Oct 11, 2015 | By Benedict

The team behind Readybox, a new, ulta-fast 3D printer, have launched a Kickstarter campaign to support their project. The fundraising campaign has already surpassed its initial $12,500 target with 24 days left to run. This surge of early interest is no fluke: the Readybox can reportedly print around six times faster than leading consumer 3D printers.

The Readybox 3D printer is the brainchild of CEO Brett Potter, a 21-year-old engineering student at the University of Maryland. After using a multitude of consumer and industrial 3D printers, Potter was dissatisfied with the quality of affordable consumer machines. He found that 3D printers on the affordable side of the spectrum were liable to malfunction, and thus required continuous maintenance and new parts. He was also dissatisfied with the speed of these desktop 3D printers, and so set about designing his own model which would be free of these issues. After a year of tinkering and experimenting, Potter had built a product with which he was fully satisfied, and in September of this year he launched Readybox as a company.

So how did the young entrepreneur go about making a 3D printer so much faster than its competitors? Potter explains that 3D printer movement systems tend to max out at 200-250mm/s, as they are restricted by friction and the weight of their own parts. The Readybox can print at speeds of up to 400mm/s at 0.05mm layer thickness, but these statistics don’t tell the whole story. In fact, the Readybox can reportedly print around six times faster than its competitors. This is because printing speed is also limited by extrusion—how much plastic the 3D printer can deliver in a given time. Using a new, patent-pending extrusion system, Readybox is able to avoid the limitations of typical extruder motors and apply significantly more force to the plastic. According to the company, this innovation offers three huge advantages: Firstly, the added force eliminates the possibility of the plastic clogging up, because there is adequate pressure to push all of it through. Secondly, the added force facilitates a much faster flow of the plastic than has been previously possible. Thirdly, the Readybox’s special extrusion system delivers an increased print accuracy, allowing users to print layers between 50 and 450 microns thick.

As well as the impressive speed of the Readybox 3D printer, Potter has championed its industrial-grade reliability. Unlike many other consumer 3D printers, Readybox is able to automatically calibrate itself before printing, to ensure that every print is as accurate as the first. Other self-maintaining capabilities of the Readybox include auto-levelling of the build plate, automatic cleaning of the nozzle, and a build plate which requires no glue/tape modifications.

Potter contacted Sam Foreline, CEO of Scholar Era, to help with the business side of things, and the collaboration has so far proved fruitful. “Brett Potter's engineering genius is absolutely amazing,” enthused Forline. “My team and I get offers everyday to join startups around the world. Sometimes it's tough to decide which company to go with, but not with Readybox. This was an easy decision and I couldn't be more excited to help Brett bring his vision to an international level.”

Taking on Foreline’s advice, Potter launched the Kickstarter campaign so that Readybox could acquire warehouse space in which to begin the first production run of the 3D printers. Prototypes have been successful, and the product is now ready for production. A range of rewards are on offer for depending on the size of the contribution, but interested customers can currently secure their own Readybox with a $2,999 contribution, after all Super Early Bird printers were snapped up in no time at all. With 24 days still left to run, the campaign looks sure to amass far more support than the team expected.

Brett Potter (above) and Sam Foreline. Images from Kickstarter.

Key features and technical specifications of the Readybox 3D printer:

  • Print speeds more than 6x faster than the leading consumer 3D printers
  • Specialised high-pressure extruder to eliminate clogging
  • Auto-calibration and cleaning before each print
  • High accuracy calibration probe
  • No glue or tape required
  • Heated build plate
  • Full LCD screen with SD-card support (Readybox can print by itself, without a computer)
  • Next-gen 32-bit ARM-based controller board to allow the software to take full advantage of the hardware
  • Web interface support makes it possible to print over a network
  • Print Surface: Heated PEI sheet
  • Print Area: 330mm by 330mm by 330mm (13”x13”x13”)
  • Print Volume: 38,115cm^3 (2326 in^3)
  • Footprint: 550mm by 550mm by 560mm (21.5”x21.5”x22”)
  • Layer thickness: 0.05mm (50 microns) to 0.4mm (400 microns)
  • Max Material per Second: 55mm^3/s
  • Top Speed (while printing): 400mm/s at 0.05mm layer thickness
  • Top Speed (not extruding): 700mm/s
  • Nozzle Size: 0.6mm
  • Capable Material: PLA
  • Filament Size: 2.85mm or 3mm



Posted in 3D Printers



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3d-printing-chicago wrote at 12/6/2016 3:09:11 AM:

I backed the ReadyBox, and it was a disaster. What they sent me was a pile of junk. Poor design and it was literally falling apart. Then I had a huge hassle / argument from Brett Potter who refused to refund my payment after I returned it. I was forced to go to my credit card company to file a chargeback to get my money back. I wonder what ever happened to all the other poor souls who invested in this piece of junk?

3D Printing Chicago wrote at 5/1/2016 1:58:58 PM:

I backed this campaign and came to regret it. This is basically a one-man show, and Brett's lack of experience really shows. Where do I start? Brett failed to design a good package system and the printer arrived with extensive damage to 11 components. Z rods were displaced, X and Y rods were bent, panels smashes, on and on. Besides the shipping damage, the printer itself is "Not Ready". Rather than a finished product, it looks like a DIY project someone put together in their garage from basic off-the shelf parts. And that's pretty much what it is. Not a $2500 printer, I wouldn't pay $1000 for it. Here are just a few of the problems: The frame is weak and unstable, it has no corner struts and was falling apart. The X and Y rods are too thin and weak for their length. The Z rods are not secure, they lift right out of the base. The bed mounts have a lot of play in them. Major parts were 3D printed--poorly. The acrylic sides and false bottom are not secure and look cheap. There is no Z end stop so the bed can smash into the head (and it did). After only the third try, the LCD died. I could go on, I found over 20 defects. Worst of all was the amateur customer service. After I had returned the mess he sent me, Brett refused to give me a refund and argued with me. (At one point he even blamed me for how it was packed for the return ship.) He obviously doesn't know what he's doing and is only out for himself. Good luck to the rest of the backers, I'm glad to be rid of that thing.

Bjorn Lays wrote at 10/12/2015 11:23:32 PM:

I smell BS... there are NO details on their website or kickstarter. I was already burned by one failed 3d printer kickstarter and this one has all the makings for another dud. Their "patent pending" extruder design sounds like either the current DIY style planetary gear add-ons or the "SurePrint". The increased speed isn't really explained but could be just by using better and stiffer components. buyer beware..

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