FABtotum Personal Fabricator

These days, crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter feature quite a few projects in the space of 3D printers. Most of these projects promise to develop cheaper, more affordable 3D printers aimed at the broader consumer market.

Whereas each one of these projects certainly has its merits, the FABtotum campaign currently live on Indiegogo has caught our attention: the FABtotum team initially aimed to raise $50.000 now stands at over $400.000 with two weeks of the campaign still to go! A campaign which generates such momentum certainly deserves a closer look.

 

But who is FABtotum and what exactly do they want to achieve?

FABtotum is a young Italian startup, currently hosted at the Business incubator district “POLIHUB” of the University of Politecnico di Milano, headed by Marco Rizzuto and Giovanni Grieco.

The startup has the goal to develop the World’s first Desktop Personal Fabrication device, the FABtotum. This multipurpose tool will combine 3D printing, cutting, milling and 3D scanning all in one device. Of course, all of these fabrication techniques already exist today, however in separate devices each costing at least a few hundred dollars. FABtotum will combine all these fabrication processes in a single device for $1099 (at least that is the price for the ready-to-go package currently featured on Indiegogo).

By offering a seamless interaction between the physical and digital worlds the FABtotum fabrication device will offer endless possibilities for anyone interested in 3D making.

The prototype specifications give a good indication of the fabrication potential of the FABtotum:

  • Size: 366x366x366mm
  • Printing volume (additive) : 210x240x240mm (24% of size in additive mode)
  • 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: 1600×1200 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. (3mm 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.
  • Additive sub-systems: heated bed,fan cooling
  • Subtractive tool: Onboard 30 Watt spindle. standard milling bits (3.25mm diam.)
  • Additional tool: space for tools up to 60mm mounting diameter.
  • Acquisition method: Laser Scanner (line laser) and Z digitizer probe.
  • Other systems: Mechanical homing endstops, Vacuum cleaner port.
  • I/O : USB host, SD slot, Wireless b/g/n, Ethernet

FABtotum_white

Of course, the FABtotum is not a done deal yet. As the project is still in the development phase there are still significant engineering and business challenges to be overcome. The team foresees a first batch of machine to be delivered in mid 2014, provided everything goes to plan.

However, the huge funding inflow certainly suggests that the FABtotum team has hit a nerve with the 3D making community and their product could have huge market potential. We will certainly keep an eye out to see how the FABtotum progresses.

If you want to learn more about the FABtotum or even want to sponsor to this exciting project then head over to Indiegogo: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fabtotum-personal-fabricator

 

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