This is an idea that was bound to happen sometime. I'm very glad to see that they have made a very versatile product and will look forward to seeing how well they do in the future with this.
One thing that was not mentioned in the article that I'd be interested in learning about is how the fumes and detritus are handled? Recent reporting shows that the fumes can be harmful from 3D printers. When milling, the fragments can get all over the place, so air control will be key here too. Also I'm curious on how well the 3D scan works after doing milling. How are the scanners' protected?
If FABtotum can pull this off at $1000 price range, that would be fantastic. But I remain skeptical of the fabrication capabilities of such a printer.
The hype machine is in full gear as far 3D printing is concerned from the perspective of an average consumer who is not all that tech savvy. There are serious limitations to the type of object geometries you can print and the materials set to choose from when it comes to these $1000 price tag machines.
I absolutely agree. It isn't unheardof for the crowdfunding price to be much cheaper than the consumer price though. With Makerbot going for roughly $2k I wouldn't be too surprised to see this one jump to a similar price.
I think 3D printer is really a fancy name for a miniature machining tool. For subtractive printing, the printer is just using all the machine tools that are currently available. The only thing that it is doing is increasing the price many folds. Donot know if we will ever have that much money to blow for our own "art".
$1000 is not too amazingly high price for a small cnc mill(I've never heard that called subtractive printing before). It also isn't out of line for a 3d printer in this case. To get both plus a 3d scanner is a great deal.
@docdivakar: The hype machine is in full gear as far 3D printing is concerned from the perspective of an average consumer who is not all that tech savvy.
Don't say that -- you'll make me sad -- just a couple of minutes ago I received an email saying that the small 3D printer I ordered a week or so ago has been shipped ... it woulld be great if it gets here tomorrow so I can play with it over the weekend...
@Max; all I am saying is don't set your expectations too high! Sorry if I came across as raining on your parade!
Imagine a cross section resembling "I" which is a common shape used in bridge / beam girders, etc. To print a small version of it in ABS plastic, say 1-inch high, 1-inch long and 1-inch wide with web and flange thicknesses 0.1-inch. The printer has no problem printing layer by layer the bottom flange and the web. When it comes to the top flange, it has to support it as the material dispenses and sets. So there is a supporting material/structure which can be the soluble type or of the same ABS plastic which needs to be broken off. The soluble type needs a higher temperature bath (I think a few degC below water boiling temp) to remove it. I imagine many average consumers will not be aware this!
@docdivakar: Sorry if I came across as raining on your parade!
Not at all -- I was only joking -- I understand what you are saying -- I wish I could have afforded a machine that supported multiple materials, including one that woudl disolve in hot water ... but I'm limited to only one material...
...on the other hand, coming up with "engineering workarounds" to thsi sort of thing is what we do :-)
@wilber_xbox: I love the term "subtractive printing" for milling -- never heard tha tbefore.
I just purchased a 3D printer for $499 (plus I took the $99 upgrade for a heated bed so I can print 6 x 6 x 6" (though I probably won't get anywhere near that). All I can say is that I'm really looking forward to experienting with it.
Max - I'm very anxious to hear about your experiences with the 3D printer. I suspect that the biggest problem with 3D printers today is simply that much of the hype surrounding them is overblown. That can lead to disappointment after a purchase.
I think you have a realistic view, but some people talk of essentially replacing the need to buy just about anything ever again. If we were to take a personal dot matrix printer from the 1980's and judge it by today's standards, or judge it by commercial printer standards of the day, we'd all be sorely disappointed. But, looking at it for what it was, personal printers were almost unimaginably revolutionary.
The personal 3D printers of today are in a similar spot. Of course they aren't going to replace injection molded plastic parts any time soon, but they are an incredible revolution. If I had one, I wouldn't use my time to fix a $10.00 toy, but I'd use it to build things that can't be purchased at stores - art, funny masks, robot parts...
Adding CNC, as this machine has is another pretty big step. Myself, I would need one that can mill aluminum, but I'll have to wait a while for that. I hope your printer does arrive today so we can read about it next week.