The Kossel Clear – designed by Blue Eagle Labs – is a delta type 3D printer powered by an Arduino Mega 2560 that uses three stepper motors to control the kinematically linked effector for movement in the x,y,z axis.
“Deltas are known for faster and smoother movement over large print volumes,” the Blue Eagle Labs crew explained in a recently published Kickstarter post. “The heat bed is fixed, minimizing the printer’s footprint [and] allowing tall print jobs.”
Key hardware specs include a RAMPS printer shield, a 12v 5amp AC adapter (PLA only), with the ABS upgrade offering two volts and 360 watts with a 110/220 volt input selector. The stepper motors are Kysan nema 17s rated at 5.5 Kg/cm, while the LCD screen upgrade is plug and play.
The Kossel Clear promises an easy user experience, including auto calibration, design (supports Sketchup, Slicer, Blender and SolidWorks), slice (import and generate G-code), prep (load code onto printer via SD card or pronterface; preheat the bed) and print (post auto-calibration).
As Bits & Pieces previously reported, the rapidly growing DIY Maker Movement has used Atmel-powered 3D printers such as MakerBot and RepRap for quite some time now, although 3D printing has clearly entered a new and important stage over the last few months. Indeed, one Michigan Technological University researcher says he believes that personal manufacturing, much like personal computing before it, is about to enter the mainstream in a big way.
“For the average American consumer, 3D printing is ready for showtime,” Associate Professor Joshua Pearce explained. “3D printers [may] have been the purview of a relative few aficionados, but that is changing fast. The reason is financial: the typical family can already save a great deal of money by making things with a 3D printer instead of buying them off the shelf.”
As Pearce notes, open-source 3D printers for home use typically have price tags ranging from about $350 to $2,000.
“[Plus], you don’t need to be an engineer or a professional technician to set up a 3D printer,” said Pearce. “Some can be set up in under half an hour, and even the RepRap can be built in a weekend by a reasonably handy do-it-yourselfer.”
Pearce also emphasized that 3D printing likely heralds a new world in which consumers have many more choices – where nearly everything can be customized.
“With the exponential growth of free designs and expansion of 3D printing, we are creating enormous potential wealth for everyone,” he added. “It would be a different kind of capitalism, where you don’t need a lot of money to create wealth for yourself or even start a business.”