In a season of all-in-one units, it appears a single-purpose device can still make its crowdfunding goal. With size as its selling point, Brooklyn architect Gordon LaPlante's gMax has surpassed its $50,000 Kickstarter requirement with plenty of days to spare.

Having initially begun with a RepRap Prusa in 2010, LaPlante was using 3D printing to build architectural models. However, he frequently found himself wanting to make larger objects and eventually decided to solve the problem by developing the gMax, an FFF 3D printer with a 16" x 16" x 9" (40.6 x 40.6 x 22.8 cm) build envelope.

gMax print quality

Aside from its LED light to illuminate the print area, 1.5" aluminum frame extrusions and large print bed, the gMax is constructed of 3D printed parts and items commonly found on a RepRap list. Perhaps the most interesting feature for makers is that the extruder is detachable and could theoretically be replaced by other CNC heads for drilling, milling, etching or paper cutting. It turns out, future development or a builder's own ingenuity could lead to this hackable printer being an all-in-one unit after all. LaPlante is also making the printable part models available for download.

Key Specifications:

  • 16'' x 16'' x 9'' build envelope (acrylic bed, not heated)
  • 340 watt power supply (supports upgrades)
  • 75 micron minimum layer height
  • Uses 1.75 mm PLA or ABS
  • 0.35 or 0.5 mm nozzle
  • 1.5" x 1.5" inch aluminum frame system
  • Precision milled aluminum z-axis motor couplers
  • USB connectivity
  • LCD screen and SD card reader (can print without computer connection)
  • Extruder: MK-7 drive gear, J-head hotend, LED light, integrated blower fan
  • Parts easily swappable and customizable
  • Easy assembly, just slide in and screw.
  • Relatively quiet compared to most 3D printers
  • Works with open source software (slic3r, pronterface, etc.)

The gMax is only available as a kit. Remaining pledges start $1,295 for a complete kit with LCD screen and filament spool holder, US only. International pledges begin at $1,300.