Skip to comments.Low-cost 3D printer makes at-home production reality
Posted on 01/11/2013 10:25:31 AM PST by null and void
New Kickstarter project could well be first affordable at-home 3D printer brought to market
Staples may be planning to bring 3D printing to the consumer marketplace, but three men from San Diego want to bring it right into your home office, and theyve created an overwhelmingly successful Kickstarter campaign to help them do it.
Called the RoBo 3D Printer , the device is not the first personal 3D printer out there, but it is one of the most inexpensive. Its creators believe that theyll be able to sell the product for just over $500 a veritable steal compared to home 3D printers with price tags in the thousands.
The RoBo 3D Printer is for the average joe.
For the average joe, therere not many opportunities to buy a 3D printer without breaking the bank, says co-founder Braydon Moreno. So we decided to build it ourselves for people like us and to keep it open source so theres no barriers to how this machine can evolve.
Additionally, Moreno and his partners say that RoBo 3D was designed to remove many of the entry-level barriers associated with in-home 3D printing. They promise that the printer will be easy to use and require very little design knowledge, making it the perfect starter printer for beginners, hobbyists, educators, and artists. It is plug-and-play with a USB connector and works with open-source 3D modeling software, like Google Sketchup.
Model of Yoda printed by the RoBo 3D.
For those interested in a more advanced printer, RoBo 3D stands up well to its more costly competitors. It has a 10 x 10 x 8-in. print area large for an at-home printer, but still small enough to fit into the personal office. It prints at 100-micron layers in 3-mm-diameter PLA plastic filament, which results in strong, hard-wearing products.
With just under a month left in their campaign, RoBo 3D and its founders have already well surpassed their funding goal, with more than $121,000 pledged by nearly 300 backers. Once the campaign is completed, the trio plans to begin mass-manufacturing the printers ordering some components and printing others in their RoBo 3D farm.
For more on 3D printing, read How 3D Printing is Building Our World and 5 Things to Know: 3D Printing .
For more information about RoBo 3D, visit the Kickstarter page . ■
Printed product looks a little grainy. I wonder if PLA can be vapor polished like acrylic?
Yeah, they are inexpensive, but how much is the ink? };^)
Homeprinted grenade casings, with the whole inner works.
Just add ballbearings, powder and a lighter flint.
Oh, and mines.
I see this as the modern equivalent of the Sinclair “home computer”. That is, though it is really cool it isn’t really all that useful, it speaks to what we can expect in the future and is, from that perspective, very exciting.
I think you’ve hit upon what this thing will be used for.
There are several sub $500 kits available on eBay. People found out something quickly, you can buy one and use it to make parts to replicate itself. At least two of the makers have open-sourced their designs and encourage replication. I am really considering buying a kit. I was just thinking of all the little things I buy like cord organizers, repair piece of trim for my car (or replacements for a classic that you can’t get parts for any longer), parts to repair handles, etc.. all those little $20-$30 items add up quickly. Now, you can get plans for gun magazines online to ‘print’. We may be looking at a potential new economic boom like what happened with the Internet in the 90s- an entirely new economic sector.
Run off a bunch of $1T coins and save the country.
Incredible! I think there will be some inventor uses, some artistic uses.and then it’s going to take off. This level is probably way imperfect now ( but remember the first consumer computers?) but making it available to the non -specialist public is very exciting.
Less than ink jet ink and it goes pretty far. $30-$50 per spool.
Thus, paving the way for inventors who lack the tools or mechanical know-how to build their prototypes by hand.
I like it.
HOLLY: I was in love once — a Sinclair ZX-81. People said, “No, Holly, she’s not for you.” She was cheap, she was stupid and she wouldn’t load — well, not for me, anyway.
LISTER: What are you trying to say, Hol?
HOLLY: What I’m saying, Dave, is that it’s better to have loved and to have lost than to listen to an album by Olivia Newton-John.
CAT: Why’s that?
HOLLY: Anything’s better than listening to an album by Olivia Newton-John.
Caseings are the easy part its the timer and detonator that’s the hard part.
Ahhhh, that’s Old School!
“We may be looking at a potential new economic boom like what happened with the Internet in the 90s- an entirely new economic sector.”
