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$470 RepRap Derived 3D Printer Going Into Production

Unknown Lamer posted about 6 months ago | from the 3d-printer-for-the-rest-of-us dept.

Printer 32

An anonymous reader writes "South African makerstore OpenHardware.co.za has designed and built a new RepRap-derivative 3D printer which it plans to sell for less than R5000 ($470). The first completed units are being put together now, with an eye to shipping late June. Store owner Peter van der Walt says that he designed Babybot — which has a print area equivalent to a RepRap Prusa Mendel-style machine — in order to reduce build and support costs. He's been selling various RepRap designs in kit form for two years, but as they become more popular is struggling to keep up with demand and handle returns. By sourcing more materials locally — he also designs his own controller boards — he's looking to beat the likes of RS Components and large shopping chains which have begun shipping the likes of Cubify in the country."

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A da Vinici is $499 (1)

AndyKron (937105) | about 6 months ago | (#47200309)

WTF is that? A da Vinici is $499, and doesn't look like a DIY project

Re:A da Vinici is $499 (4, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#47200369)

have fun hacking the filament reels on da vinci and generally not fixing/replacing anything.

this thing looks pretty solid corexy (I think) setup. should get nice speeds and all the parts are replaceable and no properiaty shit with filament and free choice of slicer sw.. this looks more like it could run production.

Re:A da Vinici is $499 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47200543)

Sure, and they overcharge you on the cartridges, right?

Re:A da Vinici is $499 (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47201525)

I agree, it does look a lot more solid. I'm starting to think 3D printers are getting into the price range that they might be worth purchasing. I think the last thing I'm waiting on is for the price of 3D scanners to come down. If I could get a combination unit, basically this thing with a built in scanner, for about the same price, I'd probably pull the trigger. The ability to put in a plastic part and push a "Copy" button would be of great use to me and many of my projects.

Re:A da Vinici is $499 (1)

Mark of the North (19760) | about 6 months ago | (#47202335)

The current craze of 3D printers use additive methods (FDM). This makes it impossible to print a whole class of pretty simple shapes. For example a scan of myself with my arms held up 60-degrees above horizontal: printable (assuming there's not much overhang in my belly area, and ignoring my chin). A scan of myself with my arms held down 60-degrees below horizontal: unprintable without support. A sphere, for example isn't printable on a standard Reprap-type printer without support. You can add support or print models in pieces, perhaps with indexing to make them easy to assemble, but these can be challenging operations.

There are a lot of problems that still remain that make printing as a hobby a fairly frustrating experience. Automated bed-leveling will be nice when it becomes standard. Some sort of dissolvable material for printing support (using dual-print heads) would also be a huge leap. The software has a ways to go too.

But if your aim was to keep a couple of printers busy day-in and day-out in a business, it would likely be worth learning how to efficiently jump these hurdles.

Re:A da Vinici is $499 (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47203399)

yea, but getting me 75% of the way would be helpful. A photocopier doesn't make a perfect copy, but good enough for what you need. That's what I'm looking for.

For example, the most common thing I'd copy are parts. Bushings, handles, gears, etc... Positioned correctly a gear could be copied if the resolution were high enough. A set of Russian Matryoshka dolls? You'd need some sort of Xray scanner for that. That's not what I'm looking for. If I can print out the majority of what I need and only have to follow up with an exacto or dremel tool to clean it up it'd be worth $500. If I have to hop into autocad every time I want to print something, my time is expensive and it suddenly becomes too expensive to use. I might as well order the part.

Re:A da Vinici is $499 (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#47204821)

You might want to look into a small desktop CNC machine, the parts would be much stronger and you wouldn't be limited to plastic filament as your only material choice.

Re:A da Vinici is $499 (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47205863)

I already have one. And it's not a desktop model. You'd be amazed what you can get at auctions.

But again, I have to log into autocad (or something similar) to use it. That eliminates its usefulness in a lot of cases. If I can order the part for $20, its not worth my time. Being able to copy a part on the spot however... now that'd be handy.

Re:A da Vinici is $499 (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#47206115)

Roland MDX-540? Five axis Thermwood?

Re:A da Vinici is $499 (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 6 months ago | (#47206237)

All I keep thinking of is that Robot Chicken is going to have some awesome material to work with.

Re:A da Vinici is $499 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47203707)

Soluble support material is solved. Adding of support to a model is trivial from a solid modeling software perspective. Printing of soluble support material with dual heads exists as does the software to add it to the model.

The main obstacles are plastic cost and print time. If it takes many hours to print a relatively small object that costs tens of dollars of plastic and then more hours to dissolve away the support material you have a two day turn around time and high cost. You have a low volume high cost of production. Only prototyping of full custom models makes economic sense and there your costs are nearly 100% in the model designer time. There is a place for that, but it isn't in the home.

Re:A da Vinici is $499 (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#47204783)

Not only does it look like a sturdy CoreXY setup, there's a ballscrew for the Z-axis. At the price he's asking, I would never have guessed it used one.

4" print area (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47200315)

Just saying...

Re:4" print area (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47200389)

Other than printing out killer Hellraiser-like puzzle boxes, that limited space certainly hamstrings things. The Micro 3D printer has a larger printing space and a C-note less on the price tag.

Re:4" print area (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#47200425)

i'm confused about the pictures on the article. which one of them is the bot? half of them are about their opencnc machine and there's a corexy bot there that does look sweet(and sturdy), but is it this price or wtf?

Re:4" print area (1)

Zaldarr (2469168) | about 6 months ago | (#47200539)

It's a goddamn useless article. The video at the end was also just so so unneeded. 7 seconds of whirring? Wow that's certainly informative.

Re:4" print area (2)

Adam Oxford (3411593) | about 6 months ago | (#47200831)

Hi - there's only one picture of the OpenCNC machine, with a caption that says "The OpenCNC machine on which the new printer is based. The rest are all of the new printer.

Re:4" print area (0)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about 6 months ago | (#47201193)

You're momma didn't complain. ..oh wait

Re:4" print area (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 6 months ago | (#47202675)

that's a pretty big yoda head, which is all shit like this is good for anyway

WAKE UP! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47200415)

Do you know what thime it is kids

Thats right boys and girls

Its Tusday for PaTcHiNg Pces

Or shoud we say Feecees

PaTcH em up or sucum to the internet evil dos

This can be the last if switch


South Africa is the new... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47200529)

...made in China, quality-wise, to such an extent that Made in China is a step up in the quality food chain. South African just don't get the concept of QA. I live in the neighbouring big island and whenever something displeases me, I just have to turn the back of the product and see with horror that it's Made in South Africa. Inferior South African products don't surprise us anymore. Motherfuckers can't even get Doritos tangy-cheese right. Their UHT milk is full of white puss-like clumps. Stainless steel baking moulds rust and I kept it in a closed cupboard. Nothing else rusted in that same cupboard. My advice is buy at your own risk, QA is something foreign to these imbeciles.

Re:South Africa is the new... (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 6 months ago | (#47200619)

Pretty much everything is made in China now.

Re:South Africa is the new... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#47204855)

Made in China 2014 is the new Made in Japan 1984.

...and handle returns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47200675)

"struggling to keep up with demand and handle returns"

WAT? So you're saying that people think they want it, but then either (a) it's broken so they have to return it, and/or (b) they realize it's not as cool as they thought, so they return it.

Conclusion: DO NOT WANT.

...and handle returns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47201219)

They used to have a poster up that stated "If you want good customer service, be a good customer...read the wiki, join the community..". That did not improve their customer service. I try to avoid them where possible.

...and handle returns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47201903)

"handling returns" on DIY hardware usually means some small part of the design was broken so they have to send a new one(the small part, not the entire machine).

There is no difference between this and normal retail.

In normal retail you have the same problems. I used to work on a retail electronics company and they said to me: If the return rate is under 10% then we are not selling enough.

So that meant that if we sold 10000 units, we needed to handle 100 returns. Of those 100, 80 were little problems easily handled by customer service. 20 machines were completely replaced.

Re:...and handle returns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47202405)

Odd. I'd have assumed you could just 3D print replacement parts. You know, 3D printing being magic and all.

Re:...and handle returns (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#47204871)

And do you think the magic plastic filament comes from thin air?

Here are couple of $250-300 3D printers (1)

randomErr (172078) | about 6 months ago | (#47201337)

Hey all, theres been a bunch of low cost 3D printers poping up at Hack-A-Day lately:

$300 Pick and Place / 3D printer - http://hackaday.io/project/963... [hackaday.io]
Prototype of a Servo based Printer (much cheap elecytronic) - http://hackaday.com/2014/05/26... [hackaday.com]

Re:Here are couple of $250-300 3D printers (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#47204877)

I don't get the idea of using servos for anything CNC, lasercutter or 3D-printer related to lower costs. You can easily get 5$ stepper motors these days when buying in small quantities (100+).

Re:Here are couple of $250-300 3D printers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47207257)

There's also the Pangu i3 with 20cm^3 build volume for $370(+100pp approx) http://www.rp3d.com/pangu-i3-3d-printer-kit-based-on-prusa-i3-p-21.html
and the QU-BD TwoUp for $270 http://store.quintessentialuniversalbuildingdevice.com/product.php?id_product=145

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47202051)

3D printing is still a "thing"? I thought this fad burned out months ago. Just by the fact that's there's 1/10th the number of comments as compared to other stories on /. ...

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