May 31, 2015 | By Simon
Although we seem to hear about a new 3D printer project on Kickstarter on an almost weekly basis, few of those projects aim to offer an all-in-one solution for the entire creation process - particularly, processes that involve 3D printing as well as other manufacturing methods including laser cutting and machining.
Up until now, Makers have needed to have separate machines on their desk or in their studio for carrying out a variety of manufacturing tasks - such as having laser cutter for laser cutting tasks, a 3D printer for 3D printing tasks, etc.
But what if you didn’t have space (or a budget) for all of these machines? This is what the new Creation Workstation aims to solve and they’ve just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the necessary funds to put their innovative all-in-one manufacturing machine in production.
“With the Creation Workstation there are no longer limits on your imagination and creativity,” says XpertFab, who developed the machine.
“This one versatile machine provides you with all the technology tools to expand your capabilities. Whether you need a precision machine part, a prototype circuit board, a new cover for your smartphone or a unique jewelry gift for a loved one, the Creation Workstation is the one tool in your workshop that can do it all.”
In total, the company’s robust machine has the option to switch between five fabrication modes including precision CNC milling, powerful 2.8 Watt laser etching and cutting, 3D printing, drag-knife cutting and diamond tip engraving. All of this is capable thanks to a large 15in x 13in workspace on top of a compact 17in x 18in work table.
The Creation Workstation’s very capable CNC machine includes a 300W purpose-built spindle and its native 4000 steps per inch can be increased to a super-high resolution of 32000 steps per inch by simply selecting microstepping on-screen for creating high-quality CNC’d parts. The onboard 2.8 Watt laser (rated, measured at 3W+) makes it easy for etching and material cutting while the included FabCAM software can convert milling or engraving GCode to laser code at the push of a button. The 3D printer uses an MK8 extruder head with a 0.3mm nozzle using 1.75mm filament and is controlled via an LCD display. The temperature for the extruder head and optional heated bed can be controlled via its own independent microprocessor. The included diamond tip engraving machine is based off of proven systems that the company has used in existing equipment and can be used on everything from metal badges to iPads and the included drag knife for cutting allows for easy cutting of materials.
For those who are used to creating projects that involve multiple fabrication processes, it’s hard to disagree that this is truly an innovative machine for creating complex projects with ease. To make it easier for makers to get up and running with the machine, the company will even be throwing in a one-year subscription to Autodesk’s Fusion360 CAD/CAM software (a $1,000 value) for free!
One example of how the machine can be used is a user could mill their circuit board in the morning, cut out their aluminum space-frame over lunch, 3D print an enclosure and body pieces in the afternoon and assemble an entire new quadcopter design later in the evening.
Of course, reliability is a huge factor in a product like this, however the creators over at XperFab come from an extensive background of fabrication and certainly know what they are doing - they’re background is in creating desktop CNC machines after all. Currently, the company has engraving machines that are installed at many golf courses and resorts around the world that were designed to be used by non-technical staff. Ultimately, if they have already delivered a finished and reliable product for these markets then that’s a great sign that anybody who backs the Creation Workstation will likely be very satisfied with their product.
“The Creation Workstation is a tested, proven product ready for production,” adds the company.
“All of our technologies have been thoroughly tested and all that remains is some final packaging of the new electronics. Then we have everything ready for volume production. With your backing we'll move to volume manufacturing and assembly to fulfill all rewards first and then bring this new and exciting product to the broader marketplace.”
For a limited time, interested backers can purchase one of the all-in-one Creation Workstations for just $2,499 with an estimated delivery date of October 2015. Currently, the campaign is sitting at just over $13,000 of their $100,000 project goal with over a month to go in their campaign. If you’ve been on the fence about purchasing an all-in-one fabrication machine, the Creation Workstation just might be worth checking out!
Posted in 3D Printers
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D wrote at 5/31/2015 4:24:35 PM:
printing quality ist just awfull