Oct 7, 2015 | By Alec

Over the past few years, the market for desktop 3D printers have become increasingly chaotic, with more and more machines appearing everywhere you look. While it can be sometimes hard to see the differences between some of them, is great that innovating 3D printers full of potential are still being developed too. The FuseBox is definitely one of those promising machines, as its two student designers have managed to build a remarkably cheap 3D printer that still manages to achieve very high printing speeds and a good printing quality. The pair are currently looking for experienced beta testers who are willing to help them get this machine ready for the rest of the world.

Nowadays, many of the budget 3D printers out there are developed by taking existing successful models and downscaling them to make them cheaper, but also less effective. However, that isn’t the case with the FuseBox 3D printer, as its two designers have simply started from scratch. And remarkably, they are both very young indeed. Mechanical designer Alex is just 17 years old and is a senior in high school, while 19-year-old Vishal Gupta is a sophomore computer science student. Combining their specialicms, they decided to turn RepRap principles into a very efficient machine intended for home use. ‘[But] we took the printer to our local Maker Faire a few weeks ago and were amazed by how much interest it got, and how people were blown away by the price and quality, so we decided to try and start selling some kits,’ Vishal explains to 3ders.org.

That interest is hardly surprising, as the FuseBox definitely seems to have a lot of interesting qualities. As the students explain, the FuseBox 3D printer is essentially a RepRap CoreXY machine, featuring some very interesting options: an E3D hotend, Bowden extrusion, a heated bed, and a rigid aluminum extrusion construction. All is done with an eye on open source building too, so it relies on a RAMPS control board, repetier host / cura software, and so on. ‘This means users won't be tied down to some specific software or have to buy a proprietary part from us,’ they say. With parts being very affordable or 3D printed, they estimate that it can be built for just around $300 or so. That is very cheap indeed, considering its capacity. For aside from those interesting features, Alex and Vishal have focused on optimizing speed without sacrificing quality, and it seems they have been quite successful. It currents speed is around 120mm/s when printing, with 250mm/s when travelling. And despite those high speeds, they are still capable of achieving layer quality of around 50 microns.

The secret is simply in the build. ‘Key to the accuracy of a 3D printer is its moving weight—the parts that are driven by the motors while printing. A heavy moving weight often results in ringing or rippling patterns appearing when printing at high speeds,’ the pair explains. ‘Traditional 3D printer gantry systems attach the x-axis motor to the moving y-axis gantry. In order to mitigate ringing artifacts and improve overall print accuracy, the FuseBox instead uses a CoreXY belt path that allows all of the drive motors to be stationary, making it unnecessary to move heavy stepper motors during printing.’ Weight is even further reduced thanks to the Bowden-type extruder, where the motor is attached to the frame rather than to the moving gantry. The result? A fantastically fast machine that doesn’t sacrifice quality. Indeed, the speeds could become even higher than listed above.

So what is the plan for this interesting DIY 3D printer? While the initial prototype is promising, the two students are now reaching the point where product optimization and marketing are becoming important. Before starting to sell these machines, they are therefore first looking to team up with a bunch of beta testers willing to purchase a basic, cheap $320 3D printer and help them get this machine ready for the market. ‘Eventually, once we have enough capital we will keep a stock of kits which we can quickly ship out. The goal is to have the 3D printer fit into a flat rate box as to keep shipping costs down. We plan to sell them through an eBay store as I am familiar with selling on eBay and have been using it for many years, also buyers prefer the peace of mind of buying through paypal and eBay,’ they tell us.

While that approach might scare off a few people, stranger things have happened in the 3D printing community and the machine itself is definitely interesting enough to give it a try. If you’re interested in this venture, head to the FuseBox 3D printer website here to learn more.

Characteristics of the FuseBox 3D Printer:

  • Aluminum structure based on Misumi 1515 extrusions and printed brackets
  • Stacked variant of CoreXY that eliminates the belt crossing and its associated issues
  • Total materials cost under $350
  • 210x175x200mm build area (200x200x200 for heated bed version)
  • Capable of 0.05mm layer height and 150+ mm/s printing
  • Emphasis on using 3D-printed parts and being easily hackable/upgradeable
  • Relatively low amount of filament needed for plastic components
  • Provision for direct and Bowden extruder setups (currently only Bowden is supported in latest version)
  • Low moving mass—all motors stationary except extruder motor in direct-drive version
  • Portable—all hardware and electronics (except for filament spool) are integrated within the frame
  • No specialized tools or equipment necessary for assembly (accessible)

The Fusebox in action:



Posted in 3D Printers





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jimmy dean wrote at 10/8/2015 7:36:03 PM:

Stripped-out washing machine with a run-of-the-mill extruder. Shut up and take my money.

K. Savage wrote at 10/8/2015 3:28:58 AM:

And there website caused my WOT plugin to scream NOOOOO...so yeah, don't go there.

Nothing new wrote at 10/7/2015 2:43:47 PM:

How is this new? I been building corexy machines for 18 months that hit 500mm/second and did a similar machine like this a year ago

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