One of the more intriguing, but less popular FDM/FFF based 3D printing methods is the use of a delta robot setup. A delta robot is a parallel robot which utilizes three arms, all connected by universal joints. The first delta robots were built back in the early 1980’s in Switzerland for packaging, as well as pharmaceutical and medical applications. Recently though, 3D printing companies have begun using this technology to create FDM/FFF based printers, which function in an entirely different way than that of a typical three axis printer you may be used to seeing; for exampled the Makerbot Replicator.
One of the advantages of using this technology within a 3D printer is that it allows for a more open, free environment for the extruder, during a print. A typical delta 3D printer is based on the Rostock open source design.
Today we got word that a company based out of Pittsburgh, PA, ZeGo Robotics, will be launching a brand new multifunctional delta robot on Indiegogo. Unlike the typical delta 3D printers you may be used to seeing, this machine will have numerous heads. The ZeGo bot features five different tools which are connected to the robotic arm via magnetic joint attachments. The attachments include the following tools:
- Plotter – An automatic drawing device used on paper or LCD sketchpads.
- 3D Printer Extruder – Prints using a fused filament fabrication (FFF) technique, and PLA plastic filament heated at 185 degrees C.
- Wood Burner – Hot end device for burning designs into various materials
- Pick&Place – Entry level pick/place machine with forth access availability
- Engraver/PCB Mill – Great for engraving PCB prototypes.
Basically what ZeGo is trying to do, is make one machine capable of doing it all. No longer will small manufacturers and hobbyists need to buy several expensive machines to achieve the work they need completed. Instead they can simply buy one affordable machine, and then purchase the appropriate attachments as they need them.
ZeGo Robotics is looking to raise $50,000 to jumpstart the production of their machine. To do this they are offering their Indiegogo backers a variety of pre-order options. Starting at $549 and going up to $749, backers can get a kit, which they then will have to assemble themselves. The kits, each come with the pen plotter attachment and one additional attachment of choice. The price paid, determines when your order will ship. The higher contributions will receive their robot in September, while those contributing a lesser amount will have to wait until January of next year. Backers who wish to get the entire machine, fully assembled, with all five attachments can contribute $2499, and have it delivered by January as well. Take part in the discussion around the ZeGo at 3DPB.com, and remember to check out the Indiegogo project page once they launch. Further details on this machine can be seen in the video below: