Feb 15, 2016 | By Alec
If you grew up loving toy construction kits, chances are you’ve played with a few Fischertechnik kits. The German toymaker specializes in educational engineering kits that are not only fun to play with, but also unknowingly teach kids to use their brain. Though slightly overshadowed by Lego, the German company has been quite successful with their plastic sets over the past few decades. It was therefore not without a hint of irony that the company unveiled their plastic-extruding DIY 3D printer kit, made almost entirely of plastic, at the Toy Fair 2016 in Nuremberg in early February.
But this is definitely not a desperate gamble to grab a slice of that delicious and expanding 3D printer market. The company has previously released a few interesting electric building kits, and their Fischertechnik 3D printer is essentially just a construction kit for older children and people who want to get to grips with the basics of how a 3D printer works. “To enable kids to gain easy access the latest cutting edge and fascinating technology,” they explained.
What’s more, the final model should act exactly as a 3D printer in its price class, they argue on their website. “3D printing parts at any time - individually, very simple, very flexible - at home! Whether using the supplied examples or the new designs made yourself, the easy-to-build and stable 3D printer allows you to 3D print a wide variety of parts,” they say. “Users gain basic knowledge of 3D printing and even insights into this revolutionary technology.”
So what can you find in the kit? Well, in short, everything you would also need when building a RepRap 3D printer: a control board with a USB connection options, stepper motors, a heated nozzle with a diameter of 0.5 millimeters and a printing bed with removable plate. Though Fischertechnik has previously used their excellent TX controller on numerous kits, this 3D printer actually relies on an Atmel microcontroller. 3D printing will only be possible via USB connection to a PC, the company says. CAD software for Windows is also included in the package, as is a sample roll of PLA filament. Fischertechnik will also sell filaments in different colors through their website.
The 3D printer itself will have a relatively small print area at 15 x 18 x 8 cm, and is capable of producing a minimum layer height of 0.1 mm. The bed isn’t heated, while no cooling fan is present either – suggesting that print quality can suffer as is often the case for lower tier machines. However, the company itself doesn’t see this as much of a problem. Their 3D printing kit, they say, is less of a production tool and more a model for understanding the functioning and operation of a 3D printer in general. In that perspective, they are also not trying to compete with other 3D printers in the market, leaving Fischertechnik in quite an unusual position. The kit will be released in the summer of 2016 and will be priced at €700, or about $785 USD. The full specifications can be found on the Fischertechnik website.
Posted in 3D Printer
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RSR wrote at 2/16/2016 12:15:15 PM:
ha, cool leadscrews