Arkansas-based machine shop and 3D printer manufacturer QU-BD has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new entry level FFF printer. The makers say it's "the world's first production ready 3D printer to break the $200 barrier," and it uses industry standard technology and electronics.
It's also open source and the company says they'll be releasing the source files a couple of days before the end of their Kickstarter campaign on November 18.
The printer comes in One Up and Two Up versions as an easy to assemble kit, and QU-BD says their machines are very simple, reliable and can produce incredible results for the price.
According to the company:
"While they may be outclassed by our RPM and Revolution 3D printers in speed and incremental print quality, the One Up and Two Up rival the speeds and print quality of most of the 'high end' consumer level 3D printers on the market."
That's some mighty big talk, but they also seem to have the goods to back it up.
QU-BD says their supply chains and the fact that they machine their components in-house in their industrial machine shop is what makes the price difference. They've developed an all-metal, precision machined 3D printer and now, based on that machine, a low cost, entry level unit. The company say they re-purposed the components they were already using and then chose Melamine coated MDF as a dimensionally stable, rigid, low cost alternative to the all-metal printers they already make. They cut the parts on a CNC laser, and they say it takes less than 10 minutes to cut out the frame on a 150w, CO2 laser.
All the electronics flow from the Arduino-based, Printrboard electronics. They include 4 integrated Allegro 4983 stepper drivers. There are two MOSFETS onboard as well that power the extruder and at a later time a heated bed for printing in materials other than PLA. There is an SD card slot to allow computer free printing, and the printer is powered by a universal 60w laptop power supply which provides the needed power for the extruder and stepper motors.
The latest offering features an extruder called the "Anubis," which includes an industry standard PEEK barrel with a groove mount with a PTFE liner which is used as a lubricious insulator. It is fed into a machined brass barrel that is heated with a machined aluminum heater core that houses the heating element and thermistor for temperature control. The extruded filament exits through a machined brass nozzle with a .40mm orifice. The extruder is designed for 1.75mm PLA filament which gives off a sweet smell and is non-toxic and biodegradable.
A $199 commitment gets you:
The complete QU-BD One Up as an easy to assemble kit. It features a 100x100x125mm build area and a small amount of PLA filament, and they estimate delivery as happening in February of 2014.