About this project
Also seen in:
NEW! Live-Demo of ZEUS at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas - Jan 7th - 10th 2014! Booth: Venetian, Lvl 1 - 73210
Update: Video Tutorial # 1
Introducing the Next Generation of 3D Technology
Wouldn't it be great to buy a 3D printer, take it out of the box, plug it in, and be able to use it right away, the same way you would with any other piece of consumer electronics such as computers and TVs? Just as 2D printers naturally evolved to incorporate more functions into one device, we set out to revolutionize the 3D printing industry to give makers a complete 3D printing experience with a multifunctional machine. Finally, you will now be able to scan, print, copy, and fax objects from one device at an affordable price.
The result of this endeavor for the past 5 years has been breathtaking. The ZEUS does not only have the most functions, features, and assets to fulfill your wildest imaginations, but the final result is a stunningly beautiful product that has been matched with the structure, intelligence, performance, and user experience the 3D printing community has been looking for.
Innovative Design & High Quality Performance
Our design philosophy is to create a product that can be beautifully displayed and used in any environment. The ZEUS frame is made from an aluminum structure, powder-coated in a moonstone white, with black anodized side panels. The 7-inch touchscreen gives the machine a welcoming "consumer ready" look.
Instead of plastic or wood, all linear components are made by CNC-machined aluminum (xyz-carrier, turntable) and the external metal enclosure ensures an extremely rigid body. The structure of the machine dramatically increases the quality of the prints, preventing deformation and heat soaking: The results are resilient!
Layer Resolution: 100 microns (200 & 300 options available for faster prints)
Build/Scan Volume: 26cm x 18cm x 15cm
Material compatibility: PLA (1.75mm)
One Machine, Four functions (Scan, Print, Copy, Fax)
- Affordability: Saving cost by using one platform for multiple purposes
- Space efficiency: No cable connections from/to a computer
- 100% compatibility: Scanner and printer are adjusted and calibrated, so they can work together without problems
- Flexibility: Print any 3D model from a CAD-program, 3D scanner, or an online marketplace
What Do We Mean By 3D Faxing?
The reason we implemented 3D Faxing is for Seamless Sharing.
Seamless Sharing: Fax objects from one printer to another; The receiving printer adjusts the printer settings automatically (no manual setup).
A common misconception is that anyone will have access to fax objects to your ZEUS machine and use up your precious filament. This is not true. 3D Faxing simply allows users to send objects through an online secure connection from one ZEUS printer to another. Users have the option to confirm the file before the machine starts printing.
The HD camera and a swiping laser transforms physical objects into printable 3D models. We intentionally chose a swiping laser over a static laser system to capture even the finest textures and edges of an object. With the help of the turntable, ZEUS is able to scan an object from multiple sides and automatically stitch it together for a complete, ready-to-print 3D model.
One Touch Auto-Copy
Why did we choose to integrate a 3D copy function into our machine? We believe that having a complete 3D machine (scanning and printing together) will provide the best user experience. This simple and intuitive combination will solve device compatibility issues and more importantly, lower the 3D scan-to-print learning curve. Simply press the copy button and the ZEUS will automatically do the entire copy process for you.
7 inch Touch-Screen Display & User Interface
Our 7 inch Touch-Screen Display and User Interface is bar-none the most beautifully designed touch experience on the planet for 3D printers. We strongly believe this feature will change 3D printing forever as it not only makes everything easier and faster, but really provides that shelf-ready quality product that everyone desires. The incredibly simple UI makes the ZEUS extremely intuitive and user-friendly to transform all the complex technology into a simple experience.
Artificial Intelligence & Automation
Auto-Bed Leveling: The most common failure in 3D printing is caused by uneven surfaces. That's why we have integrated an auto-bed leveling system into our machine. We developed an intelligent software program that detects uneven surfaces and auto-compensates accordingly.
Automatic Mesh Repair: For a 3D model to be printable, it has to be watertight, without any holes. Our sophisticated software automatically fills missing point cloud data and repairs broken mesh to eliminate what would have been a painstaking and time consuming manual correction step.
More Accurate 3D Scanning: The swiping laser combined with the 360 degree turn table is able to produce 800+ scans per side. Our HD camera is able to get 1000 points per scan line. This means we're able to produce millions of 3D points!
More Robust Gantry System: We chose to use the 12mm rod to increase stability that allows you to print quickly and precisely.
We extensively tested all kinds of linear components and chose the most reliable material to ensure the highest performance.
Multi-Purpose Platform: Our machine is able to scan and print on the SAME bed without modifications.
Pre-assembled: The ZEUS comes out of the box fully assembled. All you have to do is take it out, plug it in, and your ready to start printing!
Integrated Software: Instead of learning several different 3rd party software applications for 3D printing, we have provided an all-in-one solution.
Onboard-computer: Our onboard-computer is the brains behind the operation. We chose to use a 1.7Ghz quad-core ARM based processor to quickly process all the 3D scanning/printing data (this also allows us to do onboard-slicing). This computer is supported by an optional cloud service that speeds up the process for 3D scanned data.
We are passionate about developing a strong-knit community that we can connect with. That's why we are providing developers with an open API. We will make all the sensors and motors accessible to experiment with the ZEUS. We would love to hear any feedback and questions you may have, please join our community so we can ride this amazing journey together!
