Dec.6, 2012

William Steele launched his Ultra-Bot 3D Printer on Kickstarter back in September and he has raised $45,540 of his $7,500 goal in one month. In a recent update of the project William made a big announcement: a brand new 3D printer design: PiMaker.

PiMaker has an innovative rotating platform that gives you twice the build area of Ultra-Bot. It has the same size as the Makerbot Cupcake, but features increased build volume (200%+) and the decreased parts count (30%.)

There are two PiMakers currently available. Those who ordered the small Ultra-Bot, will receive a PiMaker with an 9" build platform. And those who upgraded to the larger 8" Ultra-Bot Ultra will receive a PiMaker with a 10" build platform. The build areas of the two PiMakers are 508 cubic inches and 785 cubic inches respectively. Both units are capable of using the standard heated build platform and the accuracy, repeatabiltiy are the same as the Ultra-Bot.

How does it work?

Pimaker uses a polar coordinate (radius, angle) system for calculating the tool path instead of the standard cartesian (x,y) coordinate system. The system will automatically accept standard G codes for X,Y and Z, but it will automatically convert them to the corresponding polar coordinates. This allows you to use all the standard software like ReplicatorG, Prontorface, Repetier... but we've also tailored a version of the Repetier to the PiMaker, which will display the round build plate instead of the rectangle plates of the other systems.

PiMaker will be available in a White or Black chassis with Red, Yellow, Green and Blue accent colors.

(Images credit: William Steele)

In the future William will add dual extrusion and built in 3D Scanning in the design.

The scanner will incorporate dual cameras and custom software that will rotate an object placed on it. It will take from 60 to 120 pictures for processing with software like 123D Catch from Autodesk. From their app, you'll be able to download the 3D model and print it directly from our software.) The dual extrusion is equally revolutionary, as it avoids a lot of the problems that classical printers have had with alignment issues between the heads in a unique way.

William has filed patent application for the design of PiMaker. In answering many questions and concerns from the community, he explained in his latest post that the patent was to prevent other commercial companies from utilizing their designs in their own printers. But he will "publish the design files of the PiMaker (as well as UltraBot design) on Thingiverse in a non-commercial license so that hackers/hobbists will be able to use the design, modify it and adapt it to their own use... as long as no commercial interest is involved." So stay tuned for details.

Thanks Carl T. for the tip!



Posted in 3D Printers


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Robert wrote at 12/6/2012 6:33:08 PM:

What about some type of generic gameboy, or generic console or game controller. What about a generic 3d printer. :-) Christmas, tree of course, deer

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