FABtotum Personal Fabricator does more than 3D print

fabtotum 3d printer

Another 3D printer campaign just launched on Indiegogo, and this one really is different. I usually point out some of the minor differences between existing 3D printers and whichever new one I’m featuring, but the FABtotum on Indiegogo is on another level. In addition to 3D printing, it also mills and 3D scans.

I don’t feel that I’m terribly overestimating the machine’s capabilities when I say that the FABtotum will serve as a portable fablab. 3D printing, while incredibly powerful, is only one tool in the makers utility belt. Subtractive processes like milling and drilling have their own unique benefits. The FABtotum can cut, 4-axis machine and engrave light materials, and mill PCB boards, so you could make your own circuit boards. On top of all that, it 3D scans with two different modes: laser for a quick scan and a Z touch probe digitizer for higher quality. That means you could hand model something in clay, 3D scan it, and then print or mill it. Or you could print something, scan it, and then mill it. Or mill, scan, then print it. All with one machine.

Here are some of its technical specs:

  • Size: 366x366x366mm
  • Printing volume (additive): 210x240x240mm (24% size-to-build ratio in additive mode)
  • Milling Volume (Subtractive): 210x240x[your milling bit height] mm
  • Scan volume (optical/digitalizer): as much as accesible (up to printing volume depending on the object shape)
  • Scan Angular resolution: from 83 to 133 steps/degree in 1/16th microstepping mode.
  • CMOS sensor: 1024×768 or above.
  • 4th axis Milling angular resolution: as “Scan Angular resolution”
  • Z precision: 0,00047mm (0,47 microns)
  • Additive materials: PLA,ABS; built in protected material storage/coil.
  • Subtractive materials: with onboard motor: Foam, Balsa, Plywood, thin Aluminium, brass alloys (PCB layer).
  • Additive head: 0.35, 0.45 or 0.5mm nozzle, Bowden extruder.
  • Subtractive tool: Onboard 30 Watt spindle. standard milling bits (3.25mm diam.)
  • Additional tool: space for tools up to 60mm mounting diameter.
  • Acquisition method: Laser Scanner (line laser) and Z digitizer probe
  • Other systems: mechanical homing endstops, vacuum cleaner port.
  • I/O: USB

That’s 47 micron layers and a good size build volume too. You’ll notice the “additional tool” mentioned; the makers of FABtotum are encouraging the open source community to develop other functions into the machine. Third-party tools like laser and plasma cutters will likely be developed and commercialized. Oh, and the price! A kit can be reserved for $699 and a fully assembled and tested FABtotum can be had for $1099. That’s what I call accessible.

fabtotum comparison

  • Spencer

    They consistently say 0.47 microns, but that can’t be right, can it? I can’t imagine getting half micron layers with a 350 micron nozzle. They must mean 47 micron=0.047mm, right?

    I have to say, getting the spec sheet wrong like that doesn’t inspire much confidence.

    • Spencer

      Marco Rizzuto kindly provided me with an explanation for how they get the 0.47µm “z resolution”, which is not directly related to the achievable layer thickness. Good clarification!

      the Z resolution is just the max resolution you can obtain.
      since a nema17 motor works at 200 steps/revolution, the controller is working in 1/16th microstepping and the Z transmission is a 3mm pitch leadscrew with 2:1 transmission:

      3mm/200*16*2 = 0,000467 = approx 0.47 microns. (less than half a micron)

      Z layer resolution is just a theoretical value used to show that the machine has the capability on paper to reach that resolution.

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