Oct 12, 2015 | By Alec

Over the last year or so, several multi-purpose making machines that combine 3D printing with a host of other functions (like milling and laser cutting) have been appearing in the making community, but few interested us as much as the Adam. Unveiled a few weeks ago and developed by Italian startup Northype, this interesting four-in-one 3D printer not only combines 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC milling and 3D scanning into a single machine; it is also open source to enable to design and integration of many more modular making heads. Fortunately, the wait is now over, as the Adam has just launched on Kickstarter, alongside its previously unknown big brother the Adam +.

It’s fairly easy to see what makes the Adam so attractive, and that’s its flexibility and adaptability. As Northype’s Leonardo explained to 3ders.org a few weeks ago, this open-source machine can be adapted for any purpose to truly be a an all-in-one making machine. ‘Adam is special because thanks to interchangeable headtoolset, it's a 3D printer, laser/engraver, mill machine and 3D scanner. The headtool platform is open source so everyone can design a tailormade headtool,’ he said. ‘The idea was to create a product easy to use, with a hypothetically infinite potential, a product of dreams for every true creative at a price accessible to many.’

And with its debut on Kickstarter, that still seems to be exactly what the Adam is all about. The Carriage is fixed and the 3D printing option is the standard setting, but optional modules for milling, laser cutting and scanning can be purchased and easily installed separately. Crucially, the open source headtool can be customized to do whatever other purpose you have in mind, such as drawing with a pen, for example.

The laser module is perfect for cutting paper, cardboard, plyood, polystyrene, MDF and even leather, while the mill can do anything you expect of it. ‘The scanner module 3D is designed to be able to acquire a 3D model of a real object. 3D scanner is easy to use and scan real object has never been easier,’ they say of perhaps the most promising component. ‘Adam is designed for creative people, thanks to interchangeable headtools continuously developing in the next future there will be further implementations as extruder for fluid materials,’ Leonardo tells us.

Really the only downside to the Adam 3D printer that critics could point out, is that the buildspace is relatively small at 165 x 165 x 275 mm, but they have now covered that base too with the addition of the Adam+ 3D printer: ‘If you think that the working area of Adam is small, then Adam + is the most suitable for you. Indeed, the printing's volume is 30x30xH47.5 cm, which constitutes an enormous working area also for the other processes, such as laser engraving and 3D scanning,’ the Italian engineers say.

But even if 3D printing is your preferred modus operandi, you’ve still got a good machine here. The 3D printing module with feature a 0.4 mm nozzle (for 1.75 mm filament) and features a heated printbed to enable the 3D printing of just about any material from PLA and ABS, to nylon and even LAY-WOOD filaments.

The Adam is thus every bit as promising as it was a few weeks ago when previewed, though the Adam+ is definitely more tempting. If you’re interested, you can head over to their Kickstarter page here to learn more. Just note: while previously promised to be priced as low as €899 (or approximately $1000) for an early bird option, that version only includes the 3D printing module. You’ll have to pay a bit extra for additional services; Each additional option costs €100, though you can also get the full package for just €1250 (or $1400).

   

 

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