Saturday, August 21, 2010

Botmill just changed the game again.

I am blown away.

Spent all night thinking about the Mk5 extruder and how it changes the game.

Then I go onto the RepRap Wiki.

I notice Botmill had updated the Buying guide.

And I see this:

$1245, fully assembled Mendel, (or unassembled $945) printed on a professional printer, only lacking motors and electronics!

Ohh I forgot to mention, it is available in Blue Black Green Yellow, and Red.

How big is that?  1 year of blogging and I have never changed font size, I had to go and find out how to do it :)

Why is this big?  I mean seriously you can get RP parts from Ebay for $200-$300, and the rod and bearing set for $200, and the Thick sheets for $35.  So you can get basically everything that is in this kit $945 kit for $550 is you shop around.

It's big because these parts are not printed on a RepRap, they are printed on a professional grade printer, aka you know the quality will be as good as the top 5% of our hobby.  The lowest cost that these parts could be found for before this was from Protovantage for $1500, dropping that price to effectively $700 is mind blowing ($945-$35-$200).

Also given that they are likely sourceing the parts from a factory, part availableity should not be as much of an issue.  Also, from what I have heard and seen Botmill has improved in the last few weeks.  I no longer see the unresolved customer service issues, and they are much more active than they where at one point in the wiki, IRC, and forum.  I still see confusion on their electroncis, but you see confusion on all electroncis.

What a week.  To think in the past few weeks these things have happened:

$35 6lb rolls of ABS, confirmed to be reliably printable (I have printed with Mk4 extruder Makerbot.  If it will print there, it will print anywhere!)

China joins the Game with a $1500 (to start) folded steel RepStrap, that uses a heated build plate and stepper out of the box, and news is they will be adding Paypal payment soon.

BTW they are now posting pics over at Thingiverse, lets hope they share designs (and posting on the wiki too, might make us all much more comfortable with them (even if it's only a little).

X-axis prototype, motorized, originally uploaded by prusajr.

Prusa Mendel

Prusajr's doing a wonderful job cutting down the printed mass on Mendel, he posted a video of it over here.

If you haven't been keeping up the Mendel Part's "Generation 6" electronics, They are estimating there electronics price as being $175 with their opto end stop cables.

It's been a heck of a few weeks, has any noticed that the pace of expansion/improvement in this hobby is accelerating at a incredible rate?


  1. I hadn't heard about the botmill stuff or the ABS price drop (I got a roll of that 3d ink stuff for about that much on ebay, but it's only 4.5 lb IIRC).

    I've been watching the prusa design (not sure about the bushings, but that's how the x-axis drive belt should have been all along) and the gen 6 electronics (was there ever even a PROPOSAL for a fifth generation? I can't find one) closely. With all of these changes going on, I'm thinking of pulling out what's already usable from my parametric mini redesign and throwing those pieces onto thingiverse for use in the existing designs, and moving in a different direction.

    I like the ultimaker design, and I've been thinking a lot about the idea I threw out earlier for a repstrap that is built with minimal parts inside whatever box the builder can find (an old PC case being ideal, as it comes with an appropriate PSU and other potentially useful parts). With careful use of printed parts, it should be possible to make a cartesian bot with construction not much more difficult than mendel for $100 (assuming, as the mendel page on the reprap wiki does, that printed parts can be obtained at cost).

  2. Ohh I know some people know about these developments, I just like pointing it out for the more casual viewers. :)

    I love this hobby.

  3. Beware Botmill. Going into the 10th week since they accepted payment in full and still no printer, no refund and no tracking number. I am completely outraged by their handling of my order and am beginning to think that they are nothing but common criminals.

  4. I know this thread is old, if you are considering Botmill please read this first:,110802

    In short: Avoid Botmill like the plague!!!

  5. Austria joined the game :)