Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 5, 2012.

Update #32

Rapid Prototyping Mill 'Beta' Program Information ***WARNING LONG***

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     We wanted to announce the official information about our Rapid Prototyping Mill (RPM) and the beta program that we will be offering, culminating into another Kickstarter campaign to fund full scale production. We will be posting a lot more information, pictures and videos (machining metal and printing) in the coming days.  We want this to be the last machine you ever buy (see FUTURE BOLT ON UPGRADES near the bottom); you are buying an incredibly robust platform.

     We originally developed the RPM to not only machine metals (including stainless steel) but also be able to 3D print accurately and quickly. We developed the RPM chassis to be modular, to allow the addition of other components and capabilities, as well as to make available an open source, building block platform for makers to utilize. 

     The RPM is manufactured from 100% precision machined aluminum and steel. The structure is made from CNC machined, 1/4" thick panels bolted to 2"x2"x1.25" billet aluminum corner blocks (into a boxed in cube). It has been designed from the ground up to be able to effectively machine metals, plastics and wood as well as maintain the speed necessary for 3D printing.

SPECS

Maximum Size 3D Printable Object (with single extruder installed) 

X-Axis 12.61" Y-Axis 13.11" Z-Axis 10.84" = 1792 cubic inches 

Maximum Millable Object Size (based on Medium Duty 1HP Spindle) 

X-Axis 9.61" Y-Axis 10.11" Z-Axis 10.84" 

Printable Materials | Millable Materials 

ABS, PLA. Polycarbonate | Aluminum, Steel, Stainless Steel, Plastic, Wood etc.

Linear Motion X | Y | Z 

 X-Axis 5/8" dia Precision Ball Screw w/ 1/2" dia Precision Linear Bearings 

Y-Axis 5/8" dia Precision Ball Screw w/ 5/8" dia Precision Linear Bearings 

Z-Axis 5/8" dia Precision Ground ACME Screws (One on Each Corner) 

Motors X | Y | Z 

X-Axis NEMA 23 16kg*cm Bi-Polar Stepper Motor (Texas Instruments Based Stepper Drivers) 

Y-Axis Dual NEMA 23 16kg*cm Bi-Polar Stepper Motors (Texas Instruments Based Stepper Drivers) 

Z-Axis NEMA 23 16kg*cm Bi-Polar Stepper Motor (Texas Instruments Based Stepper Drivers) 

Maximum Mechanical Accuracy At Full Stepping / 32x Microstepping (yes 32x) 

X-Axis .0003 Inches / .00001 Inches 

Y-Axis .0003 Inches / .00001 Inches 

Z-Axis .00016 Inches / .000005 Inces

Shipping Weight w/o Spindle

70lbs

Retail Price after Beta Program

$1699.00 for the 3D Printing Platform

$899.00 for the Medium Duty Water Cooled 1HP Mill Package which includes a Hitachi or Baldor VFD (depending on if you want to run off 110v or 220v power) as well as a SEALED recirculating coolant system w/ radiator and fan for the spindle.

3HP Spindle Mill and Bosch Colt Router Package pricing TBD

Beta Program Information

Please don't think of this as a 'traditional' beta program.  Our goal is to release a small number of RPMs into the wild and get feedback from the early adopters.  This is not so much as testing for the capabilities of the machine as it is for the LOGISTICS of bringing together a project of this complexity.  We want to make sure that this is as seamless as possible.  We don't want there to be problems on a large scale because something wasn't clear with the manual or the mailman couldn't deliver it because its too heavy (70lbs) etc.  We are currently only a team of 4 people and it would be unrealistic for us to support thousands of machines at once.  If we can get any oddities or quirks of the manufacturing, assembly or delivery (not the capabilities!) of the machine smoothed out before we go to full scale production we hope to eliminate most of the easily remedied problems before they happen.

We want the beta program to be with 100 machines MAXIMUM, that way we can give as much attention and support to the early adopters as possible.  As an early adopter we want to know any quirks and especially any improvements that can be implemented to make the setup or function of the machine run more smoothly.  We want the early adopters to be tinkerers and hackers that can help us make this the best machine possible.

Benefits of Being an Early Adopter in this 'Beta' Test

$250 Discount ($1449.00) FULLY ASSEMBLED RPM

$399 Discount on Medium Duty Milling Package

Any modifications or additions before full scale production will be provided for free

20% Discount On Future Bolt On Upgrades (see below)

Custom Anodized COLORS for Printer Components (everything will be black or clear normally)

Free Spool of Natural Filament

Future BOLT ON Upgrades to the RPM

Automated 3D Laser Scanner Price Target <$1000.00 | Coming 2013

Accuracy .1mm or Better

4th Axis w/ HUGE 115 kg*cm Stepper Motor Price Target <$1000.00 | Coming 2013

For Turning and 4th Axis Milling of Metal, Plastic and Wood Parts

Stereolithography 3D Printing Price Target <$1500.00 | Coming 2013

Much Larger Build Area than Current Stereolithography Printers...we will NOT be using a proprietary resin

Immersive Flood Cooling w/ Remotely Located Electronics Panel <$250.00 | Coming 2013


Challenges and Weak Spots

     The open-source software that is currently available for the milling side of things with the RPM is a bit lacking.  We have MasterCAM at our shop and have been testing some open-source as well as commercial software packages.  We are also in talks with a RepRap famous developer for a REAL software package for our machine but as of right now the software end of MILLING IS EXPERIMENTAL!  The 3D printing side of things is well sorted and obviously there are many options that work well including Marlin w/ Pronterface and Repetier.

     The BOLT ON UPGRADE that will include the remotely mountable electronics panel and immersive flood cooling setup is NOT ready.  Milling operations will have to be run dry or with manual cooling methods at least initially.

     We designed the printer to be able to ship as a <70lb via USPS Parcel Post or Priority Mail package and fit within the size limitations those present.  This allows the printer to ship within the Continental US for ~$60.00 (FULLY ASSEMBLED) in about 1 week or 3-4 days via Priority Mail for ~$85.00.  Additionally by doing this we are able to ship to Australia (for example) for ~$450.00 via USPS Express 1-3 day service.  The unknown is how the Post Office is going to handle this.  The Little Rock, Arkansas Post Office branches apparently do not receive lots of international mail as evidenced by the packages that get sent to the FROM address on labels that were printed with their own Stamps.com. software  I have spoken to the Post Master and there is not any issue with what we are wanting to do but it certainly isn't 'normal' and may cause us to 'jump through a few hoops', since most of the people attending to the Post Office retail locations probably can't lift 70lbs, let alone deal with us dropping off lots at one time.  If we used UPS or FedEx instead, the costs to ship go up HUGELY which is a bad thing for everyone!

The QU-BD Team

Jobanjit Singh likes this update.

Comments

    1. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Tom Mahady on December 26, 2012

      any updates? the end of the month is approaching.

      Thanks.

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      Creator Linda Pollock on December 10, 2012

      You haven't said how to order the beta of the Revolution Prototyping Mill or given us any real idea of when we could expect to get it. Also I think everyone is very eager to see those videos and pictures you promised us. Could you also make sure that any video clearly shows the quality of the finished cut or print?
      Congratulations on all the orders and may there be many more.

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      Creator Chelsea Thompson on December 9, 2012

      We got all the 'boring' stuff out of the way. There WILL be warning stickers!!!

      We have been processing a TON of orders (presumably for the Holidays) that have been slowing things down a bit on our end with the new RPM info but it should be over with fairly quickly.

      We have been going back and forth on what our release schedule will look like for our upcoming products and we have finally come to a conclusion...We will begin taking the pre-orders for the beta program BEFORE the end of the month for not just the R.P.M. (Rapid Prototyping Mill now changed to Revolution Prototyping Mill) but our two smaller 3D printers, the Revolution and Revolution XL. They were developed concurrently with the RPM and possess the same rugged CNC machined aluminum frame and components as the RPM (with a much smaller footprint. We were originally going to release them mid next year but they were ready for prime time much more quickly than expected. They are designed using more 'traditional' methods of linear motion with belts and pullets and will be for 3D printing ONLY. The build area for the Revolution is ~6"x6"x6" and the Revolution XL is ~9.5"x9.5"x9.5". They will come fully assembled and include a heated build platform. Retail pricing will be $799.00 and $999.00 for the Revolution and Revolution XL respectively but we will be doing the limited beta for 60 units of each at $699 and $849.

