Introducing Tooli, an intelligent and versatile creative desktop tool for artists and makers. Tooli was created to show the world that CNC technology is capable of much more than just milling and 3D printing. Tooli can draw a sketch, cut a decal, stamp a pattern, laser engrave a photo, cut out fabric, paint a picture, dispense chocolate, pick and place objects, and much much more.
Tooli was designed from the ground up to be a scalable multi-function creative tool that’s super easy to use. Available in 3 sizes up to 84x60cm (33’’x 24’’), Tooli provides the perfect creative space for artists and makers. The intuitive touch screen makes using Tooli super easy, and together with our Art2Gcode software offers a total package that everyone can use.
Tooli can plot with a level of versatility unlike anything else. The solenoid found in conventional plotters is replaced with a stepper motor and provides ultimate control over plunge speed and depth. With adjustable force from 30 to 1000g (1 to 35oz), this unique design is the perfect tool for plotting with everything from scrapers to soft tip markers. Tooli’s plot function allows you to easily create drawings with pens pencils and markers, or cut signs and decals with the included knife. We’ve even added a unique stamping feature that automatically returns the stamp to an ink pad as needed.
Tooli can paint on just about any surface. This unique feature offers a level of versatility as never seen before. Tooli automatically activates airflow and controls paint flow with precision via a stepper motor. This allows control over paint density stroke by stroke. Tooli supports multicolor jobs by automatically pausing when it’s time to change color. The non-contact nature of the airbrush allows you to paint on a wide variety of medium including cloth and uneven surfaces. You can even use the multifunctional ability of Tooli to cut masks for even greater versatility when producing works of art. Please note you’ll need a regulated compressed air supply to airbrush – not included.
Tooli can laser engrave on a wide variety of materials such as wood and leather. The 2.5 watt (2500mW) laser is powerful enough to cut through thin wood, card and many fabrics. Tooli controls the laser’s power and can vary output from 0 – 100%, perfect for engraving photos. Tooli also monitors the laser’s temperature, automatically shutting it down and pausing the job should the diode get too hot. For the techies out there, the diode used is a 9mm 445nm with a three element glass lens.
Tooli can dispense icing, chocolate, paint, glue, masking fluid and more. Tooli has a range of user-definable features which enable a wide variety of medium to be dispensed. Features include plunge dwell, step lift and pause, back tracking, and provide the user ultimate control over the start and end of each stroke. Tooli can also dispense items with the fun pick and place feature. Suction is used to pick items then Tooli places them exactly where you want them. Dispensing glue first allows the placement of items to be permanent. Please note you’ll need a regulated compressed air supply to dispense / pick and place – not included.
The brief was simple. Design a scalable low cost multifunction robotic tool that is super-easy to use.
To allow Tooli to be scalable without drastically increasing the cost with each variant, the number of components that scaled needed to be kept to a minimum. To achieve this we first combined the structural frame beam and linear guide-way into a single aluminum profile. Then we employed the increasingly popular Core-XY drive system, which had an added bonus of reducing the moving mass. The end result is a design that delivers great rigidity, accuracy and speed, and is scalable by swapping out only a handful of components. This design also offers quick and simple assembly when supplied in a partially assembled form to reduce shipping costs.
To make Tooli super-easy to use there was really only one option. In a world full of smart phones and tablets, Tooli had to have a touchscreen interface. So we developed one that’s intuitive and packed full of useful features such as; on-the-fly speed and laser power overrides, user defined park positions, and adjustable tool and job offsets. We also included some unique features such as tap move, where you can tap anywhere on the touchscreen and Tooli will move to that relative position. Safety features include laser diode temperature monitoring and display, and Tooli will only present job files applicable to the loaded tool.
To allow tools to be quickly and easily swapped out we needed a reliable efficient solution. After several design concepts and prototypes we developed a simple dove-tail slide made of precision machine aluminum components. This design allows tools to be accurately and firmly held in place, and provides manual height adjustment with a stroke of 75mm (3”).
With Tooli having so many unique capabilities, software that can fully support Tooli just doesn’t exist. So we developed our own art to G-code software, aptly named Art2Gcode. This easy to use software supports all of Tooli’s capabilities and runs on both Windows and Mac operating systems. Simply create your artwork in your favorite graphics software, (Inkscape is a common choice and it’s free), and save it as an SVG for use in Art2Gcode. Art2Gcode works with both metric and standard units.
With Tooli now in the pre-production phase we’re asking you to join team Tooli and help us give everyone access to empowering creative tools. We may still have a couple of minor things to finalize, but we’re confident that all our hard work in development and testing has resulted in a reliable, real-world product.
With your help we can finalize all manufacturing strategies and jump straight into production, and before you know it you’ll be sharing your creations with the Tooli community.
At Toolbotics our passion for CNC is matched by our belief in the open source philosophy. It was only a few years ago owning a 3D printer meant an investment of tens of thousands of dollars, now you can own one for as little as $200. This is the power of open source, and without it project Tooli probably wouldn’t have been viable.
Over the coming months as things are signed off, we will be releasing everything about Tooli to the open source community.
With a fully packaged tooling weighing in at 12 kg (26 lbs) on average, the cost of shipping will vary significantly based on quantity of shipments. With this in mind, we have decided to postpone collecting shipping fees until we have a final tally and can negotiate the best price for our backers. Please contact us if you have any concerns regarding this decision.
International: As a starting point, US$150-250 will cover most countries if only a minimal number of Tooli's ship. You should also be aware that there may be taxes/duties payable for imported goods, check with your local authorities. As with the rest of this campaign, we will be completely transparent about shipping costs. Again, if you have any concerns regarding shipping please contact us.
National: A$25-90 is the starting point for shipping Tooli anywhere in Australia. Please note that GST is payable on all Tooli's sold within Australia and will be collected prior to shipping.
For project Tooli to be truly successful we need to give everyone access to empowering creative tools.
We don’t have a big budget to spend on marketing this campaign, instead we’re asking our backers and supporters for a few minutes of their time. If every backer and supporter spreads the word through social media, tech websites and the like, as a team we can make project Tooli a great success.
Risks and challenges
Our team has considerable experience in manufacturing from procurement to logistics, and we know from this experience that we will most definitely encounter challenges along the way. That said, we eagerly await production as we know the past has taught us well, and we are confident in our abilities to push through all obstacles and maintain deadlines.
In preparation for production we have ordered and received pre-production runs of key components. This has allowed us to test supply chains, validate designs and check that quality meets our high expectations.
As part of team Tooli you will be kept in the loop with all milestones, and all challenges will be reported and openly discussed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)