Mar 12, 2018 | By Benedict

3D printing company re:3D, based in Austin, Texas, has launched a Kickstarter for the Gigabot X, a large-scale pellet extrusion 3D printer. Backers of the $50,000 campaign can secure a Gigabot X 3D printer for $9,500 or purchase kits and print heads for a smaller sum.

Austin’s re:3D is one of those 3D printing companies that lives and breathes crowdfunding. The ultra large-format 3D printing specialist is now on its third Kickstarter, having raised a monstrous $250,000 in 2013 for its original Gigabot 3D printer and then $50,000 in 2015 for the Open Gigabot.

The company’s latest campaign? It wants $50,000 to launch the Gigabot X, a new large-format pellet extrusion 3D printer that promises faster, cheaper, and greener 3D printing.

The Gigabot X builds upon the success of re:3D’s Gigabot 3+ while reducing dependence on extruded plastic. It does this by incorporating a pellet extrusion system, allowing the large-format 3D printer to easily print recycled plastic.

“When we launched the first-generation Gigabot for big dreamers back in 2013, our big dream was to ultimately create a 3D printer that could print using plastic trash,” re:3D says. “We've determined that the first step in this direction is to focus on direct pellet extrusion—melting small chunks of plastic instead of extruded filament for the input material.”

The Texas-based company developed the Gigabot X using more than $225,000 raised through global pitch competitions last year. (Co-founder Samantha Snabes, a former NASA employee who probably should have been included on our list of influential women in 3D printing, recently won an award of her own when she was recently recognized at the WeWork Creator Awards.)

With this funding, re:3D was able to develop a complete system for pellet creation and printing: a low-cost dryer, grinder, and feeder system to accompany the Gigabot X 3D printer.

“Rather than using filament, this miniaturized direct drive system accepts pelletized plastic that is pulled down from a hopper, pushed through a heated barrel, and extruded though a small nozzle,” re:3D says. “Our engineers have been collaborating with global makers to perfect our prototype and identify necessary features of the extrusion system.”

Those looking to back the 3D printer campaign can choose from a range of rewards. While the complete Gigabot X costs $9,500, other rewards include a pellet extruder conversion kit for the Gigabot 3+, which costs $3,500, and a pellet extrusion print head, which costs $1,500.

So far, around $12,000 has been pledged of the campaign’s $50,000 target with 41 days to go.



Posted in 3D Printer



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Brian wrote at 3/16/2018 3:37:16 PM:

This is a cool idea, but it's been around for a while. I'm kind of surprised it's only going into beta testing while seeking funding. Something this complicated will have a long timeline for completion. I'm interested in the idea, but it's not worth $9500 in my opinion. It's essentially a vertically mounted filament creator, with the final diameter being a regular printer nozzle instead of 1.75 or 2.85mm. I would pay $300 for the extruder, but not $9500 for the full unit.

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