We wanted to announce the official information about our Rapid Prototyping Mill (RPM) and the beta program that we will be offering, culminating into another Kickstarter campaign to fund full scale production. We will be posting a lot more information, pictures and videos (machining metal and printing) in the coming days. We want this to be the last machine you ever buy (see FUTURE BOLT ON UPGRADES near the bottom); you are buying an incredibly robust platform.
We originally developed the RPM to not only machine metals (including stainless steel) but also be able to 3D print accurately and quickly. We developed the RPM chassis to be modular, to allow the addition of other components and capabilities, as well as to make available an open source, building block platform for makers to utilize.
The RPM is manufactured from 100% precision machined aluminum and steel. The structure is made from CNC machined, 1/4" thick panels bolted to 2"x2"x1.25" billet aluminum corner blocks (into a boxed in cube). It has been designed from the ground up to be able to effectively machine metals, plastics and wood as well as maintain the speed necessary for 3D printing.
Maximum Size 3D Printable Object (with single extruder installed)
X-Axis 12.61" Y-Axis 13.11" Z-Axis 10.84" = 1792 cubic inches
Maximum Millable Object Size (based on Medium Duty 1HP Spindle)
X-Axis 9.61" Y-Axis 10.11" Z-Axis 10.84"
Printable Materials | Millable Materials
ABS, PLA. Polycarbonate | Aluminum, Steel, Stainless Steel, Plastic, Wood etc.
Linear Motion X | Y | Z
X-Axis 5/8" dia Precision Ball Screw w/ 1/2" dia Precision Linear Bearings
Y-Axis 5/8" dia Precision Ball Screw w/ 5/8" dia Precision Linear Bearings
Z-Axis 5/8" dia Precision Ground ACME Screws (One on Each Corner)
Motors X | Y | Z
X-Axis NEMA 23 16kg*cm Bi-Polar Stepper Motor (Texas Instruments Based Stepper Drivers)
Y-Axis Dual NEMA 23 16kg*cm Bi-Polar Stepper Motors (Texas Instruments Based Stepper Drivers)
Z-Axis NEMA 23 16kg*cm Bi-Polar Stepper Motor (Texas Instruments Based Stepper Drivers)
Maximum Mechanical Accuracy At Full Stepping / 32x Microstepping (yes 32x)
X-Axis .0003 Inches / .00001 Inches
Y-Axis .0003 Inches / .00001 Inches
Z-Axis .00016 Inches / .000005 Inces
Shipping Weight w/o Spindle
Retail Price after Beta Program
$1699.00 for the 3D Printing Platform
$899.00 for the Medium Duty Water Cooled 1HP Mill Package which includes a Hitachi or Baldor VFD (depending on if you want to run off 110v or 220v power) as well as a SEALED recirculating coolant system w/ radiator and fan for the spindle.
3HP Spindle Mill and Bosch Colt Router Package pricing TBD
Beta Program Information
Please don't think of this as a 'traditional' beta program. Our goal is to release a small number of RPMs into the wild and get feedback from the early adopters. This is not so much as testing for the capabilities of the machine as it is for the LOGISTICS of bringing together a project of this complexity. We want to make sure that this is as seamless as possible. We don't want there to be problems on a large scale because something wasn't clear with the manual or the mailman couldn't deliver it because its too heavy (70lbs) etc. We are currently only a team of 4 people and it would be unrealistic for us to support thousands of machines at once. If we can get any oddities or quirks of the manufacturing, assembly or delivery (not the capabilities!) of the machine smoothed out before we go to full scale production we hope to eliminate most of the easily remedied problems before they happen.
We want the beta program to be with 100 machines MAXIMUM, that way we can give as much attention and support to the early adopters as possible. As an early adopter we want to know any quirks and especially any improvements that can be implemented to make the setup or function of the machine run more smoothly. We want the early adopters to be tinkerers and hackers that can help us make this the best machine possible.
Benefits of Being an Early Adopter in this 'Beta' Test
$250 Discount ($1449.00) FULLY ASSEMBLED RPM
$399 Discount on Medium Duty Milling Package
Any modifications or additions before full scale production will be provided for free
20% Discount On Future Bolt On Upgrades (see below)
Custom Anodized COLORS for Printer Components (everything will be black or clear normally)
Free Spool of Natural Filament
Future BOLT ON Upgrades to the RPM
Automated 3D Laser Scanner Price Target <$1000.00 | Coming 2013
Accuracy .1mm or Better
4th Axis w/ HUGE 115 kg*cm Stepper Motor Price Target <$1000.00 | Coming 2013
For Turning and 4th Axis Milling of Metal, Plastic and Wood Parts
Stereolithography 3D Printing Price Target <$1500.00 | Coming 2013
Much Larger Build Area than Current Stereolithography Printers...we will NOT be using a proprietary resin
Immersive Flood Cooling w/ Remotely Located Electronics Panel <$250.00 | Coming 2013
Challenges and Weak Spots
The open-source software that is currently available for the milling side of things with the RPM is a bit lacking. We have MasterCAM at our shop and have been testing some open-source as well as commercial software packages. We are also in talks with a RepRap famous developer for a REAL software package for our machine but as of right now the software end of MILLING IS EXPERIMENTAL! The 3D printing side of things is well sorted and obviously there are many options that work well including Marlin w/ Pronterface and Repetier.
The BOLT ON UPGRADE that will include the remotely mountable electronics panel and immersive flood cooling setup is NOT ready. Milling operations will have to be run dry or with manual cooling methods at least initially.
We designed the printer to be able to ship as a <70lb via USPS Parcel Post or Priority Mail package and fit within the size limitations those present. This allows the printer to ship within the Continental US for ~$60.00 (FULLY ASSEMBLED) in about 1 week or 3-4 days via Priority Mail for ~$85.00. Additionally by doing this we are able to ship to Australia (for example) for ~$450.00 via USPS Express 1-3 day service. The unknown is how the Post Office is going to handle this. The Little Rock, Arkansas Post Office branches apparently do not receive lots of international mail as evidenced by the packages that get sent to the FROM address on labels that were printed with their own Stamps.com. software I have spoken to the Post Master and there is not any issue with what we are wanting to do but it certainly isn't 'normal' and may cause us to 'jump through a few hoops', since most of the people attending to the Post Office retail locations probably can't lift 70lbs, let alone deal with us dropping off lots at one time. If we used UPS or FedEx instead, the costs to ship go up HUGELY which is a bad thing for everyone!
The QU-BD Team