Dec 8, 2016 | By Andre

A Kickstarter has been launched for a robotic arm 3D printer called Armbot, which is hoping to become the new standard for filament-based 3D printing.

Taking inspiration from the robotic arm commonly found in car manufacturing plants, the team behind Armbot has developed an articulated arm that is able to move freely in three dimensional space and deposit filament for 3D printing across a larger area. The Armbot team claims its product can offer high-precision 3D printing at 100 micron layer height, with a roughly 10” x 10” x 8” build volume, at speeds of up to 150mm/sec. The 3D printer also has remote control features for smartphone and tablet.

As I delved into the Armbot project page a little further, I began to wonder if they were trying to reinvent the wheel—something that works fine the way it is. But the Armbot does have advantages, especially thanks to its articulated arm. The articulated 3D printing arm means the extruder is able to extend into confined areas and then retract or fold. It’s also equipped with a parallel-axis joint layout for smooth X-Y movement as well as a rigid Z-axis direction shift.

The Armbot 3D printing system comes at a low price of roughly $399 for remaining early-bird backers, and $499 afterwards. When considering what you get with that price, specifically the 3D printer components, a Windows 10 box, and 500g of PLA plastic, it's a great deal providing the team is able to deliver on its promises.

For those wondering just how well the Armbot will actually work, the company has provided some examples of decent-looking completed 3D prints, proving that their prototype unit is at least functional. And with updates already posted about laser engraving upgrades, the device does seem to have a lot of potential, especially at this price point.

Of course, just like any Kickstarter, there are risks and challenges involved for all of its backers. The campaign page goes into detail about how critical the fine-tuning process is to making their machine able to 3D print cleanly. Having built my own 3D printer, I can attest to the frustrations involved in calibrating a kit machine. 

Finding manufacturing partners that can deliver on time is also something for the Armbot team to consider, and so far it seems they are relying on scaling up production using a 3D print farm for faster output. A lot can go wrong there, but the company has promised total transparency.

In the end, while this isn’t the first time inspiration has been drawn from automotive robots for 3D printing (Autodesk and others are doing something similar), it might be one of the first crowd-sourced efforts of its kind. Backers can expect their rewards from February to March 2017.



Posted in 3D Printer



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Mahesh wrote at 7/27/2017 4:59:58 PM:

Can I buy one? please send me an email

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