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  1. #1
    Administrator Eddie's Avatar
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    3-in-1 3D printer / CNC Machine / Laser Engraver - Coming soon starting under $500

    Just yesterday we learned of a machine called the BuildersBot which encorporated CNC machining with 3D printing. Today there comes news of a 3-in-1 machine that adds Laser Engraving to the mix. A man named Samer Najia has developed this machine which will be capable of 3D printing, CNC machining, and laser engraving. It only cost him about $200 to build, and he plans to sell them in the $400-$500 range. It seems like more and more of these all-in-one devices are starting to come about. I knew that it was only a matter of time. People that like to 3D print also like to do other things like CNC routing, engraving, etc.

    Read more about Najia's machine at http://3dprint.com/6202/3-in-1-3d-printer-cnc-machine/

    What do you think?

  2. #2
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    It's not that no one was wanted to do this, I think the outcome will be questionable. Shavings from milling will cause problems with 3D printing. Smoke from a laser might also cause problems with 3D printing.

    Also, using a cantilever arm for milling is questionable. It should be a gantry, in my opinion. There is a very good reason most CNC routers use gantry mechanisms, even if they are only intended to hold 1/8" engraving bits.

    A mechanism rigid enough for even light milling will likely weigh down and reduce the effective 3D printing speed and quality.

  3. #3
    I think this is a great concept, but I think the main issue will be dust control from the CNC portion. It might be best to include some form of blower pipes or extraction pipes into the design. I have a Carvewright machine and it produces a lot of dust and needs constant cleaning of it's sensors. Keeping the mechanism clean will be crucial to do laser and 3D work after milling any material. But for hobbyists it might be a great 3in1 machine.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Roxy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robboz4 View Post
    I think this is a great concept, but I think the main issue will be dust control from the CNC portion. It might be best to include some form of blower pipes or extraction pipes into the design. I have a Carvewright machine and it produces a lot of dust and needs constant cleaning of it's sensors. Keeping the mechanism clean will be crucial to do laser and 3D work after milling any material. But for hobbyists it might be a great 3in1 machine.
    Even if the printer has to pause while it waits for the user to clean up the shavings before continuing with the printing part of the process... That is still great. It enables a whole new class of parts to be made.

  5. #5
    Staff Engineer LambdaFF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRDM View Post
    A mechanism rigid enough for even light milling will likely weigh down and reduce the effective 3D printing speed and quality.
    I definitely agree with JRDM. The design options for milling and fast 3D printing are quite different and not really compatible on that cost range. But the mix laser / printer would be nice.

  6. #6
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    That thing's not going to work too well, or for very long. While 3D printers can be constructed of light materials and be forgiving of flimsiness, CNC mills and routers cannot, and are not. Cut quality on a machine like that will be horrible. And the use of a Dremel tool as a spindle must be a joke - it wasn't designed to run continuously for hours at a stretch, which is often required for 3D milling operations.

    Andrew Werby
    www.computersculpture.com

  7. #7
    Technician f.larsen's Avatar
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    I like the concept, I just feel that putting this into practice isn't as simple as it looks. My biggest fear on one of my oldest machines, my prusa mendel is wobble, oh man. When that thing gets going on infill it shakes. It's triangular with bracing where needed to keep it under control. So with that in mind the only thing I see happening is a extremely slow 3d printer/router. Even the slightly oscillation from a spinning bit would give you highly inaccurate milling. There is a reason for milling machines to cost so much, stability and torque.

    I will hold off final judgement when examples come out, but it seems to much like a dream that won't quite work out everybody wants it to, not for 500 dollars at least.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Roxy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awerby View Post
    That thing's not going to work too well, or for very long. While 3D printers can be constructed of light materials and be forgiving of flimsiness, CNC mills and routers cannot, and are not. Cut quality on a machine like that will be horrible. And the use of a Dremel tool as a spindle must be a joke - it wasn't designed to run continuously for hours at a stretch, which is often required for 3D milling operations.
    I understand what you are saying! But with that said... There are a lot of times where a 30 second Dremel operation on what I'm printing could drastically simplify the part and print. It sure would be nice to have some 'extra' capability within the command of the printer!

  9. #9
    Technician f.larsen's Avatar
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    Roxy, I get the feeling that you won't be able to use any of them at the same time. He isn't writing any additional software, just using off the shelf Repetier Host and a tweaked firmware, that I would assume is from Repetier or Marlin.

    His excitement got the better of him at the moment.

    - It would work good as a 3d printer.

    - I agree that running a dremmel for any length of time is not recommended, they get hot in my hands. And because it's a seperate piece of hardware, it would have to be manually turned off and on, unless you used relays and coded that into the firmware, but then trying to get Repetier Host to understand this additional hardware would be interesting (and fun for myself), or as he says he's doing is hooking up a LCD, so that there is no need to control software that is external. So that's a possibility. Still have to code it in.

    - Lasers aren't just plug and play. In theory, yes. They require clean power, hefty heatsinks and safety, because it's a fricken laser. A laser for simple engraving would easily run off of the power provided by the Sanguinololu board mentioned, it would have to be regulated and metered. Somebody help me out here, does Repetier have a 'laser' setting? I guess it's not up to the Repetier host, it relies on the slicer and what gcode is being output. He mentions "LittleBox" as a possible laser engraver that comes with the machine, still wondering if he is going to integrate that code into the firmware.

    I feel this is an ambitious idea that needs to be thought out more.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Roxy's Avatar
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    Yeah, your point is well taken. The amount of software to adapt the printer and tools to do things is going to be a huge effort. It is easy to say "Yeah... That could work!" But to actually get everything done and working together is going to be some effort. I hope it happens!!! But for now, I'll just make do with my 3D-Printer.

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