As people get excited about 3D printing, more and more of them decide to toss their hats in the ring and get into the business themselves. While these companies aren’t likely to worry 3D Systems or Stratasys anytime soon, the start-ups tend to offer machines targeted to special purposes or, increasingly, the home market.
Operating out of a modest office in Brooklyn, NY, Buildatron is innovating its way into the workshops of hobbyists and 3D printer enthusiasts. Buildatron currently offers two printers, both based on the Prusa Mendel RepRap open source machine, which uses fused deposition modeling. According to the company’s website, Buildatron intends to create machines to fuel the home and small business 3D printing revolution.
Buildatron’s newest product is the Buildatron 2. The machine uses 12 LM8UU bearings, which are intended to give the printer a smooth X, Y, Z build trajectory with a placement accuracy of 0.0125mm. Intended for home use, the printer has a reasonable footprint measuring 21.65. x 23.25 x 16.5 in. (550 x 590 x 420mm) and weighs around 15.5 lbs (7.0 kg). The build envelope is 8 x 8 x 5.5 in. (200 x 200 x 140mm).
Along with a PCB heated bed, the Buildatron 2 comes in a .40 in. thick aluminum case that has been designed for ease of use. According to the company, replacing filament is as easy as lifting the magnetic hood and dropping in a new spool. The extruder is capable of working with either 1.75mm or 3mm plastic filament. The company sells and promotes PLA (bioplastic) as a green alternative to ABS for use with its machine.
On the software front, the printer uses an in-house developed version of netfabb Studio Basic and a standard printer interface. Most standard CAD files are supported and the printer can be attached to a computer by USB. Buildatron even offers a number of links where customers can find pre-made files ready to print.
Not quite as inexpensive as other home printers we’ve covered, the price seems reasonable for the product. A fully assembled printer arrives at your home for $2,499, while a DIY kit is a bit easier on the wallet at $1,599. The build envelope is what to consider for the price here. Less expensive systems usually top out at around a 5 x 5 x 4 in. envelope and the resolution isn’t quite as good.
Below you’ll find a video featuring the Buildatron 2.