This Modular 3D Printer Handles 3D Print, CNC, and Laser Cutting
Makers everywhere have more opportunities to build, design, and create than they ever did before. With relatively low-cost 3D printers, Raspberry Pi, and Arduino everywhere, it’s easier than ever to find and acquire the tools to make highly professional things, whatever they are. Unfortunately for smaller shops and hobbyists, it can be too expensive to pursue all of your passions, and if that’s you, Febtop Tech has something for you. The Febtop Tech Optimus is a 3D printer, but it can be dissassembled and reassembled ot create a CNC machine and a laser cutter.
The Optimus smashed through a $50,000 IndieGoGo goal in February, and the company behind it, Febtop Tech, is already manufacturing the first 50 models. More importantly, Febtop Tech is an established 3D print company, with a history of creating delta-style 3D printers, and even a 3D printing app. They already know what they’re doing, and they have the means to bring this to market.
So What is the Optimus
The Febtop Tech Optimus is quite literally a 3D printer, CNC machine (milling) and laser cutter, which can be purchased as one of the above, or all three.
3D Print – The Optimus features a 24cm x 30cm diameter print volume, allowing you to print small objects and parts.
CNC – A 50 cm x 50 cm CNC table allows you to mill designs using cad/cam. However, with a 3-axis design, you won’t have the full functionality of a larger system.
Laser Cutting – The optional laser head allows you to laser cut designs, using the horizontal cartesian configuration.
All-In-One – If you purchase the all-in-one model of the Optimus , it takes just 10 minutes to switch between configurations to go from 3D print to laser to CNC. The full set costs $1,679, and features a solid metal build and catesian parts that allow it to be changed quickly and easily without damaging the parts. Febtop claims to have taken apart and reassembled their prototype over 500 times with no visible damage to the system. They also posted photos and video of people standing and jumping on it to prove its strength.
Self-Calibration – The Febtop Tech Optimus is supposed to be smart enough that it can tell which form it is in, and then calibrate itself accordingly. This would be very important for builds, because the machine would have to know the exact dimensions of the build in order to work properly. However, with self-calibration based on pre-programmed dimensions, there is very little room for error.
Body – The Optimus 3D printer features a sturdy aluminum body with 12mm steel rods and 12mm timing belts to increase durability. This is very necessary, as the process of teardown and reconstruction would cause considerable wear and tear on a standard 3D printer.
The Optimus features a dual 32-bit system, WiFi, USB, and Ethernet connections, and U-Driver and SD Card storage. These allow you to easily move data to and from the printer, making it easy to move from step to step of a design by simply swapping an SD card out, or by simply transferring it over WiFi or Ethernet.
At 39 x 35 x 65 cm in size, the Optimus is a desktop printer, perfect for hobbyists, and
Laser: Features a 500mW, 2W, 5W or 10W laser diode and a 50 x 50 cm work space. The laser can cut or engrave metal, foam, latex, plywood, leather, and cardboard.
Printer: Features layer resolution of 50-300 microns, a 24 x 30 cm print bed, and an optional heated print bed. The printer works with PLA, ABS, PETG, PC, and HIPS printing filament. You can also exchange nozzles within a few minutes.
Automatic Leveling – The Optimus auto-calibrates and levels when you first set it up in a new configuration to ensure that the print works properly.
Print volume – 24cm x 30cm
Print speed – 18 mm³/s (0.4mm nozzel)
Print head travel speed – 20 to 360 mm/s
Layer resolution – 50 microns – 300 microns (0.4mm nozzel)
Filament size – 1.75mm
Nozzle temperature – up to 295 ˚C
Build bed (Optional) – 20 ˚C to 100 ˚C heated bed with PEI cover
Printable materials – Without heated bed, PLA. With heated bed, ABS, PET, HIPS and more.
Operating sound – 40 dBA
OS – Windows, MAC, Linux
File format – gcode
Connectivity – USB, SD, WIFI, Touch screen
Voltage – 110v or 220v
Weight – 16kg
The Optimus is not a professional machine, but it is a hobby machine that could save regular makers a lot of money. For example, with a max price of $1,650 for the all-in-one machine, you could save $3,000 or more over the cost of buying each individually. Plus, with one machine with three functions, you can do more with a small home setup, even if you don’t have room for 3 different machines.
While we have yet to see the Optimus in action, it looks like it could be the perfect home 3D printer for designers who want to do more than just print.