordable 3D Printer Sees Demand on Kickstarter

A comparison between The Buccaneer and another popular 3D printer on the market. (Photo: Pirate3D via Kickstarter)

The system functions by being synced with a PC/Mac or mobile device, which holds the user’s designs and it has 3D design software to give the user customizable options from basic templates. It can be operated remotely from a cloud web browser as well.

See how using the software from one’s smartphone looks in this demonstration video:

One thing that Pirate3D did differently with The Buccaneer printer, compared to other 3D printers on the market, was creating a more aesthetically pleasing design — they wanted to give it a “spaceship-like feel.”

“We wanted the Buccaneer to be a device you would love to own and show off to your friends,” Pirate3D stated. “Drawing inspiration from the design of Apple products, we felt that smooth uninterrupted lines are paramount to creating pleasing aesthetics.”

Affordable 3D Printer Sees Demand on Kickstarter

(Photo: Pirate3D via Kickstarter)

Here you can see The Buccaneer with the casing removed though so you can view it while in action:

The Kickstarter project has more than 1,600 backers with more than $625,000 contributed, surpassing its initial $100,000 goal — and there are still 24 days left of funding.

After surpassing it’s “stretch goal” of half a million, the company stated that it would be donating 10 units of The Buccaneer to some institutions in Africa and would conduct trainings there as well.

Learn more about the system on Pirate3D’s website or its Kickstarter page.

(H/T: CNET via Reddit)