If you want to follow the trends of 3D printing from China–as well as the rest of the world–just take a look at the trail Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co. has been blazing, from their native far east to opening headquarters in London, to facilities in and resources from the US.
We followed their progress and accolades within the 3D printing industry–earlier in the year as on the heels of opening headquarters in Europe, they released a new 3D printer, the Bizer III. As the first Chinese entity to enter the 3D printing market, they flung some big doors wide open upon founding their 3D printing manufacturing company in 2004, and have kept on moving, building on innovation and generations of quality equipment.
Now, CTC Electronic has released a new machine, just launched on Kickstarter, which many will find appealing due to its multi-faceted capabilities–and that’s not just spin: the Formaker 4-in-1 really does have most everything the classic maker or tinkerer involved in 3D printing would need–as well as affordability at the highest pledging level of $999.
A year in the making, the Formaker is both impressive and comprehensive, the product of a collaboration between CTC Electronic’s teams from the US, India, and the UK. The teams worked together, pooling their talents in engineering and structural design to bring this new innovation to makers around the globe, beginning with Kickstarter.
The formidable machine includes:
- A dual-head 3D printer
- CNC laser mill
- Laser PCB
- Laser engraving
“With a simple tool change you can now convert the machine to a full machining center for the home or office,” states the CTC team on their Kickstarter page.
They also emphasize its strong points in each area as it functions not only as an all-in-one type deal, but will also allow you to make precise, high-quality objects. Constructed out of metal and with a build size of 225 x 145 x 150 mm, you are being promised not just a robust machine, but also one that operates at the highest speeds possible at 120mm/s to 170mm/s, and also offering the highest quality FDM prints at 0.04mm. 3D prints should result in sturdy first layers, boasting no lines.
You have an entire world of technology and materials open to you with this one machine which could easily function as your own mini-factory for whatever innovations you dream up. The only question is where to start–and most likely that will be through tapping a few initial controls on the user-friendly touchscreen display, choosing which operation you’d like to employ.
With the dual-head 3D printer, all of the following materials are compatible:
- Carbon fiber PLA
With the CNC mill/lathe, you can use:
With the laser engraver, the Formaker offers a low-power 350-milliwatt scanning laser, which allows you to work on a wide range of products, using:
- Soft Metal
The PCB portion allows for use of materials like:
The Formaker software is also designed to work with other 3D printing platforms such as MakerBot and Cura. These many capabilities should likely mean you just never leave the workshop again.
With all that’s included here, the Formaker includes a shipping weight of only 26 pounds. It arrives, in the full set, with an extra set of hardware as well as tooling and router bits, a spool holder, and 4GB SD card.
Hoping to raise $50K by September 9, the team plans to use the success of the Kickstarter campaign to bring you the Formaker at the lowest price they can. Affordability is a central focus regarding the Formaker, along with incredible quality, precision, and a user-friendly platform for users.
“The Formaker has unlimited potential, and is very safe and robust and can be upgraded with user components,” states the team on Kickstarter. “Without any limits to the machine, we hope we can give our customers the ability to realize any dream.”
Currently, supporters pledging just $150 can look forward to the Formaker Laser Kit, which is plug and play. At $250, one receives the turnkey CNC kit. At $799, supporters receive the 3D printing portion of the machine, and as it goes up in price to $999, the whole machine is delivered, complete with 3D printer, CNC mill, laser etcher, and PCB etcher.
Will you be supporting this Kickstarter campaign? Do you find the all-in-one capabilities to be attractive for your making needs? Discuss in the Formaker 4-in-1 Machine with 3D Printer forum thread over at 3DPB.com.
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