GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH UltimaDork
8/28/13 8:11 a.m.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/327919589/the-microfactory-a-machine-shop-in-a-box

DROOOOOL

I could almost cry that I don't have the money for this ($4.5k)

ProDarwin
ProDarwin SuperDork
8/28/13 8:22 a.m.

Milling part is cool, 3d Printing part doesn't interest me much. Consumer level 3d printers have a long long long way to go.

Edit: Can't mill aluminum? Fail.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH UltimaDork
8/28/13 8:32 a.m.

Yeah it would be vastly cooler if it could mill aluminum, but also vastly more expensive. Being able to mill the same plastic it prints opens up a lot of new possibilities, the rough finish of parts from consumer 3d printers is one of the areas where they're not as good as the mega-money commercial units. Milling can correct that.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe Dork
8/28/13 8:41 a.m.

That kickstarter to me is...

we have this really cool idea but no actual real life implementations, market, or cost savings. Lets ask everybody else to kick in. Because redesigning known functional kind of cheap machining tools into a box with limited functionality and a small work envelope is totally useful thing to do.

I need coffee.

sobe_death
sobe_death HalfDork
8/28/13 8:45 a.m.

The place I could see myself using this application is rapid moldmaking for composite layup...

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
8/28/13 8:56 a.m.

bout damned time...how do you order? I couldnt find a link

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
8/28/13 8:59 a.m.
wearymicrobe wrote: That kickstarter to me is... we have this really cool idea but no actual real life implementations, market, or cost savings. Lets ask everybody else to kick in. Because redesigning known functional kind of cheap machining tools into a box with limited functionality and a small work envelope is totally useful thing to do. I need coffee.

step one: make em work. Step two: make it bigger. The small version proves they can. Once they have a real business, with a real market niche, they can use some purchasing power to make bigger versions that are also "all in one" simple and cost effective.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH UltimaDork
8/28/13 9:29 a.m.

They have a working prototype so it's not just an idea.

To "pre-order" one you can buy one of the perks on the right that include a unit (starts at $4.5k) and if they reach the goal you'll get it in August next year. I just noticed they say shipping outside the US is $2k though

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH UltimaDork
8/28/13 2:31 p.m.

Hack a Day featured this machine today and in the same post mentioned the Fabtotum, which costs a lot less because it doesn't have a computer built in or multi-color/material printing, but it MILLS FREAKING ALUMINUM

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fabtotum-personal-fabricator

Seriously thinking about buying one of these...I'll do some more research on it later. Costs $1.1k.

Also has a built-in 3D scanner!

CLynn85
CLynn85 Reader
8/28/13 5:00 p.m.
GameboyRMH wrote: Hack a Day featured this machine today and in the same post mentioned the Fabtotum, which costs a lot less because it doesn't have a computer built in or multi-color/material printing, but it MILLS FREAKING ALUMINUM http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fabtotum-personal-fabricator Seriously thinking about buying one of these...I'll do some more research on it later. Costs $1.1k. Also has a built-in 3D scanner!

I like the fabtotum and have a friend considering one, but it doesn't mill aluminum, only engraves it.

3D milling on light materials (Balsa, Foam, light wood) PCB milling : make your own circuit boards! Engraving 2.5 D Profiling (cutting) on light materials (balsa,Foam,Light wood)
motomoron
motomoron Dork
8/28/13 6:43 p.m.

They make a thing that mills aluminum. It can also mill all the other non-ferrous and ferrous metals and plastics. Hell, it'll do wood too.

It's called "a milling machine". They also make a version that rotates the work rather than the tool; the tool is moved relative to the rotating work. It's called "a lathe".

I have one of each of these in my basement. They each weigh about as much as an NB Miata, because accuracy - holding .001" tolerance repeatably - requires mass and rigidity.

The rub is that one need to know how to use them. There isn't an "app" for that aside from the one that calculates speeds and feed rates.

Someone at work spent your tax dollars on a Makerbot, and a Makerbot V.2.

They're awesome if you want to make a whistle. They call me when they want parts.

(Get off my berkeleying lawn, etc. )

ProDarwin
ProDarwin SuperDork
8/28/13 7:21 p.m.
motomoron wrote: Someone at work spent your tax dollars on a Makerbot, and a Makerbot V.2. They're awesome if you want to make a whistle. They call me when they want parts. (Get off my berkeleying lawn, etc. )

No experience with Maker, but I had a different home 3D printer, and I have to agree.

