Competition for Makerbot? Cubely jumped into the 3D printing scene this week at an Arizona Hackerspace meetup. Cubely, a RepRap derivative, hopes to produce a superior hobbyist 3D printer at low cost.
Cubely consists of four major components: Electronics, which they recommend purchasing from MakerBot, as they are "unfortunately" the sole supplier; Stepper motors from Interinar; Extruder assembly; Frame, made from 8020 extruded aluminum t-slots. Cubely says: "You are already less than 30 hours and less than $1,000.00 from successfully printing your first object."
Cubely says "unfortunate" regarding the MakerBot electronics because Cubely is an Open Hardware project under the Open Hardware License, which should permit the use of freely available components. Their objective is to produce a "fully capable" 3D printer for manufacturing or prototyping that is made from "standardized, commodity components that are widely available" at a cost of less than USD$1,000. Further, they limit the assembly time to less than thirty hours with a typical set of common tools.
All this and a goal of having 10,000 devices in production by the end of 2012! Their program is very ambitious, but will fully leverage crowdsourcing via the very open strategy. Will they succeed? Let's check back with them in several months, as they are clearly just starting out: their wiki pages are still mostly empty, ready for participants to assist.
Image Credit: JohnKit