      We will be limiting the RPM beta program also to 60 units with delivery spread out over a 60 day window.

      So the first 30 people for each of the Revolution, Revolution XL and RPMs betas will get it in the first batch and the second 30 people of EACH beta program will get theirs in the second batch.

      We are choosing to to it this way so that we can realistically deliver our product and give direct attention to those in the program.

      Chelsea - QU-BD

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      Creator Bruce Bock on December 6, 2012

      I would be interested in the beta too. I also have the dual extruder from you. How much would that reduce the cost? Thanks

    5. Smiling_moose.small

      Creator Mooselake on December 1, 2012

      Does this come with a single or dual extruder?

      While you're waiting for the men in black (suits) can you at least post some teaser videos, here or on the forum?

    6. Headshot1.small

      Creator Chelsea Thompson on November 27, 2012

      Sorry guys its taking so long for a final update...we are dotting our i's and crossing our t's. We just have some insurance and legal stuff (*weaksauce*) to get out of the way that is taking longer than expected before we go full steam ahead. I'm getting so excited!

    7. Missing_small

      Creator weiv on November 21, 2012

      Huge printing area is an important thing. After putting together printrbot LC, I realized that the printing area is small for combining several pieces. So how about a nice 3d printer that can use your extruders and has a big print area ;).

    8. Headshot1.small

      Creator Chelsea Thompson on November 18, 2012

      We will be posting a much more informative update in the next day or two, I just wanted to stop in to answer a few questions in the interim.

      What have you guys been doing lately?
      We mainly have been getting all the legal (read liability) stuff situated. Being that the machine can mill metal, there are inherent dangers. We want to make sure that the machine is as safe as possible (we don't want to get sued either).

      Are the Kickstarter extruders compatible?
      Yes, the extruders are fully compatible with the RPM.

      Why an 800w spindle? How much is the big one!?
      The reason that we are offering an 800w is because it will allow people to run it off a standard American wall outlet (110v single phase). For those that either want to run one off a dryer outlet or add a 220v outlet for the VFD the 3HP (2200w) version is the largest spindle that will work. The 3HP spindle will not cost a huge amount more than the 1HP since the VFD and water cooling setup are identical but it is significantly heavier so it cannot move as quickly. Additionally it is majorly overkill for cutting anything except steels.

      We haven't really made any progress with this but we would like to find a European distributor so we can send the assembled extruders in bulk across the ocean and then they can redistribute them to reduce shipping costs. Additionally I have had a few people e-mail me wanting to use their own carries...we are totally happy to do whatever to reduce costs to the end user.

      ***PLEASE READ*** For those people that are looking for this as JUST a really nicely built 3D printer that do NOT care about machining metal or any of the other future attachments and don't need such a huge build area, we have something else for you :)

    9. Missing_small

      Creator Tony Eros on November 16, 2012

      My Kickstarter support level included a fully assembled dual extruder with dual heater cartridges. Would I be able to get a beta package without the extruder in order to use the dual unit I've already received? I'd also be interested in the milling add-on.

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      Creator Rolf-Dieter Klein on November 15, 2012

      Yes sign be up for the full package: mill + 3d (germany destination).

    11. Smiling_moose.small

      Creator Mooselake on November 14, 2012

      How are the videos coming?

      Unless there's some show stopper in the pictures count me in, too.

      From a little eBay browsing it looks like 1500W water cooled spindles are around the same price as the 800W versions. Is there a reason you're going with the smaller ones; you mention a future 3HP router version so weight's probably not the issue.

    12. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Tom Mahady on November 12, 2012

      I'm all set to buy in for both the printer and the milling attachment. Just let me know when to send the money. :)

    13. Missing_small

      Creator Austin Blanco on November 9, 2012

      Quite interested in the offer - Will love to see more info on the spindle used!

    14. Headshot1.small

      Creator Chelsea Thompson on November 9, 2012

      The front and the sides of the mill have 12x12 openings in them that can either be populated with polycarbonate windows, or be left open for longer pieces.

      We will be posting a few videos shortly.

    15. Missing_small

      Creator Linda Pollock on November 9, 2012

      Thanks, Chelsea. Yes, I've got my extruders now.
      About the mill, would it be possible to remove the front and sides of the mill if necessary, in order to work on a bigger piece than would fit inside it otherwise. I would really like a bit more room for the CNC mill. Also I would love to see a video or two of it in operation.

