is most definitely evolving thanks in large part to innovations in the 3D printing
world, and a company called Mebotics is looking to take things a step further with the Microfactory, an all-in-one machine that etches, 3D prints, and mills.
The unit is small and light enough to rest on a tabletop or desk, and it’s also designed to run quietly and mess-free enough that it won’t disturb your downstairs neighbors or roommate while you’re working.
The Microfactory has a fully-functional onboard computer complete with WiFi, USB, and Ethernet connections that allow for a variety of ways to control it (i.e., remotely) and input data and designs, and all of the software is open source
. Because the four-man team that built the Microfactory are true makers at heart, the machine is designed so that others can create and implement other “heads” to enable more ways to create.
It houses four print heads that can print in layered colors, and as you can see in the video, it also hold jigs for etching and milling. There’s also a big red emergency shutoff button, a vacuum port that accommodates a standard shop vac, fully-enclosed moving parts for safety, and more.
If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because the Microfactory is currently just a prototype--and for as innovative and exciting as the thing may be, you can see that it very much looks like a prototype. The team is looking to raise a cool million
on Kickstarter to perfect the machine, hire more engineers, and put it into production. If all goes according to plan, Microfactory 1.0 will ship next October.