Massachusetts-based Mebotics has announced plans to crowd fund a CNC device called the Microfactory, described as "A machine shop in a box." The company intends to use Kickstarter to try to raise the cash required to hire production staff and obtain bulk pricing on parts.
The Microfactory is a multi-head 3D printer capable of printing in four colors or more than one material in two colors. It has a built-in side rack for holding four filament spools and its build envelope is 12" x 12" x 6". It also comes with a 300W spindle (upgradeable to 750W) for CNC etching and milling. All moving parts (belts, motors, etc.) are fully enclosed for safety and there is an old-fashioned industrial emergency stop on the front.
The device contains a dedicated networkable computer with four USB 2.0 ports and ethernet. It runs standard G-code on a custom open source system and its wooden frame structure (upgradeable to metal) has been tested to 350 lbs. For tidiness, it uses a filtered air inlet with replaceable cartridge and it also has a 2.5" shop vac port.
The four founders of Mebotics come from diverse backgrounds. Judah Sher is an industrial designer with CNC experience. Jeremy Fryer-Biggs is a biomedical engineer and sculptor with product development knowledge, having worked under contract on military prototypes and for the TV show "Mythbusters". Calvin Domenico and Edison Gieswein are network architects and programmers with welding experience. All four consider themselves to be die-hard makers.
Pricing for the Microfactory is undisclosed at this time, but if it isn't a massive success on Kickstarter, it won't be because Mebotics doesn't have a terrific marketing video. The 3DPW staff believes this is about as good as we've seen.