    16. Missing_small

      Creator Dave Curtis on November 8, 2012

      Very interested in the beta program. Can you tell us more about the mill spindle? RPM range, collet system, etc?

    17. Headshot1.small

      Creator Chelsea Thompson on November 7, 2012

      We designed it to ship via the USPS in a pretty economical package (relative to its size and weight) (20x21x20 @ 70lbs). Shipping to Europe is ~$450.00 with 1-3 day delivery times for an assembled unit. WIth that being said we want to do the initial run as assembled to eliminate a variable but if someone is especially handy I'm sure we could make an exception.

    18. Missing_small

      Creator punkman on November 7, 2012

      I'd be really interested in one of these, but getting the whole thing shipped to Europe doesn't seem like a great idea. Shipping and import fees could easily double the price.

      A partial kit plus assembly and fabrication instructions might be a good alternative for people outside the US.

    19. Headshot1.small

      Creator Chelsea Thompson on November 6, 2012

      Linda Pollack: usually if the tracking is not showing anything past leaving the country it is in customs at your end waiting for approval. Generally speaking Australia is pretty good about getting stuff through there quickly but I do know that there are a couple other Australians that have theirs in customs as well. We will watch your package.

      Heri Sim: Yes, stereolithography like the Form 1 except that we will not be using a laser to cure the resin. It will have a larger build area and print faster than the Form 1 while still maintaining equivalent levels of precision. We wanted to do this so that people could print FDM parts in ABS or PLA since they can be used for a much wider array of designs due to their strength but also print in SLA for parts that need to be extra 'pretty' or would not be possible with FDM. Generally speaking SLA parts are much less friendly to being handled and used for mechanical applications or where they are exposed to UV light (ie going outside).

    20. Missing_small

      Creator Linda Pollock on November 6, 2012

      Yes, I'd also like to be in the beta. Still waiting for my dual extruders. I can't seem to track the package since it left Miami on October 28.

    21. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Heri Sim on November 6, 2012

      The stereo lithography is like the Form 1 and comes as an addon?

    22. Headshot1.small

      Creator Chelsea Thompson on November 6, 2012

      We will be posting the pertinent information on how to get in on this shortly, along with pics and video.

      Yes we can ship to Australia.

      Yes the mill package is in ADDITION to the 3D printing platform.

      Yes both discounts apply if you want both. We want as many people to get the mill package during the beta as possible so its a but subsidized. The RPM with the milling package would come in at $1949 during the 'beta program'.

      We included the resolution at full stepping and also during microstepping (see original post). So 3/10,000ths of an inch in X and Y and 1.6/10,000ths of an inch in Z if NO microstepping is used.

      We are using the Azteeg X3 microcontroller which is Arduino based and can run popular firmwares. The stepper drivers are based on a Texas Instruments chip.

      Stay tuned for more info....!

    23. Missing_small

      Creator Merik Karman on November 6, 2012

      Please sign me up to the Beta program if you can ship to Australia.

      Regards

      Merik

    24. Me%20icon%20small%20dave.small

      Creator David Morton on November 5, 2012

      I'm interested in participating in the beta program.

    25. Smiling_moose.small

      Creator Mooselake on November 5, 2012

      Cool! I assume the milling package is in addition to the basic machine, not that a mill only version is $899. I'm pretty well set for 3D printing, but very interested in a CNC mill. Is there an option to skip the 3D printer and maybe add it later?

      How do the discounts work? For a mill package do both of them apply, making it around $2K (assuming the 3D package is required first) for the mill? Any recent videos of the mill in operation? Since you've got Mastercam trochoidal milling would be really cool.

      What electronics are included. You mention stepper drivers, but is this driven by a PC with Mach3/LinuxCNC/etc., or is it a microcontroller (Arduino/ARM/??).

      When you talk about "accuracy" do you really mean "resolution", and if so what is the basic accuracy of the machine configured as a mill? Steppers aren't too precise with microstepping, particularly at 32x.

      For open source take a look at HeeksCAD/HeeksCAM, while it's a bit rough it's very usable. There's an effort underway to add HeeksCAM to Freecad that's also worth looking at.

