Have you ever thought to yourself, 3D printers are cool, but they're just too small? Well then, the Gigabot (funding through May 9) may be for you.
Boasting an impressive 600 cubic millimeter build envelope, re:3D (the company behind it) claims its machine has 30 times the print volume as the leading desktop 3D printer. With a platform of more 3000 cubic centimeters and a build volume of 216,000, this thing is big. Its aluminum extrusion frame carries a head capable of writing in resolutions of 100 microns (.1mm). Fused Filament Fabrication can be performed with 1.75mm or 3mm filaments. Its construction seems to completely lack aesthetic considerations, lending it that certain visual appeal a purely purposeful design tends to have. Bear in mind this is no office printer--it's more at home in a garage or in a shop alongside other large hardware.
The team has long since blown past its $40,000 goal and was closing on on its $200,000 stretch goal when this story was posted--whose completion promises the integration of an LCD display to each Gigabot. Currently, all of the tiers involving you laying hands on your own Gigabot are in limited supply, with various packages ranging from the electronics-and-motor bereft $2000 option to the tested and flat-packed $4950 option for September or October delivery. You can still hop in for first-run product, but there's no telling for how long. Swag, including printed objects like vases, are available further down the chain--the only unlimited pledge options being the $5 simple shoutout and the $30 tee and sticker slots.
Matthew Fiedler, the team's face for the pitch, is a PhD student of kinesiology and motor control with five years experience in a NASA laboratory and philanthropic engineering experience to his name. He's joined by a capable crew of similarly impressive individuals in re:3D's startup efforts. This may be re:3D's first project, but my confidence in the group's ability deliver is quite high.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.