TangiBot, the latest clone design of the popular Makerbot 3D printer, should offer the same performance and features as the original printer, by 33% reduced costs. Matt Strong, the creator of the clone MakerBot 3D printer Kickstarter pledge, tries to rise 500K $ for his project. Matt describes himself as an 3D printing enthusiast who is creating and printing stuff since several years now. TangiBot is one of the latest initiatives in the hyped area of desktop fabrication. Citing Kickstarter you can TangiBot for 1.254 bucks directly shipped to your door worldwide. The TangiBot prints anything you can imagine out of ABS plastic (and PLA). ABS is the same plastic used in Lego. You can design your own parts using free tools like tinkerCAD.com or Google Sketchup.
Platforms like Tingiverse offer thousands of open source 3D printing designs for all kind of purposes, ranging from play figures to machinery parts.
Beside the hyped 3D printing technology other similar projects try to establish desktop assembly and fabrication. PopFab for example implements a portable multitool robot for assembly and processing steps such as drilling, painting or even customized toolheads.
We saw a lot of different hardware designs for 3D printers lately. Personal and customized fabrication of small items and sharing their fabrication plans is a real hype at the moment. I am really curious in what direction this personal fabrication movement will drift in the next years. Platforms such as Thingiverse offer a broad spectrum of creative-commons fabrication designs. Thousands of people are creating and sharing new fabrication designs every day.
Beside the classic 3D printing automatas, there are of course other methods like laser cutting, bending, milling, CNC drilling, painting, plotting or assembly automation. PopFab combines a lot of these fabrication methods within one portable fabrication multitool, which can take and use whatever tool you would like to assemble. It’s heart is a computer controlled motion platform which is designed to attach a multitude of different toolheads on it. Current toolheads allow 3D printing, milling, vinyl cutting and drawing. PopFab has already travelled the world from Saudi Arabia, Germany and the USA in its very handy carry-on box. Following video shows the drawing capabilities of PopFab in detail: