Aleph Objects, the company behind the LulzBot brand of 3D printers, has been one of the market’s biggest proponents of the open source movement within. While companies like MakerBot have shied away from their open source roots, Aleph Objects embraces it, producing high quality machines which continue to receive rave reviews despite remaining affordable.
Early last month, we did a story where we provided a sneak peak into what LulzBot is working on next, besides their current TAZ and KITTAZ lines of 3D printers. Speaking with Harris Kenny from Aleph Objects, we were told that a product, code named ‘Begonia’, would be the basis of their next major product release. Begonia debuted at Maker Faire New York 2014 where it received fanfare from the likes of Tom’s Guide, Machine Design, and Hack A Day, as well as great feedback from those at the event.
Begonia became ‘Camellia’, the third prototype of LulzBot’s soon to launch new 3D printer, and was put on display at the Denver Biz Tech Expo. Here it was voted ‘Best Hardware Solution’ by attendees. As LulzBot prepares for next weeks Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo, where they will have the 4th prototype of the machine, code named ‘Daffodil’, on display, they were kind enough to provide us with further details on the eventual new product.
Enough of the code names already… The final model will be called the ‘LulzBot Mini’. Although the exact specifications have yet to be publicly released, LulzBot provided some.
The Mini will feature a build envelope of 6″ x 6″ x 6″, while sporting a sturdy powder coated aluminum frame. Additionally, the new machine will feature an all new metal hot end which is capable of reaching temperatures of up to 300°C (572°F). This hot end was developed in partnership with RepRap Discount, and is paired with an advanced heated bed. This means that the Mini will be capable of printing with a large variety of different materials including PLA, ABS, Nylon, Tritan, Polycarbonate, T-Glase, as well as exotic materials which mimic that of wood, stone, and bronze.
For those of you who get frustrated by constant nozzle clogging, the Mini will feature a new nozzle cleaning sequence as well as an auto bed leveling system. These features were developed in partnership with a company called Sparkfun Electronics, and should provide users with a simple intuitive printing experience.
“While this product is new, its technology is thoroughly tested and proven,” states the company. “Our Open Source Hardware approach ensures the technology driving this printer has thousands of cumulatively logged hours of testing before you put it on your desktop.”
The printer will be built in Colorado, and should be available sometime in December of this year. The expected price of the LulzBot Mini will be $1,350. You can check out the prototype ‘Camellia’ first hand at the Inside 3D Printing Conference in Santa Clara on October 22-23, where 3DPrint.com will also be present with a booth of our own. Let us know your thoughts on this soon to launch machine. Discuss in the LulzBot Mini forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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