Yes, and I don’t think China is going to like it. Half of the stuff they make and sell us can probably be made at home.
Interesting ideas. That’s what I think, too: It puts production within the reach lot everybidy.
Yep. Clockwork. You could probably run that out of this thing too.
The real ones don’t use a clockwork. A short length of use suffices.
I went to their site and I will be pledging so I can have one sent when they go to manufacturing. Unlike the Replicator2 @ $2200 this one will also do ABS which is much better than the PLA. Since both have a 100 micron high resolution capability, this is good enough for me to make models of my SolidWorks designs.
I wonder if the resolution will be high enough to use it to build version 2.0
ABS would be great for makin’ car parts.
Me too. Holy cow. The possibilities.
I am almst surprised the powers that be have allowed it to get this far.
from the practical to the absurd: thats some heady stuff.
I dunno, man. They’re kinda like prunes. You know, is one enough? Three too many?
This is truly a breakthrough product.
All I can think of is *3D art*!
AA 12 ?
“I think there will be some inventor uses”
This will be actually be incredible - things can be printed that were never before possible.
Machines within machines - the mathematics alone to describe the parts will be amazing.
People can invent and create break through devices from their desks. Plop in a power source during the printing process, or an integrated circuit and you can print moving parts that can think and move.
(your right the porn industry will love it... aaaaahhhh)
If I were young, this would be great career choice. Ignoring home use, the potential for business uses is incredible. Home use will be limited until they make 3D design easier.
Oh, yea?" Try this:
Home use will be limited until they make 3D design easier.
It’s possible it may not be an issue. I own a Kurzwiel keyboard. It’s amazing what sound patches I can download from the internet. Think “open source” item design. Kinda like the “printable gun parts” we’re hearing about now.
Twenty years ago for most people there was no such thing as an “internet”. Look what it’s come to and how we all depend on it. For kids today, imagining a world without internet is like I, as a kid, imagined a world without indoor plumbing.
In all seriousness, this really could be even bigger than either.
Is that a 3D ping list? This is something I’m pretty interested in.
I want one of the printers. I am already thinking of sculptures, pottery ... like, wow ....
And, like someone else said farther up the thread ... think of the crap we WON’T have to import from China!
Yeah the resolution / print accuracy seems a little course.
Taught myself basic programming on one of those in the early 80's. Chiclet keyboard and all.
I had the Sinclair and I even sprang for the big clunky extra memory that plugged into the side. I learned plenty from that thing, and also from the Commodore C64 and the IBM PC and finally the 386, 486, etc. That process took quite a few years. With this printer tech, I see it progressing much more rapidly. While I would love to have one right now to start playing and learning, I am leaning towards waiting a while and getting the 3rd or 4th generation improvements.
It saddens me to think back on all the cheap ABS toys and doodads I have broken since I was a kid. If I had saved them, I could repair them all with new parts.
Yes. I've read how-to accounts by hobbyists who have done this. Mostly at Solidoodle threads. I'm not totally sure it was PLA. But basically they put a strainer basket in a pot with some acetone, and gently heat it for a limited time. The object is left in the basket for an extremely short time, and the vapor smoothes it. (Done outdoors with precautions.)
Problematic. The printer has problems with large overhangs, no can do.
Does it? Check out Yoda’s ears!
The problem is, it builds up layer by layer from the bottom. So Yoda’s ears have support from the bottom, and slowly builds outwards. A well-endowed woman would have no support on the lower portion of her extremities, and the printer “ink” would simply fall away. If you “print” the woman in sections while laying on her back, you may have better results. A better solution are extremely expensive 3-D printers that build layers in a support medium.
Regarding vapor polishing, the folks doing this on the Solidoodle threads use PLA filiment, while having more success with ABS filiment. Halfway down this thread are discussions of vapor polishing using acetone.
A strainer and pot combination in use is the Presto Kitchen Kettle Multi-Cooker Steamer from Walmart.
I’ve done it by putting a half inch or so of acetone in the bottom of a mason jar, dangling the part over the acetone and putting the jar in a shallow pan of hot water.
I could hold them and give support while they are printing.