#Industry (Production, process)
BoXZY, an all-in-one 3D printer, CNC mill and laser engraver launches on Kickstarter
While desktop FDM 3D printers are great for toying with at home and making small and fun parts, its potential for serious and multi-material manufacturing is sadly quite limited
Anyone wanting to take things to the next level is currently forced of spending thousands on buying various manufacturing machine. But why not go for an all-in-one option? For a 3D printer that can simply be fitted with another tool head to turn it into an entirely different machine?
That option is becoming more realistic on a daily basis. While several multi-functional manufacturing machines are currently being developed, a highly promising model just launched its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter: the BoXZY, an all-in-one 3D Printer, CNC Mill, and Laser Engraver. Developed by Joel and Justin Johnson, two brothers from Pittsburgh, this machine is shaping up to be a multipurpose masterpiece that will appeal to both beginning and experienced users.
As the Joel explained in an interview, the BoXZY has been developed to be a complete desktop manufacuturing space, rather than just a 3D printer with some additional options. "We refer to it as a desktop manufacturing space. The aim is to democratize and production quality and to make affordable commercial results for consumers," Joel explains. "While the system is user friendly, it's capabilities are much more precise than consumer models currently on the market. But the key differentiator for BoXZY is its interchangeability."
The machine has been in development for more than a year now. BoXZY’s basic setup is a dual extruder FDM 3D printer (with a precision of four microns!) that can be quickly interchanged with a solid 1 ¼ horsepower Makita router, turning the machine into a powerful CNC mill or a laser etcher. The whole thing is housed in a solid aluminum body and assembled with stainless steel hardware to ensure it's a stable and durable machine throughout all applications. Moreover, its also designed to be completely modular and hackable.
By utilizing the quick-change heads, any maker can shape a block of brass, aluminum, hardwood, or plastic into intricate designs. The 2000mW laser engraver slices through balsa and other thin woods, and could engrave photos on hardwood, leather, and plastic with high accuracy. BoXZY is also a 3D printer, and you can easily print complex shapes with fine internal detail and incredible accuracy. With BoXZY you can use PLA or ABS to print functional components, or print with nylon for strength critical creations.
"Every component is easy to access, remove or upgrade, and BoXZY’s simple-as-possible design makes this even more convenient," they say, a characteristic that will doubtlessly appeal to experienced users.
Quick-change attachments. Rapidly switch CNC milling attachment, laser cutter/engraver, and 3D printer.
All major components are CNC milled from solid billets of aluminum.
The body is Quarter-inch thick aluminum.
Ballscrew actuation. Industrial ballscrews actuate all 3 axes.
4 Micron resolution.
No assembly, no programming.
935 watt (1.25hp) CNC milling capacity.
Adjustable CNC milling speeds anywhere between 10,000 and 30,000 RPM.
Fully Expandable Electronics: So you can build your own attachments.
2000 mW laser, 445 nm laser.
3D Print in many kinds of filament: PLA, PVA, Ninja-flex, ABS, and even Nylon with our high temperature enclosure kit.
CNC Mill almost anything: aluminum, hardwoods, acrylic, Delrin, ABS, Renshape, machinable wax, and even some steel alloys.
At the same time, however, the BoXZY is designed to be easy to use. According to one blogger fortunate enough to test it, the interface is extremely straightforward and intuitive. ‘All in all it took probably about 10 minutes to prepare. I actually prefer this machine to the others I have used due to the fact that the BoXZY engraves more like a wood burner rather than a laser etcher. It has a more authentic styling to the engraving,’ she wrote.
BoXZY also utilizes a simple, intuitive interface which allows you to preview your build, select layers to view, and watch your build in real time--all in the same screen. There’s an Easy Mode for beginners and a more advance mode for the pros.
BoXZY's Kickstarter campaign is seeking to raise $50,000 in pledges. A pledge of just $1399 will be enough to qualify for your very own early bird BoXZY all-in-one manufacturing machine – a very decent price considering its multiple functions and its expected retail price tag of $2,500. Buying separate machines for all three functions will easily set you back a lot more than that, so the BoXZY is definitely worth checking out.