Another 3D printer startup has shown up on Kickstarter: The RigidBot by Michael Lundwall of Utah. As there are so many small 3D printer startups recently, any new entrants must distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack.
How does RigidBot do that? They have a couple of interesting advantages, one being expandability. They say:
The RigidBot 3D design is fully expandable in the X, Y and Z directions. Using the injection molded plastic joints, you can adjust the size by swaping out the metal bars with longer or shorter ones (available at any hardware store or on our future online store).
There's probably some limits to this, either due to the mechanics of the design or your ability to wait for the completion of super-gigantic 3D prints. Regardless, you can make this device have a massive build volume.
Another advantage is assembly. While they sell the RigidBot fully assembled, you can also purchase a kit. They say you can assemble the device in less than an hour:
The roller bearings simply snap into their respective components making it easy to assemble. The electronics are all pre-tested and ready to run. You just need to install them into their correct locations, add a few motors and hardware, and you are done! With a little calibration you are ready to print.
But the big differentiation emphasis is on price. Their Kickstarter page includes detailed comparison charts between RigidBot and the MakerBot Replicator 2. The two versions of RigidBot, priced at USD$499 and USD$899 appear far less expensive than the Replicator 2's USD$2199.
While the other specs shown in the comparison (obviously) favor RigidBot, all is not what it seems. Do you really need a larger build chamber? Our experience is that the larger the print, the longer it takes (and often fantastically longer) and the more likelihood of failure. We very rarely use a large build volume. Other considerations when comparing these devices include the level of support provided by the vendor, which likely differ between the two.
Regardless, the RigidBot looks like a very interesting option for those seeking big prints at a very low cost.