Kickstarting an open source hardware "machine shop in a box" - 3D printer/etcher/mill

"How do you improve upon 3D printers with multiple color heads? Members of the makerspace Artisan's Asylum have built what they're calling a 'microfactory' - a self-contained machine that etches circuitry, mills, and 3d-prints multi-color objects. Their kickstarter is only a week in, but they're going to need a lot of help if they're going to reach their very ambitious goal."

It's about $5K for a fully assembled/fully functional pre-order. As with all crowdfunding projects, be aware that there is no guarantee that this will ship and that you will get anything for your money. Caveat emptor. That said: wow.

Introducing the Microfactory: a networked, easy to operate, affordable, mess-free, quiet, safe and fully-enclosed machine capable of:

* printing functional parts in four colors or multiple materials
* AND computerized etching
* AND computer-controlled milling!

And check out some of the special features we've built in:

* Port for a shop-vac hose so the machine "cleans up after itself" while it runs
* Noise-reducing housing with safety-stop button
* Full on-board computer -- no separate hardware or software needed! Connect and control through any (wired) network.
* High-quality industry standard software built right in

The Microfactory: A machine shop in a box (Thanks, Scott!)

Notable Replies

  1. 300W spindle for computerized etching and milling of plastics and wood

    You had me up until "can't mill metal." I know, added expense and all the jive, but the allure of an all-in-one machine is greatly diminished when it's actually not.

  2. VVelox says:

    I am completely unimpressed. I can buy a way more powerful and larger milling machine and throw a CNC kit on it for 2500 USD and have 2500 USD left over for a really kick ass 3D printer.

  3. Yeah a "machine shop" is where metal gets cut.

    There's a lot of interesting stuff in this contraption, but they're trying to do too much at once-- feature creep got the best of them.

  4. Can you provide URLs to substantiate these claims?

  5. It is interesting to me how little of modern children's toys could even exist without plastic.

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