Is the Rostock the coolest 3D printer yet?

We’ve been blown away over and over watching the magic of 3D printers at work, but I think this one has got me more excited than any other. It truly feels like watching a robot at work creating a model. First, take a look at it in action.

Amazing isn’t it?

It’s called the Rostock and it’s a creation of Johann Rocholl. Rather than the standard x-y-z system, it uses three arms attached on their own independently-driven, vertical axis. Each stepper motor has a belt that loops from top to bottom, moving an arm along two precision rods. And that scheme is what makes it fast as hell. Just watch this demonstration of it going to town. As is said in the video, no, this is not playing in fast motion:

The Rostock is not yet in production. Rocholl’s design goals of his Rostock are:

  • Footprint: 12×14 inches
  • Mass of end effector with two hotends: less than 150g
  • Positioning speed: 800 mm/s in all 3 directions
  • Positioning accuracy: at least 30 steps/mm in all 3 directions
  • Simplicity: fewer than 200 parts (not including washers, nuts and SMD-mounted electronics)
  • Hardware cost: less than $500 USD

Here’s a closeup of it in action:

And another:

And he’s shooting for $500!

Hat tip: SolidSmack