There are many who still view 3D printing and additive manufacturing as something from a science fiction movie but while some marvel from afar, there are others who are taking 3D printing and turning it into a business.

Quentin Harley is one such individual. Harley is the owner of Morgan3DP, which designs, manufactures and sells its own brand of 3D printers to the public.

The printer Morgan3DP sells uses a SCARA arm design unlike conventional 3D printers, which use rails and gantries. The Morgan 3D printer has the print nozzle attached directly to the robotic arm so it’s able to print incredibly detailed designs.

But why 3D printers?

We asked Harley what made him decide to pursue 3D printing as a business.

“I started building my first 3D printer and at the time I couldn’t get access to a kit or parts so I started building my own thing,” Harley said. “It turned out to be quite a popular design because of the robotic arm and in 2013 I won the [HumanityPlus] Uplift Prize.”

“The interest in the printer was so great that I carried on development and at the beginning of this year I left my job and started Morgan3DP.”

The open design of the Morgan printers sets them apart from most other 3D printers seen at maker gatherings, Hartley believes that this is what has made his printers so popular within a community that is awe-filled by 3D printers by default.

While it’s possible to obtain a Morgan 3D printer through the online store Hartley revealed to us that most of the printers he has sold have been through Tuesday night demonstrations at the House for Hack in Pretoria.

“People come to House for Hack on a Tuesday and see the machine and the next day they come back to me via email saying ‘listen, don’t you have a machine for us?'” he tells us candidly.

Morgan 3D printers carry a one year limited warranty on mechanical faults or manufactured parts.

Unfortunately the nozzle does not carry this warranty as it is a ‘wear part’, but Hartley has told us that if the nozzle becomes unusable within a year you are able to return the nozzle and they will replace it at half the cost of a new one.

Hartley currently has two machines available for purchase. The Morgan Mega is the larger of the two with a print size of 750mm x 450mm x 600mm and carries a price tag of R40 000 while the slightly smaller Morgan Pro 2 with a print size of 380mm x 220mm x 200mm retails for around R22 000.

Compared to other printers in this price range the Morgan 3D printers offer a larger print area than many of the other 3D printers on the market.

This makes the Morgan 3D Printers a relatively cost-effective 3D printer and a great starting point for those looking to become a part of the maker movement. The after sales support is also great for beginners and buying a Morgan 3D Printer means you’ll be supporting a local maker follow his dream.

  • htxt.africa partnered with Microsoft BizSpark for the Innovation Pavillion at Leaderex 2015. This story is part of a series profiling the start-ups who we hosted.