About this project
cob·ble verb /ˈkäbəl/
:roughly assemble or put together something from available parts or elements.
Everything's Bigger In Texas
And the Cobblebot is no exception! But bigger doesn't have to mean more expensive. Cobblebot is not only one of the lowest cost consumer 3D printers, but it also has one of the largest print areas of any consumer 3D printer available today. With Cobblebot, you can print objects up to 15" x 15" x 15"!
We Can Do Better
That's what we told ourselves when we set out to design Cobblebot. And that is exactly what we did. Cobblebot is a professional quality, reliable, and consistent 3D printer. Cobblebot produces high quality prints which allow consumers to really experience and benefit from what 3D printing has to offer.
We Can Make It Affordable
With your help we can bring this work horse of a printer to everyone at the market shaking price of $299. To put that into perspective, our prototypes of Cobblebot cost $1,000+ to build and printers currently on the market with similar build area (+/- 3" all axes) have an average price tag of $3,716.57.
How are we able to get the cost this low? One of our team members is a business attorney with extensive connections in the manufacturing world and has negotiated rock bottom prices from all of our suppliers. And that negotiated price keeps falling based on the quantity we order - This is where stretch goals come in - each stretch goal is based on the amount of orders necessary to get the next lower price from our suppliers. The savings is then shared with everyone with the STRETCH GOAL items (heated bed, filtration case, stepper drivers, etc..)
Help us bring Cobblebot to everyone at an affordable price!
You Can Customize It
Customization is one of the basic tenants of Cobblebot. We don't believe that consumers should be restricted to the color scheme we think looks best, so we've decided to allow our backers to fully customize the color scheme of their Cobblebot!
The following color customizations are available:
Black (Default) - Anodized Black Aluminum
Silver - Polished Silvery Finish
Other - We may be able to add other colors to aluminum extrusions before the Kickstarter project is over - stay tuned for updates!
Plates/Brackets/Connectors/Wheels/Pulleys/Gantries (everything you see in red on our prototypes):
Black, Red, Dark Red, Yellow, Silver, Grey, White, Purple, Light Blue, Blue, Orange, Natural, Green, Army Green, Pink, or Gold. (more colors may be added, stay tuned for updates!)
You can either choose a single color or mix and match - We'll tell you the exact number of pieces and show you where they go and you tell us what color you want them to be on your Cobblebot!
Personal or Business Use
Whether you are looking to put your creativity to work and bring your ideas to life or to start a business, Cobblebot can help you get there. Our large build area (15" x 15" x 15"), fast print speeds (150mm - 250mm / sec), and low cost ($299) makes Cobblebot a market changing consumer 3D printer that can be used for business or personal use.
You dream it, let Cobblebot make it!
One of the unique things about Cobblebot is that it has a completely stationary print area - you heard it, the print bed doesn't move - not up and down, not forward and backwards - it just sits there and provides a solid stable building platform. We have found that this stationary printing bed has reduced the issues of non-sticking prints significantly.
To do this Cobblebot was designed in a unique way in that all of its axes are connected. The "Z" Axis holds the "X" Axis and the "X" axis holds the "Y" axis. This print literally builds straight up with all axes connected.
Material & Filament
Because we're using an all metal hotend that can safely be set to a temperature of 400C, your choice of printing materials is vast!:
ABS, PLA, Nylon, Polycarbonate, Flexible Filament, LayWood, PVA, HDPE. It is possible that other filaments could be used, but only the above have been tested and confirmed to work.
Assembly And Calibration
Cobblebot can be assembled in 2 hours or less and calibrated in minutes. It has been constructed as fast as 30 minutes (one of its designers) and as long as 1 hour 58 minutes (12 year old daughter of a team member). You can follow our detailed written instructions (with pictures) or follow along with our video build guide.
Little to no calibration maintenance required. Several prototypes have printed for over 1000 hours without recalibration.
The Final Push
Cobblebot is already a completely functional consumer 3D printer. But we are still working to improve a few things before we bring it to market. Many of the parts are being melded into a single piece for increased strength, ease of construction, and simply because it is more aesthetically pleasing. It is highly likely, but not guaranteed, that a few of the parts will allow us to increase the print area one inch on the X and one inch on the Y giving consumers an even larger print area!