Through a tremendous amount of work, research, experience, and experiments over the last 5 years we have:
- Formed a team of AI and Robotics Experts
- Engineered intelligent software programs with smart tech specifically geared for 3D printers
- Produced a polished prototype and are ready to prepare for mass production
- Created contacts with local and international large-scale manufacturers
- Reduced our manufacturing costs so the ZEUS is 30% cheaper than the Makerbot Replicator + Digitizer combo
Manufacturing Roll-Out Strategy
- August 2013, Finish our Engineering Verification Stage (Check!)
- October 2013, Finalize the design for mass production
- November 2013, Quality Reliability Verification
- January 2014, Manufacture Capability Verification
- February 2014, Pre-Production
- April 2014, Production
- June 2014, Final Quality Control Check
- July & August 2014, Shipping!
What do the rewards look like?
We are so blessed to have such a talented group of engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs that spent sleepless nights working hard to deliver the best possible product. The unique combination of fields of study (Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Vision) have made it possible to push the limits and achieve groundbreaking technologies.
We finally turned our concept into a business with the help of the USC Viterbi Startup Garage, combining our business and technical skills to give the world a state of the art multifunctional 3D printer.
And also a special thanks to our newly added team members!
Michelle Tam - Business Strategy and Operations
Ethan Gromet - Business Development, Marketing, PR
Alexandra Gurley - Social Media, PR
Ashish Soni - Founding Director of USC Viterbi Startup Garage
Laurent Itti - Advisor & Mentor
Wei-Min Shen - Director of Polymorphic Robotics Laboratory
Simon Vallejo - Finelight Entertainment
John Sundermeyer - Pull Creative
Stephanie Hoffer - MAX STUDIO
Risks and challenges
We understand there are a lot of obstacles that we may face between the Kickstarter launch and the final delivery date. Our complex machine has been pushed to the limit with the most innovative technologies implemented. However, we have formed a great team with robotics experts who all have had years of experience with sophisticated projects to accomplish the most daunting tasks. Also, we have spent countless hours dedicating time to minimize risk and plan for a smooth campaign.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The Zeus shipping costs is very dependent on location. Every part of the world has different shipping costs and it is very hard to put a uniform shipping price tag. We will do our absolute best to make sure it is the lowest it can be for each region. Our rough estimate for domestic US shipping is about $100 USD.
International shipping depends on customs tax, import fees, etc. We will do our best to make sure it is the lowest it can be when we ship out the ZEUS.
Unfortunately, we have to keep international prices slightly above the US prices because of different tax systems, regulations and additional certificate requirements in different countries.
The current average market price is about $33 for 1 kg of filament. Our goal is to stay competitive with the market price and offer variety of good quality filament.
3D Faxing is essentially 3D scanning an object from one machine and remotely 3D printing it on another machine without any manual adjustment.
No, users can view the received fax on the screen display and confirm the item before printing.
We built this machine with high quality CNC machined components and we expect it to be robust.
We guarantee to deliver a working machine to all customers. We are working extremely hard to provide the best support community for any questions, concerns, or problems you face.
Yes, Zeus in compatible with all 3D design software programs that can create .STL files.
Yes, there is an option to print objects in an offline mode. However, this will cause the scanner to scan in standard speed instead of the cloud boost speed.
NO, there are no hidden costs, everything is included and integrated into the machine (including the software).
Yes, we will provide a universal voltage power supply with the right country plugs.
The material we use is completely non-toxic and safe (PLA). It is biodegradable and is a corn oil based plastic.
Yes, but this is not encouraged because we have optimized the machine for our filament.
We will continue to explore other new printing materials such as ABS, nylon, polycarbonate…etc. For now, our focus is on PLA.
The resolution of the Zeus is 100 microns (.1mm) for printing and 125 microns (0.125mm) for scanning.
The build/scan volume for the Zeus is 26 cm x 18 cm x 15 cm or 10.2 in x 7 in x 5.9 in.
The scan speed depends on the quality of the scan. It can vary from 5-30 minutes.
Objects with dark, reflective or fuzzy surfaces do not scan well. In order to scan the object well, the camera needs to capture the laser line in the appropriate place. Therefore, the ZEUS cannot scan well with an object with hidden areas.
The printer and scanner will continue to operate offline without a problem, but not the fax.
3D printing alone requires users to provide 3D digital files such as .STL from CAD software programs (Solidworks, Sketchup, etc.). 3D copying is a simplified process where you place a physical object into the machine and receive a plastic copy without any 3D drawing software skills required.
We will provide the open source API for developers that give complete access to all the sensors and motors in the machine.
Yes, we are planning on doing this. However, we cannot promise a fixed date yet because we want to put all of our effort in building a perfect machine.
No, however, we will provide a SD card slot and a web-based interface that supports cross-platforms and on the go with your mobile devices.
Unlike other 3D printer projects that build their units with multiple small vendors, we are already in contact with LITE-ON Technology Corporation. It’s a global manufacturer and has decades of experience in making multi-functional 2D printers for many well-known global electronic brands. With their expertise and vertical integration in supply chain, we are committed to deliver the ZEUS on time.
Yes, we will provide monthly updates until we deliver the final product.
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