Is a CNC mill or a 3D printer more useful? Why not just have both and toss in a 3D scanner for good measure?
Funding has just begun for the FABtotum but they're already teetering on the edge of meeting their goals. If you were to act quickly, you could get a unit for yourself for under $1,000.
This list of features is taken from the prototype, so a few tweaks and changes wouldn't be unexpected on the final version.
- Size: 366x366x366 mm
- Printing volume (additive): 210x240x240 mm
- Milling volume (subtractive): 210x240x[your milling bit height] mm
- Scan volume (optical/digitalizer): as much as accessible(up to printing volume depending on the object shape)
- Scan angular resolution: from 83 to 133 steps/degree in 1/16th microstepping mode.
- CMOS sensor: 1024x768 or above.
- 4th axis milling angular resolution: as "Scan Angular resolution"
- Z layer height: from 0.10 to 0.4 mm
- Z level minimum increments: encoder resolution 0,00047mm (0,47 microns) in 1/16th microstepping (3 mm pitch leadscrew / 200 steps *16 * 2 gearbox = 0,000467 = approx 0.47 microns, less than half a micron)
- Additive materials: PLA, ABS, built-in protected material storage/coil
- Subtractive materials: with onboard motor -- foam, balsa, plywood, thin aluminium, brass alloys (PCB layer)
- Additive head: 0.35 or 0.45 or 0.5mm nozzle, Bowden extruder
- Subtractive tool: Onboard30 Watt spindle, standard milling bits (3.25 mm diam.)
- Additional tool: space for tools up to 60 mm mounting diameter.
- Acquisition method: Laser Scanner (line laser) and Z digitizer probe
- Other systems: mechanical homing endstops, vacuum cleaner port
- I/O: USB
The only downside is that FABtotum isn't anticipating to deliver units till May 2014.
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