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Gigabot 3D Printer – who says good things come in small packages?

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March 11, 2013

A 3D-printed vase showcases the large build envelope of the Gigabot, re:3D's large format ...

A 3D-printed vase showcases the large build envelope of the Gigabot, re:3D's large format 3D printer

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The list of personal 3D printers got bigger today with the successful launch of re:3D's Gigabot on Kickstarter, which raised more than US$40,000 in a couple of days. With so many options to choose from already flooding the market, re:3D decided to go big or go home, resulting in what it calls a "large format" 3D printer that can output more objects in a single batch and much larger individual pieces.

Priced at $2,750, the Gigabot is one of the more expensive fused filament fabrication printers to enter production. The company is betting that the Gigabot's 24 x 24 x 24-inch build envelope will entice consumers away from its competitors like the Makerbot Replicator 2 and Deltamaker, which have significantly smaller build volumes. And with 100 micron layer resolution capability, you won't have to sacrifice part detail.

Whereas most printers require that you break up large objects into smaller pieces (which then have to be assembled), the Gigabot's huge build envelope will likely save you the hassle. Besides printing jumbo-sized objects, the larger build envelope means you can set up more objects to print at once – though the added convenience could be something of a double-edged sword, since an unattended printer error would result in more wasted PLA or ABS filament.

The Gigabot itself measures 34 inches wide, 34 inches deep and 36 inches tall (86.4 x 86.4 x 91.4 cm), though re:3D says it's examining how to shave a couple inches here and there without sacrificing the build envelope. You can get an idea just how huge this thing is in the company's Kickstarter pitch video:

Source: re3D via 3ders

About the Author
Jason Falconer Jason is a freelance writer based in central Canada with a background in computer graphics. He has written about hundreds of humanoid robots on his website Plastic Pals and is an avid gamer with an unsightly collection of retro consoles, cartridges, and controllers.   All articles by Jason Falconer
6 Comments

Help me out here, what am I missing. Regarding 3D printing, isn't it awfully expensive for manufacturing? Say you are making 100 fancy planters. Isn't clay cheaper? Are we talking about eliminating the overhead of a B&M manuf facility as the real savings, if any? Or is 3D printing just a prototype building vehicle? I still don't get it's buzz...

Douglas Black
11th March, 2013 @ 09:42 am PDT

According to the video, the build area is 216,000 cubic cm, which is 13,181 cubic in, far more than the article's suggested 24 cu. in, which would be small even for the most common 3D printers on the market (say 3"x4"x2" build envelope).

J.D. Ray
11th March, 2013 @ 11:48 am PDT

re: Douglas

There's a lot that I can create in a CAD program that I couldn't make by hand - so it's great for realizing ideas. It doesn't lend itself to mass quantities necessarily due to the cost of materials, but you could use a 3d printer to create a part for molding (or the molds themselves), and then create duplicates using cheaper materials.

I've seen an artist print figures that he then finished, molded, and created resin copies in large quantities which he painted and sold, for example. You can get an idea what people are using 3d printers for by looking at the stuff being made on sites like Thingiverse and Shapeways.

Jason Falconer
11th March, 2013 @ 12:00 pm PDT

@ J.D. Ray:

The article says the print volume is 24" x 24" x 24"... so a 24 inch cube, not 24 cubic inches. So yes, it's vastly larger than the "24 cubic inches" mentioned elsewhere in the article.

Anne Ominous
11th March, 2013 @ 07:02 pm PDT

@J.D.Ray

The article did say 24 x24x24 = 24^3 Cubic inches.

which is, 13824 cu inches.

The metric measurement you gave, = 60x60x60 cm ( 21600 cm^3)

so the platform build envelope has been metricised,

~ 13181 cu in as you mentioned

(Some people may call it 24 inches cubed, not 24 cubic inches)

Its a comprehension test.

MD
11th March, 2013 @ 11:00 pm PDT

Mr. Douglas Balck, youre imagination would be the limit with a device like this - it's not for manufacturing - it's for quick proto typing. If you have a widget floating around in your idea filled head wouldn't you like to be able to bring it to life so you can hold it in your hand and see if it's what you want instead of having to go through the design / manufacturing process to find out you need to tweek it?

As for you mr JD Ray - you need more math in your life.

johnqp
12th March, 2013 @ 08:23 am PDT
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