One of the common themes that we are starting to see more and more of from the maker community is the release of 3D printers which are capable of more than just 3D printing. Companies are beginning to realize that most people who are interested in 3D printing technology are also interested in other means of fabricating and ‘making’. Because of this, we have seen multipurpose fabrication machines come about, capable of laser engraving, CNC milling, and 3D scanning on top of being able to 3D print objects as well. Today, a Wuhan, China-based company, called EasyArts has launched an Indiegogo campaign for a machine they call the Ares.
Like some of the other all-in-one machines we have seen in the past, the Ares is capable of 3D printing, laser engraving, CNC milling, and 3D scanning. Unlike some of the other machines though, this one is super affordable. That’s right, a limited quantity of 200 are available for just $399, with other options available thereafter ranging from $429 to $579, depending on just what features you are looking for.
The Ares 3D printer is constructed with a full-metal body, with over 90% of the load-bearing parts being made of metal and processed via CNC machining. With driver belts constructed of polyurethane and steel wire, the possibility of deformation is virtually eliminated. The modular design of the Ares allows for quick and easy switching of the various tool-heads, while also allowing for users to design their own tool-heads for the machine.
The Ares is a delta-style machine which can create PLA 3D printed objects with ease. The CNC mill consists of various sized cutting tools for use on different materials. The 3D scanner portion of the Ares is capable of scanning objects in 360 degrees, allowing users to virtually copy any 3-dimensional object that they can fit onto the scanner bed.
Another great feature with the Ares, since it is constructed using a Raspberry Pi as its processing unit, is that it fully Wi-Fi-enabled. Users can scan, print, and operate the machine wirelessly via smartphone, tablet, or laptop and keep track of what is going on when they are at a completely different location.
Probably the most significant and potentially beneficial feature of the Ares is that it is entirely open source, meaning other people can create additional tool-heads and share them with the rest of the Ares community.
“All of our designs and developments are based on open source firmware and software,” EasyArts explains. “As we all know, good quality is the precondition of extension. So we are trying our best to make sure Ares is competent for extension. Not only that, you are greatly encouraged to develop your own modules by following our instructions. The standard of your connector or adapter has been defined in the user manual, so that your own design can match the switchable platform. As long as following this rule, chocolate printing, circuit board, any feasible extension is possible.”
As for the specifications of this new machine, they are as follows:
- 3D printer print volume: 190 mm diameter x 210 mm height
- 3D printer nozzle diameter: 0.3/0.4mm
- 3D printer layer thickness: 0.05-0.3mm
- 3D printer positioning precision: 0.02mm (X, Y, Z)
- 3D scanning resolution: 0.3mm
- 3D scanning speed: 12 min (depending on resolution required)
- 3D scanning color mode; 16 bit color
- 3D scanning laser power: 5 mW (each)
- Laser engraving wave length: 405 nm
- Laser engraving travel speed: 200mm/s
- Laser engraving material capabilities: wood, plastic, and paper
- Laser engraver beam diameter: 0.4mm
- CNC milling power: approximately 6W
- CNC rotating speed: 4000r/minute
- CNC cutter diameter: 0.3-4mm
- CNC travel speed: 200mm/s
- CNC material capabilities: wood, cystosepiment, gypsum
If all goes as planned, EasyArts hopes to have the Ares ready for shipment in October. Currently they are only looking to raise a minimum of $8,000, so we fully expect this to be a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Have you backed the Ares? We’d love to hear from you. Discuss this new all-in-one 3D printer on the EasyArts Ares forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below showing the Ares.