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!)
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.