Author Topic: Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?  (Read 4840 times)

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Offline htassell

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Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?
« on: September 27, 2012, 03:15:35 am »
I just saw this Kickstarter for a new stereolithography based 3D printer. It's been developed by graduates of the MIT Media Lab in the US and has endorsement from the creator of Solidworks amongst others:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/formlabs/form-1-an-affordable-professional-3d-printer

I have had my own UV resin based printer for around 6 months now and can confirm the claims in terms of the resolution of the final printed product. There just isn't an comparison. The downside has been that the technology is very expensive - the printer that I made cost around $2K in components with the major costs comprising the DLP and optics. The UV activated resin is also costly at around $50-100 a litre.

That being said, with the release of this printer at fairly much the same price point as the Replicator 2, and with printed products that are of a quality that actually makes them useable, I wonder how Makerbot is going to fair.

Given the success of the current Kickstarter campaign, and if they are actually able to scale up production and provide the reliable product that they claim, I think Makerbot may really struggle to compete.

What do you guys think?
 

Offline JoannaK

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Re: Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 03:33:28 am »
I'm waiting to see first Lawsuits of 3d printing.. Not from MBI, but from some existing big-price 3d printer maker agains these STL-guys.

But, if they can make this thingy happen (price/quality etc) it'll be tough for MBI to sell their product a allmost identical price. At least they apparently have prototypes and have been working on it for some time, so they seem to be a lot more credible than some other 'meetoo-3d-printer' -projects at Kickstart.
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 04:17:27 am »
Perhaps when the price drops a bit, both for the machine and supplies.
From the Kickstarter rewards, I'm guessing price is around $2300?

I appreciate that the quality of the print is better but mechanically, how does the finished result compare to the ABS from the Makerbot ? (flexible - brittle, range of colours, etc)
 

Offline poodyp

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Re: Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 07:01:16 am »
There's also this one for $850 as a kit, like the original makerbot. He claims 0.05mm resolution which is half as good as the form 1, and twice as good as the replicator 2.

Personally I'm pretty excited, they just need to boost the performance a few times and they'll have the same detail as the first integrated circuits.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2012, 09:59:22 am »
There's also this one for $850 as a kit, like the original makerbot. He claims 0.05mm resolution which is half as good as the form 1, and twice as good as the replicator 2.

Really like the look of that one. A very simplistic yet sturdy looking frame.

Dave.
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2012, 10:50:57 am »
A new machine seems to come out every week, it's hard to make a decision on which one to get.

I've settled on the OrdBot Hadron - it shipped today so all going well, should have it in 2 weeks.
 

Offline JoannaK

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Re: Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2012, 11:40:05 am »
A new machine seems to come out every week, it's hard to make a decision on which one to get.

I've settled on the OrdBot Hadron - it shipped today so all going well, should have it in 2 weeks.

Using aluminium extrusions should make it quite stable.. Apparently one has to find controllers etc since those are not included into package.
 

Offline T4P

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Re: Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2012, 04:19:57 pm »
There's also this one for $850 as a kit, like the original makerbot. He claims 0.05mm resolution which is half as good as the form 1, and twice as good as the replicator 2.
Down to 20 microns, you just didn't read. And the original makerbot rep could only go down to 0.2mm
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2012, 03:48:30 am »
Down to 20 microns, you just didn't read. And the original makerbot rep could only go down to 0.2mm
The page linked to mentions 50 micron, is there another page where he mentions 20 micron? The website is a bit short on details.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2012, 03:52:46 am »
The page linked to mentions 50 micron, is there another page where he mentions 20 micron? The website is a bit short on details.

I'm starting to smell BS with all these micron specs.
Be very careful they aren't just talking about resolution, because step resolution and print resolution can be two entirely different things.

Dave.
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2012, 05:04:47 am »
I agree, considering the construction of these printers, 20 microns is a big ask.
The SLA style printers on the other hand do seem to be able to get to these resolutions, still a bit too expensive for home use.
 

Offline andete

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Re: Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2012, 05:31:10 am »
Don't forget that these machines are really slow... 15mm/hour is mentioned in the FAQ. So it's a speed/quality trade-off.
 

Offline T4P

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Re: Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2012, 07:22:30 am »
And high power UV laser you can see is not cheap as with the optics as well as the coherent lack of laser longevity
 

Offline htassell

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Re: Makerbot Replicator 2: already redundant?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2012, 10:46:53 am »
Yes SLA printing is certainly still quite expensive both in terms of printing material and maintenance of the light source / optics. Probably still too high to be bought for home use.

Perhaps the biggest limiting factor to this Kickstarter is they they are only currently supporting one resin for their printer. So right now, you can have any colour as long as it's grey and you must buy it from them. Altough I'm sure people will soon find other resins that are activated by their printer.

More broadly however, there are a massive range of different acrylates, epoxy acrylates and polyester acrylates and just as many catalysing agents available. The range of end physical properties you can achieve from SLA printing processes would most likely be far greater than those available from hot extrusion systems.
 


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