Hybrids are a novelty at Kickstarters: First the BOXZY, which combines a CNC-mill, a 3D printer and a laser engraver. Aiming for $50k, they rounded up $ 1.2 mio in 2015. They call it “BOXZY, the quick-change fablab: Mill, Print, Laser”.
With its 6 mm aluminium frame it is primary a CNC-mill, where the spindle can be exchanged for a 3D print head, or a a laser cartridge. The bed is 17 x 17 cms. The laser is only 2 watts and will engrave many materials, but cut only balsa, thin cardboard and paper. So is not a real lasercutter as you will find in a fablab. $3599
[By the way: if you want to experiment with a 2W blue laser on your Ultimaker, try the L-CHEAPO Laser Cutter Attachment. starting at $ 200. The new MK4 5.6W laser and its predecessor, the MK3 3.5W L-Cheapo, are available to buy from the Endurance Lasers website. And use the goggles !!!]
A me-too is the Northype Adam, which also can be equiped with a scan-head. Not doing well on its Kickstarter. Most fablab tools are box-shaped XYZ mechanisms.
Fablab promotes out-of-the-box thinking. Well, then think out of those boxes. Let a robot-arm do it all. With a very small footprint, but with a buildvolume of 80x40x25cm
The MAKERARM is a Kickstarter project for a robot arm with interchangeable toolheads. Scroll deep down on that page to see its possibilities. Note that it will also use a web based operation as we saw for the Glowforge.
$2499 with three toolheads. Ships fall 2016.
The ZMorph 2.0S personal fabricator from Poland sports 10 different toolheads: extruders for filament, chocolate and thick paste, a cnc mill head and a 2W bluelaser head.The Essential Set machine with 2 extruders, mill and laser costs € 3295. CNC-only set € 1799
Interesting is their 5-axis experimental toolhead. It can be used as a milling machine for production of precise jewellery or dental models, or 3d scanner for easy copying of physical objects. 3d scanning feature uses this advanced kinematics to gather the data about the geometry, and very precisely turn it into digital form, that later on can be 3d printed on the same machine (with basic plastic extrusion toolhead).
FABTOTUM, a multipurpose device that can operate a wide range of Computer controlled (CNC) manufacturing and 3d-scanning processes. Print, Cut, Mill, Scan, Manipulate. Rinse and repeat! At Indiegogo they rounded up $ $589,564 from a goal of 50K . Available for € 1199 plus printhead €204 and mill head € 204. And tax.
ZEUS, a device that allows users to 3D Scan, Print, Copy, and Fax objects with a touch of a button. Rounded up $111.111 from a $ 100k goal. Available for $ 2499
[And no longer The Peachy Printer – The First $100 3D Printer & Scanner ! Using audio waveform. Rounded up $ 651k on Kickstarter and 274k from Backerkit, from a goal of 50K .Sounded nice.
But then the money was bedazzled. Click the link if you want to read the sad story].
[Mebotics Microfactory, a all-in-one, networkable, four-color 3D printer and milling machine, failed]
[Lionhead: a 3D printer with 8 extruders and a built-un scanning system, ditto]
One might wonder if the savings in space will outweigh their added complexity. Note that all combination electrical handtools of the 70′ and 80’s are gone. A dedicated tool for the job proved better, easier and more reliable. And they got very cheap