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.
@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 :-)
1. in this example you could just rotate the model so the printer can print it as a column instead, no problem.
2. the software for these allows you to generate support structures to hold up any overhangs. These are structures of the same material but they're thinner and barely attached. They snap off leaving you with the desired structure. Here's an example of what that looks like.
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.
@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.
I bought a Cube 3D printer (first generation) and am very disappointed. It does a lousy job of overhangs and there is as much as 3-5% shrinkage. I hope yours work out for you. I think the biggest problem with mine is the SW that creates the extrude file from the STL file
@Etmax: I bought a Cube 3D printer (first generation) and am very disappointed.
I'm sorry to hear that. I bought one of the $499 ones from Solidoodle www.solidoodle.com (I also got the $99 upgrade to the heated bed). Once I've had a chance to play with it I'll be blogging about it -- keep your fingers crossed for me.
I guess that's what I get for being a guinea pig on the bleeding edge of consumer printing. I would have thought that 3D systems would have supported a product better, they've released a version 2 which presunmably has some of the issues addressed but given the fixes are SW (it already has a heated bed) one would have thought they would be interested in customer satisfaction enough to upgrade older machines to ensure repeat business. Some interesting design choices they made, micro switches as home/EOT sensors. Anyway, I've heard good things about Solidoodle so hopefully you are rewarded :-)
I have mixed feelings about consumer level 3D printers. I do think that they are getting better, but they do not quite offer the desired result I am looking for. I do think that they will get there, but not with extrusion based printers. I do, though, see them useful for getting through some initial design concepts to check for overall fit and functionality, then moving to a more refined concept from these mockups. Perhaps my hesitation is based upon the fact that I like a lot of details in my designs that are smaller than are currently offered by consumer level devices.
yeah, deposition printers are basically for quick prototypes. If you want higher quality you're going to obviously spend more. Thee are some resin printers out there in a similar price range (formONE), but if you're wanting a finished product with fine detail, you're going to have to spend some money and use a 3d printing service.
Even some of those are not all that great. I had a recent experience where I attempted to use Shapeways. I designed my part to the letter in accordance to their published specifications and the result was less than impressive. I have worked with much more costly services, and can say that the results were impressive, but at a cost that I could have (as a hobbiest) made a similar or better quality part by hand.
I am hoping that the consumer market will advance at a faster pace. Seeing that companies like Microsoft and Autodesk are aligning to support this industry, I think that we will see improvements in the next 5 years.
I really should be buying one of these myself. As I implied in my dot matrix example from my earlier comment, I was an early adopter with dot matrix printers. My first word processor used capitol letters only in, I think, a 7x9 dot matrix. Other people thought I was nuts. My writing instructors couldn't decided whether they should accept it or not. I was thrilled with it.
I couldn't use my dot matrix printer to replace 1200 DPI (dot per inch) commercial printing, but I could do things that simply were not otherwise possible.
I would also be buying one of these things except, for the moment, there are too many other things on the list ahead of the 3D printer.
@Max, logically milling can be described as subtractive printing but maynot be that catchy word. I have seen the vidoes of milling done in the printers and its not that fascinating to me. Though i agree that it does add extra usage to the 3D printers.
This week I tried making a 3D printed part using GE's Ultem (needed higher operating temp for the component). I must say I am not at all satisfied with the quality of the part produced. When compared to the injection-molded version, the 3D printed part looks horrendously porous! I tried assembling it with other components of the assembly but the 3D printed parts broke!
Bottom line is this -to make useful parts, one will need couple of trials with material selection and geometry sizing. For this, 3D printing is indeed the most cost-effective and expeditious way to go!
I think the current 3D printers may not be useful for the long lasting products but can be used for early prototyping. The limited amount of material support and techniques to stengthen the used powered form of material need to be improved.
@wilbur: I think the current 3D printers may not be useful for the long lasting products but can be used for early prototyping.
Early prototyping and creating things that just "look interesting" (like a fake Steakpunk Watch so we can create a photographic version of my Holographic Watch blog when we all meet up at Design West 2014) is what I'm planning on using it for
Very cool. I honestly don't think we have any idea what the world (of technology) is going to look like in 10 or 20 years ... just think that the first iPhone was only introduced 6 years ago and the first iPad only 3 years ago ...
forget 20 years, I'm saying get one of those, or the camera that came out with the tiny projector and house it in your 3d printed watch case. It would be bulky, but fitting with the comic. Then you can walk up to any wall and have your "hologram". Perfect costume piece.
@Caleb: I'm saying get one of those, or the camera that came out with the tiny projector and house it in your 3d printed watch case. It would be bulky, but fitting with the comic. Then you can walk up to any wall and have your "hologram". Perfect costume piece.
Oooohhhh -- I hadn't thought of that -- what a GREAT idea!!!