Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 31, 2012.

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A $300 desktop 3D printer beta kit

Sample Prints

A selection of prints created over the development cycle of the printer. Some of the prints have support structures, but most are printed without. The prints shown range in height from 19mm to 100mm and have a layer thickness from 0.05mm to 0.4mm.

Higher resolution photos of sample prints can be found here: http://printxel.blogspot.com/2012/04/sample-prints.html 

Introduction

This will be the very first production run of the Printxel 3D printer beta kit. I've set the number of beta kits in the campaign to 25 for two reasons.

1. 25 kits is large enough of a production run to qualify for quantity pricing and I have secured pricing with www.pololu.com for several of the major components ahead of this campaign.

2. 25 kits is a large enough number to test and ramp up production while still a small enough number to allow for delivery within a reasonable timeframe.

Specifications

  • Maximum build volume: 140x140x140mm (5.5x5.5x5.5")
  • Footprint:  250x200x300mm (10x8x12")
  • Operating footprint: 250x315x300mm (10x12.5x12")
  • Material: 3mm PLA (recommended) or 3mm ABS
  • Print layer thickness: 0.2mm to 0.4mm (thinner is possible)
  • Speed: 30mm/s perimeters and 50mm/s fill (faster is possible)
  • Nozzle aperture: 0.5mm 
  • Input voltage: 100-240V 50-60Hz
  • Weight: 8 pounds

Beta Kit Contents

Your printer is a complete kit and requires only a few common tools to assemble as well as a modern Windows, Linux, or Mac computer to operate. The kit includes the mechanics, motors, extruder, electronics, power supply, and a sample supply of plastic filament to get you started.

Kit Assembly

I will be making a step by step series of assembly videos. Assembly will be relatively straight forward and anyone mechanically inclined should not have much difficulty. Electronics assembly does require basic soldering skill, but should not be too difficult.  I will make myself accessible so that I can help with any assembly difficulties. 

Software

The printer is compatible with popular and freely available 3D printing software. I will make specific tutorials and provide Printxel specific configurations for several options. I will however be making a recommendation for a standard configuration that I feel works best.

Printing

Low cost desktop 3D printers are not $20,000+ high-end industrial 3D printers. It is possible to make prints from this printer that rival the quality of a high-end commercial machine, but it takes a little bit of knowledge and practice to do so.

The preferred plastic material for this printer is PLA . PLA is becoming more and more popular within the 3d printer community. Often nick-named "corn plastic" and is made from corn instead of petroleum. While printing, it has a slight smell reminiscent of waffles. This is much more appropriate for home use than the obnoxious smell of ABS that is commonly used in 3D printing. PLA prints are quite strong and can be sanded and drilled, but are more brittle (ABS is more flexible) and have a lower melting point than ABS.

The printer is capable of extruding ABS, but a heated build platform is highly recommended due to the higher tendency of ABS to warp from uneven cooling. An official heated platform is not available at this time, but the included electronics do support temperature control of one.

The printer uses 3mm filament which is the most popular and least expensive filament size. Sudden demand for ABS/PLA filament has nearly doubled its price in the last few months. PLA currently runs for around $20 a pound, but as the filament supply increases to meet demand I expect the price to drop in the near future. 

A pound of plastic may not sound like much, but it does go a long way.  The 100mm tall hollow print of my son (shown above in the samples) uses .07 pounds of plastic. Unless a print is required to have maximum strength, a partially hollow print can be used; 20% solid or less is common. Most of the sample prints shown above were printed hollow. 

Reward tiers

I am starting off this Kickstarter with only a single reward tier. If you have a suggestion for additional reward tiers please add your suggestion to the comments section.

Reward Delivery

The estimated delivery time listed is when I expect to deliver the very first kit. Kits will be created in backer ordering and will be shipped as completed. Your estimated delivery will depend on how many backers are ahead of you.

Shipping

Shipping will be additional and at cost. Choose one of the options below and add the cost to your pledge. 

1. If you wish to use a Fedex or UPS account you do not need to add any shipping cost to your pledge value.

2. If you wish to use USPS the shipping cost will need to be added to the reward pledge. To compute USPS shipping visit http://postcalc.usps.com/ and select your country and select Priority Mail® Large Flat Rate Box.

3. You wish to choose another shipping method. Please message me.

I will be contacting all backers to confirm shipping before the campaign ends, but if you have any questions don't hesitate to message me.

License

The source files for the printed parts in the kit will be released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Backers of this campaign will be granted early access ahead of receiving their kit.

Disclaimer

Only skilled users should attempt to build or operate this kit and do so at their own risk. The operation of this kit involves electricity, high temperatures, and other potential hazards. Children should be supervised at all times when near the printer. The printer must not be left unattended during operation for any reason.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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Funding period

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