What is Open Gigabot?
Project Finalist for SXSW 2015 Innovation Awards :
Thanks again to all who showed their support for our SXSW 3-DIY Innovation Award nomination!
Timelapse of Open Gigabot 3D Printing:
Inside Open Gigabot :
Working with the re:3D community of users has provided great feedback about the workflow of your Gigabot. We've learned what users love and what they'd like to see improved. With this in mind, we are re-imagining the user experience from the ground up.
This story is about YOU :
Why Kickstarter? Well, because two years ago during our tenure in Startup Chile, we launched a campaign that inspired a community spread over 35 countries that brought our small hardware company to life.
We delivered on this campaign and over 75 Gigabot owners can be proud of their support, and their super-low serial numbers.
Soon after that, in commemoration of our 100th Gigabot sold (to a local library's makerspace), we donated not one, but two Gigabots to worthy causes, welcoming the Human Needs Project and TunaPanda to our community. Their use cases have driven our design work even further.
In its current state, Gigabot is awesome. As the world’s first affordable, industrial large format 3D printer, Gigabot has paved the way for accessible human-scale 3D printers. After fulfilling Kickstarter last year, we surveyed all of our customers and learned there was interest in customizing the ultra-accessible frame of Gigabot even more. We want to know how to identify these hackable elements on large scale 3D printers - which is why we’re turning to YOU, the Kickstarter community.
People love to customize their Gigabot. OpenGB's concept was designed with Gigabot experiments and community input in mind. By building this product with the Kickstarter community, we are creating the proving ground for the integration of new features and ensuring that our production line is done right.
OpenGB's UI is a pre-flight checklist that guides you through everything from leveling your build plate, to uploading your files wirelessly, to fine-tuning advanced controls.
By maintaining consistency in visual elements and defining behavior -- such as how to display error or warning states -- we are championing the user's needs. Additionally, our software is built to be lightweight and scalable using universal programming languages.
Our focus is to bring you, the community, into the design process so that we create the most personal, most maker-accessible, and most inherently useful human-scale 3D printer on (or off) the planet.
Open Source End-to-End :
OpenGB is designed to seamlessly packaging the many features floating around the 3D printing community into an all-inclusive experience.
Many of our components are sourced from open source pioneers and we're specifically targeting open platforms with a global perspective. The OpenGB prototype incorporates these platforms into the command, control, and general 3D printing workflow.
Watch-Dog Reliability :
For Open Gigabot, we have expanded on the error detection features set typically found in open source printers, so many in fact that we gave our controller an external watch-dog to help. It has features such as:
- Stepper Motor Fault Detection
- Redundant Temperature Sensors
- Filament-Out Detection
- Bed -Level Probe
- and much, much more
To enable all these new features we also created a brand new controller. Completely open source, of course. Built as a shield for the popular Arduino® , it includes a host of small but important features to make it expandable and customizable.
The new controller for OpenGB is loosely based on the open source RAMPS 1.4 control. The RAMPS 1.4 controller mounts on an Arduino Mega as an extension board (known as an Arduino® Shield). This configuration keeps all of the active components on the professional board (Arduino®) and allows us to design with (mostly) passive components.
Controller Board Includes :
- Stepper Motor Driver Sockets (7 drivers)
- Thermocouple Support (3 Circuits). Based on the AD8495 chip
- Thermo Resistors (4 Circuits)
- End Stop Terminals (8 terminals)
- Power Mosfets (5 circuits)
- Serial Connections (2 terminals) With logic level conversion (from 5v to 3.3v)
- Input for Induction bed Sensor (NPN inductance sensor voltage input)
- Software controlled stepper motor current
- Hobby servo motor headers
- 12v cooling fan header
- Header for all unused pins
Define Your User Experience :
In fact every part of the printer is designed to first provide the best user experience and second let you decide what that is. Mechanically the aluminum extrusion allows you to attach anything to the frame without drilling holes. Electrically we provide extra headers with 3.3v, 5v and 12v at both the control board and the extruder to add your own features. And all of the software is written in either Python or using the Arduino® IDE which makes the answer to any software question a simple google search way.
Who We Are :
Over the past few months, Tech Lead Patrick has been sharing development with the community. Because we value our Gigabot Kickstarter backers and the feedback they provide, we thought it only fitting to share the progress with the Kickstarter community that inspired where we are today.
All of the staff at re:3D have contributed input into OpenGB, however the OpenGB team was cultivated by Patrick, Katy, and Mike who inspired the vision using Gigabot community feedback. Going forward the openGB development will be closely integrated with the development of the standard Gigabot offering, so that features can "cross the fence" to that platform seamlessly in the future - and so we can provide add-on kits for current Gigabot owners.
Why Open Gigabot :
Call it weird, but the gentlemen of re:3D love their kitties. Consequently, in addition to our customers input, the inspiration for OpenGB was derived from Mr. Squeakers, a PLA-eating, heated-bed lovin' feline with a deep appreciation for large printers and open source attitude. He does not, however, deeply appreciate warning symbols, nor signs (in English or Spanish) to beware of pinch-points.
Rewards Summary :
To show our appreciation for your generous support, we have several awards we hope you will enjoy. All Kickstarter supporters receive discounted pricing and shipping preference. No warranty is expressed or implied. We appreciate all and any support whether you pre-order, pledge, or share our story with your community.
Thanks, Recognition, and Gratitude :
Every pledge of $5 or more will receive a mention on our website with a link to a website you'd like to share with our community.
Join the re:3D Squad :
Pledge $250 for your very own flight suit, limited edition patches, and stickers. At this reward level, we'll also 3D print your very own 3D printed name-tag on Open Gigabot.
From the re:3D family in Austin, Houston and around the world, we wish you 3D printing karma!
Risks and challenges
Not much has changed in two years. We still encounter the challenges of a bootstrapped start-up. Gigabot could still come to life with an insatiable appetite for all things resin. The bad news is -- he'd probably eat through every plastic bottle, lego, and video game controller in your home. Good news is, you'll have so much fun printing massive objects with Gigabot, you'll no longer care about that stuff. And you'll have more of Mike's awesome stools available on our Sketchfab account than you ever dreamed possible.
In a more likely scenario... prize deliveries could be delayed. To avoid potential of production delays due to unexpected part shortage or late supplier delivery, we are currently procuring inventories of all parts in advance of Kickstarter campaign. In addition, as a beta stage prototype, Gigabot's functionality and design will be continually improved and iterated over the course of the next several months. As such, we can't be sure about the printer's final performance metrics and specifications. Finally, the utility of Gigabot's printable output is inherently dependent on the structural properties of the plastic input filament material. Thus, it may not be suitable for all intended uses. re:3D is currently working on improving the versatility and structural integrity of input materials, so stay tuned for future product innovations.
We promise to provide you consistent, open dialogue, and an ever-ready dedication to innovation and technological improvements -- made possible through the cooperation and support of the Kickstarter community!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)