3D Printing & Imaging Workshop
Gigabot Proves Even 3D Printing is Bigger in Texas


After their wildy successful first Kickstarter back in 2013, re:3D’s latest iteration of Gigabot, an extra large 3D printer, is Open Gigabot, which currently has two days left on its Kickstarter campaign. The Open Gigabot files are being released on Wevolver, a social enterprise for open source hardware.

Make: spoke with re:3D Co-Founder Katy Jeremko about the ecological inspiration behind the jumbo-sized printers. She says that re:3D wanted to “allow individuals worldwide to 3D print composting toilets or other human-scale solutions from trash.” The team decided to focus on developing a toilet printer, now known as the Gigabot. (Jeremko mentioned that they later found 3D printing with trash to be extremely difficult!)

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In the past few months, we’ve seen a number of 3D printer companies releasing pint-sized, portable versions of their flagship printer. The Texas-based firm re:3D is going in the opposite direction — literally — with Gigabot, a cartesian printer boasting a 24″×24″×20″ build volume. The Gigabot is capable of some really impressive prints. Two models they had on display at South by Southwest alongside the printer were a full-sized inline four engine block, and a swatch of dinosaur skin, modeled for the sake of lost wax casting.

Gigabot is more than just a tech demo. It’s being sold right now on re:3D’s website starting at $5950 for the unbuilt kit. They also sell the printer as a completed machine, and if the massive print volume isn’t large enough for you, they also offer the Gigabot XL.

re:3D hasn’t just stretched out the rails in each direction and called it quits. Bigger prints mean longer print times, and they wanted to do everything they could to prevent print errors to cut down on wasted machine hours. The Gigabot has plenty of remote monitoring options, including low filament sensors that will pause the machine and wait for human intervention before continuing — a feature that should reduce the number of print failures. Printer errors on an eight hour print are frustrating. On a three day print, they’re downright heartbreaking.

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9 thoughts on “Gigabot Proves Even 3D Printing is Bigger in Texas

  1. The gigabot is a fascinating machine, the public library next to my apartment has one, along with a couple Makerbot Replicator’s, for public use. The GB’s software isn’t quite as polished as the makerbot’s, so it sees less use, but it’s there and available for the cost of filament.

    1. Thanks for sharing Bear Naff! We love seeing the project’s produced at the library and totally agree that Gigabot’s software interface could improve. Software considerations were the primary inspiration for OpenGB. We value your feedback, feel free to email engineering@re3d.org with your thoughts!

    2. The Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library is working on an upgraded software package to make the Gigabot much more user friendly, so check back with us soon. We’d like to see the Gigabot get just as much use as the other printers. Right now it’s mostly used for making engineering and consumer-goods prototypes, but there are plenty of items that can be customized and printed for use around the house. Plus, I’m waiting for the cosplay community to discover it’s here – awesome possibilities await!

      And I can’t pass up an opportunity to give a shout-out to re:3D for their customer service and support – absolutely fantastic. These guys are really great.

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Video producer for Make:, also tinkerer, motorcyclist, gamer. Reads the comments. Uses tools, tells stories. Probably a human. Tweets @photoresistor

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Sophia is the managing editor of the Make: blog. When she’s not greasing editorial gears, she likes to run, ride, climb, and lift things, and make lo-tech goods like zines, desserts, and altered clothing. @sophiuhcamille

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