I'm currently in a motel room, 2 blocks from the awesome San Jose Tech Shop. We've been working hard in preparation for the Bay Area Maker Faire, and we have something very cool to share with you.
OpenBeam had been involved in the 3D Printing community for a very long time. We've been leveraging our growing logistics capabilities to import high quality motion components and supplying them to local 3D printer developers. In fact, the first few meters of OpenBeam in existence was actually handed to Johann Rocholl at the 2012 Seattle Mini Maker Faire. The design would evolve into what we call the Kossel 3D printer today, named after Albrecht Kossel - a prominent biologist from Johann's hometown of Rostock, Germany. (See how the dots connect?)
In September of 2012, OpenBeam started the development work on a more robust and easier to mass manufacture version of the Kossel, which we later called Kossel Pro with Johann's blessings. The design went through multiple iterations. At times our design drifted apart from Johann's developmental roadmap, but towards the end, the two designs started converging again. Serious prototyping started in January of this year. It was an on-and-off development; after all I still have my engineering day job that pays the bills, and we are going through a product launch there as well. Supply chain issues had also hampered my ability to throw significant amount of resources at the 3D printer development.
We now have enough confidence to launch a 3D Printer Kickstarter, to raise money for capital expenditures for injection mold tooling and metal stamping tooling for parts. As a courtesy to OpenBeam supporters, I am sharing out a preview of the kickstarter here, so that people can be aware of the early bird specials.
We intend to launch the project at approximately 2pm Pacific Time, on May 17th. (Pending reliable internet connection on the road). We will also be showing a prototype of this printer, as well as a prototype of the OpenBeam Reference Mendel - our interpretation of the classic "Mendel" 3D printer, at the Bay Area Maker Faire. Feel free to drop by at the Metrix Open Hardware Alliance Booth (Booth # 514) in the South Expo Hall. See you there! :-)