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PandaBot front shot
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PandaBot preview video
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Minimalist design with just a hint of manufacturing detail
Another extrusion-based 3D printer joins the race for your money in the form of the PandaBot from Panda Robotics. Based in Seattle and Toronto, the company is aiming to be the friendly face of 3D printing, just like the Panda itself is the friendly face of bears. Kinda.
The team has been creating their prototype from 9 months (a more humanlike gestation than an actual Panda, which carries its young for between 135-145 days) in order to bring a 'manufactured product' to market. By this, the team means that the PandaBot is designed to arrive pre-assembled without the need for your toolbox to see the light of day. It is, the team claims on Kickstarter, self-calibrating to further reduce the need for user intervention (and associated human error). To quote them: "With a capacitive sensing heated build bed, our printer knows where the head is vertically and automatically calibrates itself in software."
As you can see from the images, the minimal white design is particularly fitting for a trendy design office, but would be at home on many a desk, workbench or trestle. The heated build platform can reach a searing 120°C, and without any enclosure you'll do well to remember to keep your fingers clear. The rigid frame should help with accurate reproduction of parts — with the team claiming that they moved from the back of a taxi to printing live on natinal TV in less than five minutes...
Full details on the project are available from Kickstarter. At the time of writing the project was funded to $30,000 of it's $50,000 target.