Three-in-one desktop 3D printer, laser cutter, and CNC mill has recently been launched by a Swedish company “Febtop Tech” on Indiegogo. Febtop Tech has already exceeded its funding goal of $50,000 within hours of beginning the crowdfunding campaign. Backers still have 30 days to make their pledges. The users are provided a reasonably priced and modular three-in-one system via this hybrid machine called the Optimus (a nod to the Transformer Optimus Prime). The desktop system, including FDM 3D printing technology, a laser cutter, and a CNC mill, has been designed to meet the manufacturing needs of individual makers.
While describing the main inspiration behind the hybrid 3D printer, Febtop Tech CEO Tom Yang said:
“We wanted to make a machine capable of making your own products, going from an idea, to final product, not only a prototype. We wanted a machine capable of making things you cannot find in stores and also be able to make personal things like engraving your own name on your bag. Why should it say Nike on my bag instead of Tom?”
The Optimus 3D printer, similar to Optimus Prime, must be altered to accomplish various tasks. Users can easily build the machine up into a vertical Delta 3D printer configuration in order to use it as a 3D printer; users can deconstruct the machine and rebuild it as a horizontal Cartesian configuration to use it as a laser cutter or CNC mill. It has been asserted by Febtop Tech that the transformations from one structure to the next can be done in merely ten minutes. Also, the Optimus has been created to calibrate automatically so that users won’t have to spend extra time doing that.
The Optimus has been built chiefly of strong metal components in order to support all three manufacturing techniques. It has also been thoroughly examined for its strength and durability. Febtop Tech told that the three of its machines were assembled and disassembled more than 500 times in order to test their lasting performance. It has been suggested by the startup that the Optimus should last for years given that you ensure the screws are tight before printing, cutting, or milling.
The machine’s delta 3D printer has a build volume of 240 x 300 mm and is equipped with cooling fans and a CNC machined aluminum heat sink for heat management. Besides, the printer’s brass nozzle is surrounded by a titanium isolator, which helps to keep the heat from the nozzle concentrated. Nozzle sizes can easily be changed, as the printer can fit a range between 0.2 mm and 0.8 mm.
Furthermore, a built in automatic leveling bed system has also been included by the Febtop crew, thereby making sure that your 3D prints will print evenly and adhere properly to the print bed. Additionally, the users can also choose if they want a heated print bed, and can extend the printer’s build size (vertically) by installing longer sliders owing to the modular nature of the machine.
The Optimus boasts a work area of 500 x 500 mm as a laser cuter and has the ability to be used with a variety of materials depending on what strength of laser you are working with. A range of laser powers, from 500mW up to 10W, are offered by Febtop Tech. On the lower end of the spectrum, the startup says it is possible to engrave on most materials, though it is only possible to cut soft and thin materials like a 2mm foam board. But, users should be able to engrave on harder materials, such as anodized aluminum by means of a 10W laser.
The CNC mill configuration offers a work space of 400 x 400 x 80 mm and is equipped with a 450W spindle with a speed of 12,000 rpm. With the CNC mill, users can look forward to working with materials such as wood, acrylics, ABS, machinable wax, brass, aluminum, and more.
A control box, consisting of two 32-bit processor boards (one for machine control, the other for a touch screen) and plug and play connectors, powers the Optimus. Besides, the hybrid machine features USB and SD card compatibility, as well as WiFi connectivity, so you can control your prints or makes remotely through an app. The app in question is only available for Android devices at present.
The Swedish startup, in terms of software, will offer a version of Cura optimized for the Optimus 3D printer. The company recommends using Inkscape software with 305 engineering and J tech photonic plugins for laser cutting and Autodesk Fusion 360 can be used for generating CNC mill tool paths.
The affordability of the Optimus hybrid 3D printer (aside from its many functions) is what appeals the customers to buy it. The three-in-one machine is available for a pledge of $1,579 (though the first batch of 50 is nearly sold out!). Backers also have the option of purchasing only the 3D printer ($979 to $1,079), a 3D printer-laser cutter hybrid ($1,159 to $1,259), or 3D printer-CNC mill hybrid ($1,359 to $1,459). The second batch of three-in-one Optimus machines is going for $1,679 a piece. “First batch” backers (the cheaper prices) can expect their perks to begin shipping in March 2017, while second batch orders will only be manufactured starting April 2017.