FABtotum is an all-in-one 3D printer, cutting, milling and engraving box of tricks which supports additive and subtractive manufacturing processes so you can both print and cut to create design prototypes/objects. It also incorporates a 3D scanner function for cloning real-world items to duplicate and remix. If all that sounds too good to be true it currently is, because the Italian startup behind this hybrid maker device is looking to raise a chunk of cash ($50,000) on Indiegogo to get the machine to market. The startup is also seeking investors alongside their crowdfunding campaign, having been privately funded since 2011. They are, however, well on their way to meeting their crowdfunding goal — with more than a month of the funding period still left to run.
“Most of the 3D printers out there allow a single direction: from a digital model to a printed part,” explains one of FABtotum’s two creators, Marco Rizzuto. “Those devices are also limited in flexibility and professional use since not everything can be done in polymers, even prototypes. We think that allowing people to scan objects with our hybrid 4 axis technology allow a seamless interaction between physical and digital models. You may pick an object and fax it to a friend, he can print it straight out or make some changes in any free or professional modelling software. You may use the subtractive capabilities of FABtotum to carve foams, PCB milling or other activities that designers, engineers and makers in general can integrate in their design workflow or hobbies.”
There’s some inevitable complexity in a multi-functional manufacturing device like this — so it will be a while before the average consumer is hankering for this type of hybrid. In the meantime there’s likely to be plenty of appetite among small businesses that need to make design prototypes, and makers wanting a more streamlined workshop. As one measure of appetite, in just over a week FABtotum’s Indiegogo campaign has raised more than $38,000 from 60 public backers.
Rizzuto names the main direct competitor devices to FABtotum as Microfactory’s workshop-in-a-box hybrid machine, and Aio Robotics 3D-faxing Zeus printer — due to land on Kickstarter next month — but says FABtotum will be undercutting both rival hybrid machines on price, and will also support customisation via third party “heads” so users can expand its capabilities to suit their needs.
The FABtotum supports laser scanning (for speed) and Z probing (for high res) 3D scanning methods. Its fused filament fabrication 3D print function offers Z precision of p to 0,47 microns. Build area volume is up to 210x240x240mm.
FABtotum’s makers are offering a $699 pledge price for a mechanical kit to convert an existing 3D printer to their hybrid, or $999 for the full FABtotum machine in kit form for self assembly. All early bird pledges of $849 for the full FABtotum machine (fully assembled) are gone — full price is now $1,099.