Adding to the existing Gigabot family, the Gigabot X is a “cheaper, faster, & greener” solution using pelletized feedstock, and marks the company’s “first step at creating a truly affordable, large-scale 3D printer that can print using recyclables.”
According to Matthew Fiedler, Co-Founder and Head of Technology at re:3D,
“As a social enterprise working in the technology space, we could find no greater benefit than to allow people to recycle materials and solve their own problems with customized 3D printed solutions.”
Recycle as you 3D print
re:3D was founded in 2013 by Fielder and CEO Samantha Snabes as a pioneer of large format, affordable 3D printing using recycled filament. Five years later, the company have come one step closer to creating a fully functional closed loop system for 3D printing with plastic waste.
Unlike re:3D’s previous systems that use filament feedstock, the Gigabot X takes a pelletized material. Plastic pellets for the feed can be made by grinding up waste plastic, much easier than the filament making process that in many cases would require pre-extrusion.
The pelletized form also makes material up to 10 times cheaper than the filament equivalent, the intent is to make the Gigabot X an all-round more economical system to use.
Gigabot X perks
Kickstarter perks for the Gigabot X are available from $25 up to $9,500. Money raised will be used to support re:3D in further development and production of the Gigabot X 3D printer, which is scheduled for shipping November 2018.
$9,500 will earn backers an exclusive Gigabot X Beta 3D printer. Pay grades in between offer supporters a range of 3D printing workshops from re:3D and the early bird option to purchase a pellet conversion kit for the Gigabot 3+.
“Kickstarter backers can buy this printer knowing that in the future this is still going to be the necessary printing tool,” adds Fiedler, “The other parts of the Gigabot X family are going to allow you to do the recycling.”
Current technical specifications for Gigabot X
Presently, the Gigabot X has a build volume of 2 ft x 2 ft x 2 ft and experimental operating speeds up to “17x faster than the filament-fed Gigabot.” It is capable of working with any granular plastic feedstock that melts at temperatures up to and below 300°C, and supports pellet mixing.
As with all re:3D 3D printers, the Gigabot X is also open source, so users are free to modify the 3D printers for specific needs.
“Since quitting our jobs supporting NASA, we have been working with the open-source community and thinking hard about the multiple technical innovations required for direct pellet extrusion,” comments Snabes.
“As a bootstrapped company we’re honored to share our progress with Kickstarter, the SXSW community, and all those who share our values as we pioneer the next generation of affordable, large-scale 3D printers.”
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Featured image shows Gigabot 3D prints. Photo via re:3D