Back in July, 3DPrint.com received some information about an upcoming Kickstarter Campaign for a multifunctional machine, from a man named Ryan Manley, based in Columbus, Ohio. I was intrigued by his idea, and drawn into conversation with him based on the fact that my wife also hails from Columbus. He told me about a project, that at the time was called the “Manta”. He was still in the process of working on it, and quite frankly the idea blew me away.
The machine, which is now called the Stingray 3D Printer is not only a 3D printer, but is also a laser cutter/engraver, with the ability to print in paste as well as food and traditional filament. If all goes as planned, it will also have SLA 3D printing capabilities.
Ryan Manley who now heads up the company Stingray CNC, has just launched a Kickstarter Campaign for this intriguing, completely open source Stingray 3D printer. This machine is available with two different build volumes; 8 inches cubed and 16 inches cubed. They come standard with an all metal hot end which is capable of heating to temperatures compatible with just about any FFF-based filaments on the market today.
As for the laser engraver/cutter, it comes with a 2.8W diode laser module, which can engrave or cut through materials that are 1/8″ thick. At slow speeds it is a cutter, and if these speeds are increased it becomes an engraver. The Stingray also comes with safety goggles to protect the user’s eyes while using this module. The individual modules are able to snap on and off very easily, requiring only two screws to hold them in place on the machine.
“We pride ourselves in the professional quality of the Stingray 3D printer line,” explained Manley. “All of the printer parts for the Stingrays are precisely laser cut, meaning we use very few 3D printed or injection mold parts for any of the Stingray printers. This allows us to produce parts for our 3D printers quickly, accurately and most importantly it helps to keep costs down allowing us to offer 3D printers without added expenses and the time and cost of developing molds. Every detail of the Stingray printers were carefully chosen, from our changeable bed, self-leveling system, and innovative attachment holder the Stingray is easy to own and love.”
While the paste extrusion system isn’t yet complete, by the time that the printer ships, it will be ready. Paste extrusion allows for the printing of just about any paste-like substances, including, but not limited to peanut butter, silicon, mashed potatoes, Nutella, icing, other various foods, and more.
The most intriguing and exciting part about this 3D printer is that Manley plans on unveiling a new module/attachment for it every week during the 5-week campaign. This includes an experimental SLA module which Stingray CNC will be working on throughout the campaign. It should be very interesting to see how they manage to incorporate SLA technology into a normal FFF-based 3D printer.
The Stingray 3D printer is build with very high quality parts, including a clear acrylic for its durability and ease of work. Manley feels that the clear acrylic not only provides for a really nice look, but it also allows people to watch the entire printing/engraving/cutting process as it takes place.
Here are some additional features and specificatons of the Stingray 3D printer:
- Usable Build Area: just over 16x16x16″ (400x400x400mm) or (8″x8″x8″ for the smaller version)
- Hotend: All Metal Hotend capable of printing with exotic filaments based on E3D v5 Design
- Build Platform: Glass or Stainless Steel (If using Paste Extruder)
- Construction: Clear Extruded Acrylic
- Supports Optional Laser Cutter/Engraver/Paste Extruder
- Bed Self Leveling System
- Print Quality: 0.1 mm(100 micron) prints supported 0.2 (200 micron) recommended for everyday printing.
- Supported Materials: PLA, HIPS, PVA, Laybrick, Laywood, T-Glase, Semi Solids (Paste Extruder)
- Filament Sizes: 3mm or 1.75mm per customer request
- Power Supply: ATX
- Electronics: Ramps 1.4 + Arduino Mega 2560
- Max Printing Temperature: 300c
Manley is looking to raise $50,000 to fully fund the production of this printer (including the purchase of a large laser cutter). The Kickstarter campaign will run until November 29th, and there are only a limited number of machines available for purchase.
The Stingray 8 Kit (unassembled 8 cubic inch model) is available in a limited quantity for $950. For the assembled version the price jumps up to $1,150. As for the Stingray 16 Kit, it is priced at $1,600, while the assembled version is $1,800. To add in the paste extruder as an option on any of these models, it will cost an additional $228, while the addition of the laser engraver/cutter will cost an extra $440. There are also other more expensive limited edition models available as well.
This is definitely a nice machine for anyone who is looking for more than just an FFF-based 3D printer. It is capable of turning your garage or office into quite the creative workshop.
Have you backed this 3D printer on Kickstarter? What do you think about its design? How do you think the SLA printing portion of it will work? Discuss in the Stingray 3D Printer forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the campaign video below: