Get a Micro 3D Printer and 5 filament spools for $399

From the Cheapskate: Normally $449 with just one spool, this is a great starter package for anyone new to 3D printing.

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Cheeps, I believe this is a first.

I may have mentioned the odd 3D printer here and there, but this is the first time I've corralled an exclusive deal for Cheapskate readers. And I'm seriously excited about it.

micro-3d-printer.jpg

Army men not included. Yet.

M3D

For a limited time, you can get the Micro 3D Printer and 5 spools of filament for $399, plus $9.99 for shipping (see below for instructions and code). Regular price for that bundle: $505.

To get the deal, select the Retail Edition of the printer (which shows $449), then choose a color. (If you opt for clear or silver, it'll cost you another $75.) Now add four spools of PLA filament in whatever color combination you want. A white spool is included with the printer, bringing your total to five. Finally, head to checkout and apply the coupon code cnetm3d.

First things first: the Micro 3D is adorable. I first spotted it at CES a couple weeks ago and was instantly enamored with its design: a shiny plastic cube in various bright colors, measuring just about 7 inches square. It's tiny! And the filament spool tucks away inside the base instead of hanging ugly out the back. This pretty little thing is an easy fit on any desk.

I spent the weekend test-driving one, and I'll admit there was some initial frustration and a fairly steep learning curve. The included software is actually pretty simple, allowing you to drag-and-drop downloaded files to a virtual print bed. But a lot of the print options are confusing; I wish I'd found this support page on Friday instead of just yesterday.

Early on, I couldn't get anything to come out of the extruder. I followed the instructions to remove and re-insert the filament, and was then able to print a Lego-type brick. But subsequent efforts didn't come out right. And because the printer is (like many 3D printers) very slow, sometimes it takes hours before you can tell if the "print" is going to be correct.

After a couple days of fits and starts, I'm now able to print pretty consistently. I just finished churning out a GoPro camera mount, and it looks perfect.

micro-3d-printer-demo.gif

I made this! Alas, the Micro 3D isn't quite this fast.

Video by Rick Broida/CNET

The beauty of this bundle is you can get five filament colors to mess around with instead of just one. And the Micro 3D supports not just PLA, but also the company's exclusive Tough 3D Ink, as well as ABS and Chameleon (dual-color) filaments.

I don't know a ton about the world of 3D printing, but I do know there are lots of models that cost a lot more, and many of them are notoriously difficult to operate, clean, etc. Although I had some initial grief with the Micro 3D (which, incidentally, offers auto-leveling and auto-calibration), right now it seems to be working like a champ.

And it's so cute! I realize this isn't an impulse buy, but if you've been looking to dip a few toes into 3D printing, this is one of the most affordable ways. Let me know your thoughts.

Two for $18?! Yes, please.

Meh

Bonus deal: Ever notice how your Bluetooth speaker is bad at clipping to your belt, backpack, bike and so forth? That's because it lacks a built-in carabiner. Shazam! Today only, and while supplies last, Meh has two Ion Audio Clipster Bluetooth speakers for $18, plus $5 for shipping. Price elsewhere: $24 just for one.

The Clipster includes not only the aforementioned carabiner, but also a built-in microphone for phone calls, a detachable bike mount and a ruggedized coating. And just when I thought I'd seen every possible Bluetooth speaker design.

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