This is a great writeup that I find quite accurate: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/08/home-3d-printers-take-us-on-a-maddening-journey-into-another-dimension/

commercial units are a whole different story though

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
8/29/13 4:40 a.m.
motomoron wrote: They make a thing that mills aluminum. It can also mill all the other non-ferrous and ferrous metals and plastics. Hell, it'll do wood too. It's called "a milling machine". They also make a version that rotates the work rather than the tool; the tool is moved relative to the rotating work. It's called "a lathe". I have one of each of these in my basement. They each weigh about as much as an NB Miata, because accuracy - holding .001" tolerance repeatably - requires mass and rigidity. The rub is that one need to know how to use them. There isn't an "app" for that aside from the one that calculates speeds and feed rates. Someone at work spent your tax dollars on a Makerbot, and a Makerbot V.2. They're awesome if you want to make a whistle. They call me when they want parts. (Get off my berkeleying lawn, etc. )

I think he just dropped the mic and walked away.

fasted58
fasted58 PowerDork
8/29/13 9:12 a.m.

I like where this DIY tech is going, not that I'm ready to buy any of these machines yet, just the fact that they're getting out there. Imagine where they'll be in 5 years or so.

motomoron
motomoron Dork
8/29/13 9:27 a.m.
Fueled by Caffeine wrote:
motomoron wrote: They make a thing that mills aluminum. It can also mill all the other non-ferrous and ferrous metals and plastics. Hell, it'll do wood too. It's called "a milling machine". They also make a version that rotates the work rather than the tool; the tool is moved relative to the rotating work. It's called "a lathe". I have one of each of these in my basement. They each weigh about as much as an NB Miata, because accuracy - holding .001" tolerance repeatably - requires mass and rigidity. The rub is that one need to know how to use them. There isn't an "app" for that aside from the one that calculates speeds and feed rates. Someone at work spent your tax dollars on a Makerbot, and a Makerbot V.2. They're awesome if you want to make a whistle. They call me when they want parts. (Get off my berkeleying lawn, etc. )

I think he just dropped the mic and walked away.

Nice image but I've been designing and making stuff, and having between 10s and millions of things made for a long time. I've used rapid prototyping -where appropriate - since it became widely available as a service maybe 12 years ago.

When I was an industrial designer I often sent .sldprt files to a stereo-lith house to build production-quality mockups for focus groups and marketing types to touch and feel. I've had thermo-formed plastic parts almost the size of a porta-potty pulled for a prototype. It's rally eseful when you need one or a few of something with a complex shape. The commercial machines, ie. Stratasys that can hold close tolerances can make parts that are useful to check fit-up. But 3D CAD used correctly is fine for fit-up as well. If my assembly fits, my parts fit.

My issue is the assumption that a consumer grade CNC router/extruder can have utility to make consumer goods in the home, effectively eliminating the manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and retail aspects of some products.

As someone with a machine shop directly below where they sleep, the most frequent thing I hear is "Do you have a CNC?" followed by how they're going to get one. Because that will magically make them a machinist, instantly bypassing the necessity to learn layout, setup, operation sequence, speeds, feeds, how to hold surface finish, tolerance and repeatability.

I'm experienced with consumer grade RP machines - as I stated at my office there's 2 of them in the corner of a big lab full of industrial robots moving hundreds of 1536-well plates between peripheral instruments, 24-7. They extrude cute little not-particularly accurate plastic parts that don't resist heat or water very well, but people LOVE to watch them,

I'm not bitter, it's just that I hate to waste time or money on bad applications.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH UltimaDork
8/29/13 9:48 a.m.

Sounds like you feel the way about machining that I do about software. People always tell me "we're not all uber-hackers, we want things to JUST WORK!" and "Nothing should be as hard to fix as a general-purpose computer!"

Except the difference here is that I can't get a lathe and an industrial-grade CNC machine and the education on how to use them and the opportunity to practice with them for free on the Internet. Trust me I'd be all over that if I could.

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
8/29/13 9:54 a.m.
motomoron wrote: Someone at work spent your tax dollars on a Makerbot, and a Makerbot V.2. They're awesome if you want to make a whistle. They call me when they want parts. (Get off my berkeleying lawn, etc. )

I want to subscribe to your newsletter!

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
8/29/13 10:34 a.m.

As much as I want to agree with Motomoron (and to an extent, I do agree), there are practical applications to the mebotics thingy.

I cast metal, as in, heat it up til its soupy, and pour it into a box so it makes things when it cools. This requires a pattern. Patternmaking (like machining) is such a specialized skill, it borders on medieval voodoo wizardry. This tool would be able to accomplish what would take a dozen years of specialized training to do - make patterns with built in shrink tolerances, appropriate draft angles, that lack undercuts, have accurately placed core mounts etc etc etc. I dont think that cnc tool could repeatably craft carb adapter plates by the hundreds, but it could cut a single, shrink allowed pattern from bamboo, that I could then turn into a hundred plates with my foundry. As a tool for prototyping, it works. As a tool for machining, it fails.

Most machinists I know get bent out of shape when you talk about making things without using a tool with a Southbend nameplate on it. Sometimes swatting at a fly with a sledgehammer isnt the best way to go about things...

Our Preferred Partners
n0gFjvweQzV94Egkuavtfumffrc5CYf3418OUiwi3Tob0dqgn7tyNPvXMm77VXIu