Arts / Technology

These 6 devices define Brooklyn’s additive manufacturing ecosystem

Brooklyn is making a whole suite of desktop manufacturing devices (provided you have a very large desk, in some cases). Here are the machines we're keeping tabs on.

Inside an abandoned factory. (Photo by Flickr user Michael Chen, used under a Creative Commons license)

With the opening of Bold Machines and the release of the Netflix original, Print the Legend, we’ve got desktop manufacturing on our minds.

Readers may not be aware of (or may not have thought about) all the things made in Brooklyn that make it possible to make amazing things on your desktop.

Here’s a rundown of the many 3D-printing systems that are coming out of Brooklyn.


1. MakerBot Z18

The leader here is the Stratasys subsidiary that was founded as its own company. It makes several devices, of course, but the Z18 is one of its professional models. The Z18 lets makers print big with a lot of detail. It starts at $6,499.


MakerBot Z18. (Image courtesy of MakerBot)


2. Solidoodle Press

Solidoodle also makes several printers, but it prides itself on being an entry-point system for regular people. So here is its most affordable model, the $449 Solidoodle Press. We visited the company’s HQ and factory in July.


Solidoodle Press. (Image courtesy of Solidoodle)


3. The Deltaprintr

This $685 device has a really unique look to it, and one of the features it touts is an expandable print volume. The company is working on a curriculum for school teachers. Its Kickstarter was one of the most oversubscribed in the borough.


The Deltaprintr. (From the company’s Facebook page)


4. gMax 3D Printer 

This printer is also all about large format and hacking. When we spoke to its inventor, he envisioned a day when the printer head could be switched out to hold, for example, a laser cutter or a rotary tool. Look for this system, starting at $1,295, to adapt with time. It was one of the first crowdfunding campaigns we picked up.


The gMax. (Photo courtesy of gMax)


5. The DIWire

The fact that the gMax sees a future beyond just additive printing is a good segue to this next device, a wirebender. Imagine you want something with considerably more structural strength than PLA can provide. Enter the DIWire, which can not only bend steel wire, but replicate that bend precisely, multipe times. We’re looking forward to cool projects where 3D printing and wire bending are mixed. This is one of the more recent successes out of Pensa Labs.


The DIWire wire bender. (From the Pensa Labs Facebook page)


6. The Squink

The most recent addition to this ecosystem and the only one that isn’t quite on the market yet. After narrowly making it through its crowdfunding campaign, the BotFactory team is finishing up development and working to get products shipped out to users. It’s not cheap, but if you have a company that wants to do something in the hardware space that involves a circuitboard, this could be gamechanging in terms of your iteration timeline.

Squink by BotFactory

Squink prototype. (Photo by Brady Dale)

Companies: BotFactory / Solidoodle / Pensa / gMax / MakerBot
Series: Brooklyn

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