About this project
The $259, high quality 3D printer, built from open source components, designed to be educational, productive, versatile and fun.
"Your limitation is only as good as your ability to design and print, but with this printer you will be a guru." Beta Tester - Joel Leathers of Texas
Are you an inventor, designer, artist or student? Have you been waiting for an affordable, high quality 3D printer, packed with features and versatility? Hi I'm Nate Rogers, I designed the Reach 3D printer to provide students and makers EXACTLY THAT!
Meet the Team
Creating the Reach 3D printer required a lot of work and a team of brothers was formed.
Nate Rogers is the founder of the Reach 3D. He and his wife Rachel, own Eternal Tattoo in Springfield, MO. Nate designed the Reach 3D printer and develops the upgrades. Rachel and Nate provide customer service and manage production.
Keith Rogers is the mechanical engineer. He works at Boeing in St. Louis, MO. Keith has been instrumental in website development, fine tuning the mechanical design, and customizing software for the Reach 3D printer.
Brad Rogers is the investor. He is the CEO of Rogers Contracting in Wichita, KS. Brad provides business consultation for Reach 3D, and funded the 6 month prototype phase.
Together, we are REACH 3D.
Why the Reach?
We were looking for an affordable, solid, non-proprietary 3D printer that could do anything. We wanted a printer with a large build area that could be easily modified and be a platform to learn from. We couldn't find one that met all of our expectations. So we set out to design our own.
We spent months researching many different printer designs. Starting with opensource components, like RepRaps for cost effectiveness, adopting the Openbuilds v-slot concept for simplicity, such as in the Bukito, and after 4 complete design revisions, and countless re-iterations, we finally arrived with the Reach 3D printer.
How we did it
We didn't need to "reinvent the wheel". Instead, we used readily available components and streamlined the design for simplicity. We started with an all aluminum frame made from v-slot extrusions, 1/8" aluminum plates and delrin v-wheels to ensure a strong cantilever design. We also had to have a huge build area, the ability to print in many different materials(ninja-flex) and a printer that could easily be modified for laser cutting, engraving, plotting and light milling. All of our main components are easily source-able and the build size can be extended. We found no need to enclose the build area, simplifying the whole printer.
With such a simple design, we ensured it included top of the line features.
- Frame - all aluminum 1/8" laser cut plates and 20x20, 20x40 extrusions
- Hardware - all metric, 8mm lead screw
- Rails - v-slot and delrin v-wheels, 625ZZ bearings
- Belt Drive - GT2-20 tooth pulleys (aluminum)
- Electronics - Arduino/Ramps 1.4
- Motors - Nema 17s, 4000g.cm torque
- Hot End - J-Head, all metal 1.75mm, E3D Clone (.4mm nozzle)
- Extruder - geared for speed and strength
- Power Supply - 6a 12v laptop style. c8 plug (upgrade - 10a 12v. c13 plug)
- Printable materials - works with virtually all suppliers of 1.75mm filaments. Can print in PLA, ABS, PetG, Nylon, NinjaFlex, faux metal, etc
- Bed - 1/8" aluminum plate
- Build Volume - 200 x 200 x 215 mm
- Print Speed - 60-90 mm/s depending on detail
- Print Accuracy - 50 micron layer height
- Auto Leveling - included
- Heated Bed - optional - MK2 up to 100C, fully supported
- Full Graphic LCD/SD - optional - fully supported
- Laser Cutter/Engraver - DIY - fully supported (easily sourced)
- Plotter - DIY - fully supported
- Light Milling - DIY - fully supported (for soft wood, foam, pcb)
- Metal Engraving - DIY - fully supported
- Dual Extrusion - development in progress (software supported, but untested)
- Paste Extruder - development in progress.
- Software - open source - Sketchup, Meshlab, Repetier, Cura, Inkscape
- Compatibility - Windows, Mac (Works with most OS, or use the LCD/SD reader), Linux - untested
Basic Kit and Upgrade Kit
We are offering the Reach as a Kit. Typical assembly will take between 4 and 8 hours to complete. The control boards come pre-loaded with firmware. The electronics are individually tested before being shipped. All wires are cut to length and pre-soldered. Simply follow the step-by-step photo build instructions on our website, or reference the exploded diagrams in our user manual.
Only basic tools required: allen wrenches, pliers, screwdriver.
(no soldering or drilling needed)
The upgrade kit will be available for an extra $70 and includes:
- A full graphics LCD screen with SD card reader. (for printing when disconnected from your computer)
- An MK2 heated bed, 100K thermistor, and power wires.
- An upgraded power supply.
- Our website also covers installation and sourcing the upgrade components yourself, if you only want an additional LCD/SD card reader.
So, how does the Reach perform? You decide....
Admiral Ackbar - .1mm layers
Venus deMilo - .1mm layers
Octopus business card holder - .2mm layers
Winged Victory - .1mm layers
A time lapse print of "Heatwave", a popular Thingiverse vase.
The Reach 3D Printer is very versatile. As makers, we find ourselves wanting to use more and more methods of manufacturing. The Reach 3D printer will start you 3D printing, and when you're ready to try laser cutting, your Reach printer will transition with you.
The use of a laser is VERY dangerous. Even split-second reflections are capable of blinding someone permanently. We cannot recommend you install a laser module, and highly discourage it. By doing so, you are putting yourself and others at RISK. We do NOT condone the use of lasers in any way! We recommend compliance with all FDA laser regulations, which requires an enclosure with safety interlocks and a key.
