Feb 18, 2016 | By Alec
Remember the promising Fusion 3D printer? Released back in September 2015, this was a very intriguing home-made machine inspired by RepRap principles. Reliable, smooth, fast and featuring plenty of aluminum parts, it seemed to have everything you could look for in an open source 3D printer, low price tag included. Its developer Nate Rogers is now back for more and is taking it all to Kickstarter. Taking all the lessons learnt from the Fusion 3D printer to his latest model, he is ready to release the Reach 3D Printer, an all-in-one 3D printing kit that can also function as a laser cutting, engraving, plotting and milling machine. Sounds quite impressive for just $249.
To refresh your memories, Fusion started out in 2015 by Nate Rogers, born out of a quest for a high quality 3D printer for a reasonable price. Nate himself is an artist and inventor with a love for 3D printing and a background in tattoo art. Having built 4 unique 3D printers, he has become obsessed with finding a quality, reliable 3D printer that can be modified as much as you want, but doesn’t cost thousands. He is therefore also an integral part of the RepRap movement, but weak plastic or rod frames never satisfied him over the past six years.
Having taken matters into his own hands, he is now ready to take all his experience to the Reach 3D printer. “I’ve sold 20 Prototypes of my [Fusion] printer, and made several changes throughout. With so many variables solved, and the help of the Kickstarter community, the Reach 3D Printer should prove to be a great success,” he says. "I want to make 3D printing more available to the world, giving more people access to a less expensive, open-source printer that is easily modifiable for Laser Cutting and possibly Light Milling.”
And together with his team, featuring brothers Keith (mechanical engineer) and Brad (businessman) and wife Rachel, Nate really seems to have delivered. “We were looking for an inexpensive, solid, non-proprietary 3D printer, that could do anything. We wanted a printer with a large build area, that could be easily modified and was a platform to learn from. We couldn't find one that met our expectations,” he says. So that is essentially what they have created.
Importantly, this isn’t a paradigm shifting machine or anything, but just an attempt to optimize all the elements you can find in RepRap builds. “We used readily available components and streamlined the design for simplicity. We started with an all-aluminum frame made from v-slot extrusions, 1/8" aluminum plates and delrin v-wheels to ensure a strong cantilever design,” Nate says. The machine also comes with a large build area (200 x 200 x 215 mm), can 3D print all the common filaments (including PLA, ABS, PetG, Nylon, NinjaFlex, Faux Metal) and, importantly, can be easily modified with detachable toolheads to become a laser cutter, plotter, mill and more. “The Reach 3D Printer will start you 3D printing, and when you’re ready to try laser cutting, your Reach Printer will transition with you,” they say. The entire list of specifications can be found below.
In short, it looks like a perfect option for budget users, though educators will definitely find added value in the Reach too. “Aimed at group education, we can bring more options to educators, allowing a more immersive study of manufacturing technology for young minds. We are also working on developing a workbook to guide students through several projects, showing them "real world" results when leaning digital design,” Nate says.
But it is important to know that the Reach 3D printer is only available as a kit, and will take about 4 to 8 hours to assemble – though to make it easier, all the firmware is pre-loaded onto the control boards and everything is cut to length. “Simply follow the step by step photo build instructions on our website, or reference the exploded diagrams in our user manual,” they say. Though the basic kit will cost $249 ($199 as an early bird!), a $70 upgrade kit with LCD screen, SD card reader, heated print bed, 100k thermistor and more is also available. More upgrades, such as a metal paste and dual extruder are forthcoming.
Really the only downside to this very affordable option is that the Reach team still needs to set up a production system – only having shipped 20 prototypes so far. Through Kickstarter backing, they are hoping to start production on 100 machines a month by late 2016. If you’re interested, head over to the Reach 3D printer crowdfunding campaign here. As a final note, Nate also revealed to be planning the release various free 3D printable files through Thingiverse to make the Reach accessible to everyone.
- Frame - all aluminum 1/8" laser cut plates and 20x20, 20x40 extrusions
- Hardware - all metric, 8mm lead screw
- Rails - v-slot and delrin v-wheels, 625ZZ bearings
- Belt Drive - GT2-20 tooth pulleys. (aluminum)
- Electronics - Arduino/Ramps 1.4
- Motors - Nema 17s, 4000g.cm torque
- Hot End - J-Head, all metal 1.75mm, E3D Clone (.4mm nozzle)
- Extruder - geared for speed and strength.
- Printable Materials - Works with virtually all suppliers of 1.75mm Filaments. Can print in PLA, ABS, PetG, Nylon, NinjaFlex, Faux Metal, etc...
- Bed - 1/8" aluminum plate
- Build Volume - 200 x 200 x 215 mm
- Print Speed - 60-90 mm/s depending on detail.
- Print Accuracy - 50 micron layer height
- Auto Leveling - included
- Heated Bed - optional - MK2 up to 100C, fully supported
- Full Graphic LCD/SD - optional - fully supported
- Laser Cutter/Engraver - DIY - fully supported (easily sourced)
- Plotter - DIY - fully supported
- Light Milling - DIY - fully supported (for soft wood, foam, pcb)
- Metal Engraving - DIY - fully supported
- Software - open source - Sketchup, Meshlab, Repetier, Cura, Inkscape
- Compatibility - Windows. (Mac - Testing, works in virtual Windows, or use the LCD/SD reader), Linux - untested.
Posted in 3D Printer
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Strongv wrote at 5/5/2016 6:35:46 PM:
Too cool. Count me watching for sure
Kyle wrote at 2/20/2016 10:42:20 PM:
Any way to best find out when the Kickstarter goes live?
Kyle wrote at 2/20/2016 10:41:22 PM:
Any way to best kind out as soon as the Kickstarter goes live?
Diego wrote at 2/18/2016 8:42:30 PM:
Cool, another 3d printer inspired by the 2013 Deezmaker Bukito 3D printer.