It seems like a lifetime ago we started our indiegogo campaign to sell 100 eMAKER Huxley 3D printer kits. To date, over 300 kits have been shipped, and many are now successfully printing in both PLA and ABS, in many different colours.
As mentioned in my last post, we are pleased to have joined forces with Adrian Bowyer and his company to form RepRapPro, and launch a new campaign on indiegogo. For this, we are offering 100 kits with delivery due in time for Christmas. The 100 unit limit was set since this is the number of sets we feel we can print in the time. Unlike our previous campaign, however, we will not wait until the end of the campaign to place orders for components, but instead invest up front in order to meet our delivery target.
The purpose of this post is to present a product which many eMAKER Huxley owners have enquired about: Huxley kits without printed parts*. One of the selling points of RepRap is that one can print parts for a friend, enabling potentially exponential growth. This is only feasible with the availability of hardware kits to go with the printed parts.
So if you know someone who wants one of these great little 3D printers, and you want to print the parts for them, then lead them to our indiegogo campaign here.
But we also want to give our beta customers a little something extra: a PCB heatbed upgrade (1 per customer) in return for referring a friend to our campaign, who then goes on to buy a kit. In order to claim one of these you will need to follow these simple steps:
1. Register with indiegogo
2. Navigate to our indiegogo campagin
3. Copy the ‘Share this:’ link and provide it to your friend.
4. By clicking the link, indiegogo will record the referral for us.
One final note, if not all of the 100 Christmas kits are sold, then the numbers shipped will be made up from the January batch of hardware kits.
*Hardware kit: a full kit of parts including all hardware, pre-assembled electronics with microSD support, motors, heatbed, belts, pulleys, power supply and cord, and sample printing material. The only thing missing is the printed parts.
Two of the biggest names in low-cost open-source 3D printing are getting together: eMaker Ltd and RepRap Ltd.
Jean-Marc Giacalone’s company eMaker has already supplied over 300 RepRap self-replicating open-source 3D printers to the world. RepRap Ltd is Adrian Bowyer’s family company. Adrian invented RepRap, and he is the person who started the global revolution in low-cost open-source 3D printing.
These two men, and their two companies, have pooled their resources to form a new joint enterprise: RepRapPro Ltd. The new company will be mass-marketing RepRap 3D printers, running a 3D print bureau using them, and organizing training and education in all things RepRap.
Sally Bowyer is the third member of the team. Under Sally’s supervision as Production Manager, RepRap Ltd has printed over 250 sets of RepRap parts for sale to the community.
She said, “The two companies have been collaborating informally for some time. We have now decided to form a new bigger joint company so that we can expand more quickly. Open-source has been a solid business proposition in the software industry for years. The growth of RepRap shows that it works brilliantly for hardware too. RepRapPro and both its parent companies are dedicated to the idea of freely shared technical information that RepRap embodies.”
In addition to being a director of RepRapPro, Adrian Bowyer is also a senior lecturer at Bath University in the UK. He said, “I started RepRap six years ago as pure academic research, just to see if the idea of a public free self-replicating manufacturing machine might work. It has succeeded far beyond any bounds that would have seemed reasonable at its inception, and so I now spend my whole research time on this one project. Indeed, I shall retire from the university next summer so that I can devote all my energies to RepRap worldwide and to RepRapPro Ltd.”
The new company is running a RepRap 3D-printer campaign for Christmas on IndieGoGo.com. Jean-Marc Giacalone said, “We ran a similar campaign this summer to sell $30,000 worth of RepRaps. We ended up selling $159,000 worth of them. RepRap has a habit of growing exponentially…”
RepRap Professional Ltd, 106 Old England Way, Peasedown St John, Bath BA2 8SW, UK.
After two stressful weeks unable to ship, we have finally received the parts we’ve been waiting for and can now ship 40 more kits. These will go out on Monday, with another 60 soon after.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been so patiently waiting for their eMAKER Huxley 3D printer kit. And if you’re still wondering when we’ll be contacting you regarding shipping, then you’ve missed the email! In which case, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Crowd funding campaign update
Since the end of our indiegogo crowd funding campaign at the end of June this year, we have been working flat out to deliver on our promise to ship 300+ eMAKER Huxley 3D printer kits. Despite some challenges, we have now shipped about half the kits, and are on track to complete all shipments by early October.
Last week saw us reach a record of 30 kits shipped in one day, so despite getting up to a week behind schedule, we have almost clawed that time back.
One of the aims of these RepRap 3D printer kits was to try and make 3D printing technology more accessible and affordable. The term plug’n'play RepRap has been bandied about, and I was initially reluctant to use that phrase myself, but the recent weeks have proven that the eMAKER Huxley is a big step towards that goal. Many of the beta Huxleys have now been assembled, and people have reported good quality with little to no tuning required. The instructions have required a number of updates, however that is one of the great things about running a beta program and empowering the community to contribute: the product is ever evolving and improving. Our forums provide a great communications channel for feedback, as well as recording a wealth of information about the assembly and use of the machine.
The beta program also enabled us to identify weaknesses in the design of the printed parts, and changes have been gradually incorporated into the official design.
Huxleys in the wild
We know of a handful of eMAKER Huxleys having been successfully commissioned, and we hope to soon see evidence of over 300 of them printing successfully. A youtube search for eMAKER Huxley yields the following (among others):
Users have also uploaded images of their prints in our forum, which you can find here. A selection is shown below
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who believed in this product and supported us by funding a kit, as well as getting involved with giving feedback and supporting others in our forums and through the #emaker IRC channel on freenode. It is so great to see people getting good prints from their eMAKER Huxley machine and getting so excited about what they can print.
We still have over 150 kits to ship, but we also have an aggressive development plan to keep improving the machine and process, so watch this space!
With only a few days to go before our first shipment, I’m sure many of you will be as excited as we are to soon be receiving your eMAKER Huxley 3D printer kit. We have faced many challenges over the last few weeks, dealing with suppliers from all over the world to bring together parts for over 300 3D printer kits.
Between sourcing, printing and packing, eMAKER Huxley 4 has finally been assembled and commissioned, built from the same bill of materials which will make up each of the 300+ kits. The only tuning required was to set the extruder steps per mm to suit the CNC manufactured hobbed stud, followed by printing something which is not a machine part: a whistle.
We are now in a position to publish the firmware which will be programmed into the Atmega 644p microcontrollers shipped with the kits. For those of you interested in having a look, you will find it on github here. The firmware is essentially the same as Sprinter, with a couple of minor additions to make it easier to finely adjust the bed height of the machine using software rather than mechanically moving the limit switch.
On the host side, we have a cosmetically different, but functionally very similar version of Pronterface, which you will find on github here.
Assembly instructions have been slow in coming, but will be completed in the next few days. All of these have been published on wiki pages on this site. I’m sure that with so many people assembling from the same kit, new and better ways of assembling the machine will be discovered, and I hope that people will be keen to get involved and update these wiki pages for the benefit of future eMAKER Huxley users. I’m sure there will be people with better camera and lighting than we have used in the photos too.