Since selling laser modules in the U.S. requires special licenses that are expensive, we will not offer them for sale, but will demonstrate where we purchased a $40 module, the needed clamp to print and how we use the software to operate it. This does not imply that it should be done.
The milling machine is simply a rotary tool, with a flex shaft attachment. These can be purchased at Wal-Mart online for $23. We will provide the files to print your own clamps that work with these flex shaft tools and videos to demonstrate how to operate them as a mill. The milling feature can easily surface engrave most metals and can mill 3D reliefs in wood or lighter materials. The plotter procedure is very similar to the milling procedure.
We are working with an engineer in Texas to enable the reach to extrude paste, metal paste! This is quite early in development, and we have had good success firing to high strength in a common microwave kiln. We have so many possible future upgrades to bring and are excited to see what enhancements will be created by our customers. This printer will continue to grow and develop.
Support Services, Warranty and Help
Our kits are designed to keep end costs low. These printers are intended for the "do-it-yourself" minded builders. Offering individual support would require increasing our prices dramatically.
There will NOT be a 1-800 number available!
We will answer assembly and troubleshooting questions by referencing and improving our in-depth manual, online guides and video tutorials. We will keep our reference material updated as we discover potential difficulties people encounter. We are here to support you, but our customers should have a problem solving mentality.
We guarantee our individual components and parts are fully functional. If there is a damaged or non-working part, we will provide part replacement free of charge and offer individual support to ensure components are operational. We want our customers to have the tools for success, but please expect to encounter challenges along the way.
Our current website, www.Reach3DPrinters.com has a more in depth assembly guide, videos of setup and software tutorials, how to make your own firmware changes, upgrades that can be added, some examples of 3D prints and tons of links and resources will continue to be added as we grow.
Manuals are almost finished and contain:
- Full parts list
- Diagrams of all assemblies
- First print setup
- Quick reference guides for operation
- Troubleshooting guides
- Part warranty for replacement parts
T- shirt Design for Rewards
Show your support and love for 3D printing. These T-shirts are super cool. Buy one for yourself, and your geeky niece named Amanda. Backers who pledge for a printer will be able to add a shirt for $10.
250 printers - Hex Screwdriver Bit Set - A precision screwdriver set, with all the Allen bits needed to build your Reach 3D printer, and a large assortment of others.
400 printers - Storage Box - We will ship your printer parts in a hard plastic storage box. A great case to keep your tools and parts organized.
500 printers - SD Card - Loaded with software, instructions and part files, the SD card will get you designing and printing even faster! Will work with your new LCD screen as well.
(t-shirt is optional in exchange for all rewards at 500)
Why we need your help
To provide these printers at such a low price, we must buy in bulk and begin mass production. We have already shipped 20 prototypes, and made design improvements along the way. With their feedback, we are ready to release the Reach 3D printer to the world.
Your contribution will enable us to setup a mass production line, capable of producing more than 200 printers per month. We will also be able to hire additional team members to scale production accordingly. We already have warehouse space available if needed.
After Kickstarter, the cost of these printers will be around $300.
Our future goals for late 2016 will be to offer Reach 3D printers in bulk, to students and educators for a discounted price of around $275 shipped. Aimed at group education, we can bring more options to educators, allowing a more immersive study of manufacturing technology for young minds. We are also working on developing a workbook to guide students through several projects, showing them "real world" results when learning digital design.
- Funding will enable us to place part orders 2 weeks after a successful campaign. (early April)
- 3D printed parts will be produced in-house, on our printer farm (already established). (early April)
- Printer components will arrive in 2-3 Weeks . (early May)
- Part counts, aluminum cutting, electronics Q.C. and kit packaging will begin. (early May)
- First batch of 100 printers will ship. (end of May)
- Second batch of 150 Printers will ship. (end of June)
- Third batch of 200 Printers will ship. (end of July)
- Fourth batch of 100 Printers will ship. (mid August)
- Pre-orders will be available for purchase on website, but will NOT ship until all Kickstarter Pledges have shipped. (mid August)
USPS Priority shipping will be $35 to the lower 48 states. Insurance is included.
USPS International shipping will be $95 to the rest of the world. Insurance may be included. We are not responsible for Import taxes.
Extra care will be taken to ensure every component is double checked for quality and function, to prevent unnecessary returns.
We will be searching other, more economical methods of shipping for our international backers, and will pass the savings on. We are open to global suggestions. Our final shipping price is for a 13lb box, (12in. x 3.5in. x 14.125in.) We add $16.50 to our actual shipping costs to carefully package parts, and cover shipping supplies.
Risks and challenges
We have gone open source to prevent any unknowns with hardware and software. The components have been well tested and trusted for several years now. This should minimize half of the potential problems.
We have prepared to scale mass production of our in-house components, and have the warehouse and manufacturing space readily available. We have contacted several suppliers for all our needed parts, and have 2 backups for each component. We have added 10% of the parts cost to our budget, as a "Just in Case" scenario.
Before jumping into this, we gave a lot of thought on how to efficiently produce these printers and keep the costs to a minimum, while still providing great printers. We have successfully manufactured and shipped 20 test printers. This gave us a good idea of what problems to expect. However, there will always be the unexpected.
This is our challenge, with your help, we will Reach our goals together.
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