Functionality has become increasingly important with new printers, and I don’t just mean GUIs and slicing software. The FABtotum is also a milling machine and 3D scanner, and the Bukito is portable. But there was one function missing: 3D faxing. And the ZUES on Kickstarter can print, scan, copy, and fax.
I have to say this looks like an amazing machine. The concept is wonderful, 3D faxing, but the execution looks just top notch. AIO Robotics have really outdone themselves with the engineering and build of the ZUES. Having the printer platform double as the scanning turntable is incredibly convenient, and autocalibrating with a Z probe is the only way to make that feasible. And the autocalibrating ties in with the no-setup faxes. The recipient of a fax doesn’t have to do anything but approve the print; the software handles all the slicing and printing settings. This is intended to replicate the ‘out of the box’ experience that office electronics offer.
To achieve high degrees of reliability and consistency the AIO team tested a multitude of hardware configurations. They decided on using machined parts (as compared to plastic) and extra thick 12mm rods for the carriage. For increasing user friendliness a computer with a touch screen is built in, allowing users to insert an sD card or access files over wifi and slice them right on the machine. The Copy button does just as it should: an object is placed on the turntable, scanned, converted into a 3D printable format, and then it’s 3D printed. The ZUES does all the mesh generation, including repairing areas that didn’t scan correctly. Here are the specs:
Filament size: 1.75
Filament type: PLA
Machine size: 610mm x 406mm x 406mm
Build volume: 260mm x 180mm x 150mm
Max print speed: N/A
XY precision: N/A
Minimum layer thickness: 0.1mm
Other features: metal chassis, autocalibrating, 3D scanning, copying, and faxing, 7 inch touch screen
There are not many left at that price though, and it’ll be $2499 after those early birds are gone. It’s a great deal at either price as it’s cheaper than a MakerBot Replicator 2 + Digitizer.