We’re looking at a new product launch, the GAIA Multitool, which is far more than just a 3D printer.
Externally, the GAIA Multitool appears to be a standard delta-style 3D printer, but the key feature is the ability to change print heads. The project enables these making options:
- A ceramics-extruding 3D print head that can be used with a small or large cartridge, or even an external 10L tank for massive ceramic prints.
- A standard 0.4mm plastic-extrusion 3D print head with options for handling both 3mm and 1.75mm filament.
- An etching head with diamond stylus that permits 2D engraving on glass and metal.
- A blade that can cut through 2D surfaces, typically used for cutouts and adhesive vinyl cutting.
- A marker pen for precise 2D drawings.
- A low-power laser for basic 2D engraving (and possibly cutting light materials).
- A CNC mill attachment for 2D and 3D milling.
That sounds like a lot, and it is. In fact, the initial version of the GAIA Multitool does not yet offer the CNC Mill, which is “Not Included With Device”.
The ceramic build surface is heated, meaning the plastic extrusion attachment can handle exotic plastics, or at least ABS, anyway.
Two other features we found interesting were: auto calibration to level the print surface, which is a huge time saver. Secondly, the GAIA Multitool also has panels that enclose the entire build area. This is not only important to capture heat generated by the heated print bed to eliminate warps, but also to catch flying debris when the CNC Mill is in operation.
The GAIA Multitool comes in three sizes:
- MINI: 200mm diameter, 200mm height
- STANDARD: 300mm diameter, 360-400mm height, depending on toolhead)
- MAXX: 450mm diameter, 1050mm height! That’s over a meter tall!
We cannot stress enough how important a multi-tool machine can be. While you can certainly make all kinds of interesting stuff with a 3D printer, the real value comes when you can combine the output of a 3D printer with parts made from other making processes. This device seems to have a lot of them in one unit, potentially simplifying and supercharging any maker’s workshop.
The price of the GAIA Multitool depends on which unit you choose, with higher prices for the larger models. Here’s the current pricing from their Kickstarter page:
- GAIA MINI: USD$1,550 (and rising to USD$2,990 as units are sold)
- GAIA STANDARD: USD$3,990 (rising to USD$5,190)
- GAIA MAXX: USD$8,890
Yes, these prices are somewhat more than you’d see from other 3D printer manufacturers, but remember: this is a MULTITOOL. It’s like buying several machines all at once.