All parts will be finalized by the end of July and the injection molds will be ordered come August. That brings us to an important fact: that all plastic parts will be injection molded so that we provide rock solid and smooth, finished looking parts for everyone. All parts in the pictures and videos were 3D printed - that's the great thing about 3D printing, it allows you to prototype your designs! If Cobblebot is such a great printer, why don't we print the parts you ask? We would love to actually! But in the quantity we will need for this Kickstarter, it's actually cheaper and takes a lot less time to have the parts injection molded. So to keep our cost low and provide Cobblebots' to our backers in a timely fashion we have decided to go this route.
The primary improvement that we are still working on is the extruder/hotend combo. Initially, we were going to use readily available solutions - a modified version of the old reliable Greg Wade extruder with either an E3D or Hexagon hotend (this is why you will see these items in some of our videos/pictures). But ultimately we came back to what we told ourselves when we started this undertaking: We can do better.
And so we've designed our own extruder and all metal hotend that we plan to release with Cobblebot. We are extremely close to finishing this task and will have it completed in time to start shipping everyone their Cobblebot per the reward schedule and starting with the Super Early Bird backers, in October.
What The Future Holds
We already have future plans for improvements of Cobblebot and because of it's scalable design, everyone will be able to easily upgrade their Cobblebot with all of our future upgrades!
Cheap Price, Not Cheap Hardware
You might be getting a Cobblebot for a cheap price, but we didn't skimp on the hardware. You won't find any of these cheap things in a Cobblebot:
- Smooth rods and cheap bearings
- Steppers motors so weak they can barely do the job
- Tiny little LCDs
We use 76 Oz. Nema 17s (x5) - More power than you'll ever need:
Small build size high quality power supply:
Linear Rails & Solid Wheels (vs. smooth rods and cheap bearings):
All metal hotend so that you can print in the largest variety of filaments:
Physical Dimensions: 24" x 20" x 20" (609mm x 508mm x 508mm)
Build/Print Dimensions: 15" x 15" x 15" (381mm x 381mm x 381mm) (3,375 cubic inches)
Layer Height: 50-350 micron
Print Speed: Current Max for High Quality prints - 150mm / sec; Absolute Max - 250mm / Sec
Weight: roughly 17 lb (7.7 kg).
Compatibility: Windows, Mac, or Linux.
Connections: USB & SD Card.
Materials supported: ABS, PLA, Nylon, Polycarbonate, Flexible Filament, LayWood, PVA, HDPE.
Hotend: All Metal. User Chooses Nozzle Size: .35mm, .4mm (recommended), or .5mm; User chooses Filament Size: 1.75mm or 3.0mm
Power Supply: 12V 30A - Proper power supply for your country will be shipped with printer.
Stepper Motors (x5): 76 oz. Nema 17's
Electronics: Ramps 1.4 & Arduino MEGA 2560 (Most supported and widely used 3D printer boards)
SD Card Slot: Included
Stepper Drivers: A4988 (Default - Allows 1/16 stepping); DRV8825 (Stretch Goal - Allows 1/32 stepping - also extremely QUIET)
Heated Bed: Stretch Goal - 15x15 heatbeds are expensive - but in bulk we can make it happen for everyone.
Filtration Case: Stretch goal.
Reward Tier Upgrade the Beast ($799 & $999 reward tiers) include: Heat Bed & Enclosure as standard features.
Risks and challenges
While certainly every project comes with its own unique risks and challenges, all of the big risks and challenges for this project have already been overcome since it started one year ago and the project is currently about 95% complete. The hard development work is already done and the team is 100% invested in its completion over the next few months.
So what risks and challenges are left? Since we've already secured contracts with our vendors, we don't see a lot in the way of risk (other than risk of loss of time and capital that the current team has already invested in this project). We would say that the primary risk/challenge left deals with logistics. While we are extremely hopeful that everyone will love our amazing 3D printer and make this one of the most successful 3D printers to get "Kickstarted" ... we really have no idea how many people will back us, it could be 350 or it could be 35,000 - The more backers the more demand that is placed on both our part vendors and our on assembly team - and while we would do everything to prevent it from occurring, it does increase the chance of shipment delays. Other than the potential for delays (Which we see as highly unlikely - our part vendors are extremely reliable), we don't see much else in the way of challenges.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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