      Thanks!

    26. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Grant Lindsay on November 5, 2012

      sounds cool, any options for laser cutting?

    27. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Tom Mahady on November 5, 2012

      very interested to be in the beta.
      What timeline to you have for the beta to start?

      Thanks

    28. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Trevor Lewis on November 5, 2012

      Sign me up. After getting my extruders I just have to have one of these. I've been looking for a good milling system for a while.

    29. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Yazz D. Atlas on November 5, 2012

      Sounds very interesting. I would be totally into becoming a beta tester. I can't wait to see a quick video demo.

    30. Missing_small

      Creator jon blaylock on November 5, 2012

      Beta me too Chelsea. You guys are one of the best-organized and professional kickstarters I have seen. I am really impressed by your attention to detail and the quality of your product and documentation, as well as your straightforward approach to keeping everyone updated on your progress. Thanks.

    31. Missing_small

      Creator andy on November 5, 2012

      Add me to the list of Beta testers. I would love the opportunity. Sounds like a great machine.

    32. Missing_small

      Creator Eric Leahy on November 5, 2012

      where does one sign up, this sounds like my ideal machine?

    33. Missing_small

      Creator Paul D on November 5, 2012

      I'm totally interested in your RPM Beta program.

    34. Dsc00858.small

      Creator Dmitriy Borovikov on November 5, 2012

      I'm also interested in the beta program for the RPM. Sign me up, please.

    35. Curiosity.small

      Creator Curiosity on November 5, 2012

      Interested in getting into the beta. How to apply?

    36. Shaali.small

      Creator Sha Ali on November 5, 2012

      This is great. Looking forward to the machine and testing it.
      Thank you.

    37. Scottocean.small

      Creator Scott Freudenthal on November 5, 2012

      Sounds like a fantastic platform. I'm very interested in getting into the beta.

    38. Missing_small

      Creator helder on November 5, 2012

      Sign me up for beta, please!

      actually you had the same idea as me heheh!!! let tinker and improve what you can come up with!!

    39. Missing_small

      Creator Jason Wang on November 5, 2012

      One thing I do find a little pity though. For the amount of power and setup the RPM have, the milling area is a bit small. However the fact that it can mill stainless steal is priceless, make the RPM still super attractive.

    40. Missing_small

      Creator Jason Wang on November 5, 2012

      First time I see the price in the past update, I laughed. Second time I heard in NYC Maker Fair, I still thought its impossible. But the price remain the same even now. You guys is gonna be the game changer in 3D Printing and home CNC world if you can pull this off. Congrad and Good Luck! Keep up the good work. I can almost hear the cheering for you guys~

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      Creator Emmanuel on November 5, 2012

      Sounds interesting :)

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      Creator Rolf-Dieter Klein on November 5, 2012

      very interested in the beta program. Sounds perfect.

    43. Craigsmallheadshot.small

      Creator Craig Dunn on November 5, 2012

      Definitely interested in the beta, please.

    44. P0000003.small

      Creator David Snell on November 5, 2012

      Happy to sign up for the Beta program as well.

    45. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Matthew Naftzger on November 5, 2012

      I'm also interested in the beta program for the milling machine. I know you don't really have time, but my work is at worksofman.com - i'd actually be interested in milling cp titanium (grade one or two). My understanding is it should work *fairly* similar to stainless - I work it on a lathe constantly.

      I think the what you're creating with this all-in-one is my dream machine.

    46. Missing_small

      Creator MakerScott on November 5, 2012

      Sign me up.

    47. Missing_small

      Creator Peter The Wondergoth on November 5, 2012

      This sounds amazing, can't wait to get one ^_^

      Perfect timing with this post too btw we recieved our extruders today :)

      Think I'm going to be spending the time from now till this arrives thinking of projects to make with it. Looking forward too pics and more news on this.

      (btw my housemate who's gotten me into this field heard the pricing in the info above for the RPM and had the response 'do these people have something against making money?' ^_^ such a low price for a machine of this quality/capability)

    48. 70772_764159633_1660842_n.small

      Creator Michael Kellner on November 5, 2012

      I'd also be interested in hearing more about how to sign up.

    49. Missing_small

      Creator weiv on November 5, 2012

      So how does one sign up for the Beta program?

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