So how do you make a 3D printer better?
Amaker3D says you do it by making it more like, well, a coffee pot.
The key to a great coffee pot is that you can make it work even through the fog of a typical morning. An easy process, an intuitive interface and an end product that's pleasurable and predictable.
Amaker3D is looking to raise the 3D printing process to that sort of level of beautiful simplicity by creating a new, intuitive 3D printing experience for everyone from beginners to professionals that's as reliable and enjoyable as that morning cup of coffee.
Recently launched on Kickstarter (note pricing is in Australian dollars), the Amaker is designed with next generation electronics, using ARM processors and a touchscreen LCD, the sleek printer is constructed with aluminum framing and integrated threaded lead screw stepper motors for precise motion control and high efficiency. As a result, timing belts or couplings are no longer needed, and Amaker3D says the design ensures printing accuracy on par with CNC machining for 3D printing.
Shufen Yeo, Amaker3D's co-founder, says it's all about design with a users' experience in mind.
"We've added a full color touch screen LCD to allow easy control of the entire printer," says Yeo. "Various printer actions have been coded into selectable utilities for easy activation via LCD, and the AMAKER 3D printer empowers users to print in multi colors. Users can easily switch colors anytime during printing to create unique effects."
The Amaker can print multiple colors within the same object and it doesn't require re-creation of a 3D model or any code editing to achieve multi-color builds; the user simply switches filament colors anytime during the process. With features like an in-house designed controller board (non-Arduino based), the Amaker makes use of dual 32-bit ARM processors to deliver outstanding performance and system response. As a result, the Amaker is the first dual ARM open source 3D printer in the world and it includes a "smart algorithm" designed specifically for 3D printing which leverages the full processor capabilities for motion control accuracy.
A customized hot end functions at high temperatures up to 315°C to let designers explore new filament materials with Amaker. Experiment to use a variety of materials within in a single print. A high precision, laser machined aluminum structure and parts provide stability, and the integrated lead screw stepper motors and quality components insure precise motion control.
Capable of a print resolution as high as 0.02mm per layer (20 microns), the Amaker boasts an ability to produce relatively high detail.
"We look forward to using exciting new filament materials on the Amaker 3D printer," said Siew Hong Goh, Amaker3D's co-founder. "To ensure good 3D printer performance, our beta printer prototype has been subjected to three months of vigorous stress testing. These testing results helped confirm that we have a robust 3D printing solution. We wanted to introduce a 3D printer that not only prints well, but is well built to last through long hours of printing."
Amaker3D is also going the open source route with their design as the founders strongly believe that an open source environment stimulates creativity.