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Makerarm wants to 3D print, plot, and carve its way into your heart


If you want to do 3D filament printing, resin printing, carving, plotting, laser etching, and fabrication all at once, that'd get pretty expensive. However, there's now a product called Makerarm that does all of that. It mounts on your desk to let you make nearly anything and will even assemble all the parts. At least, that's the theory, because as a Kickstarter campaign, it's not a real product yet. Still, it shows lots of promise. Unlike a similar product, the Flux 3D printer, it's a free-swinging arm, meaning it can build fairly large objects and has more functionality with all its interchangeable heads.

Specifically, it can 3D print with both filament and resin, do light-duty milling, and carve plastics, wood and soft metals. Other functions include pen plotting, laser engraving on materials like wood and leather, picking and placing (using suction cups, electromagnetic heads or grippers), assembly with heads that can glue and screw, and PCB fab with automated soldering. It also has a large work area (15.7 inches long by 31.4 inches wide by 10 inches high), can auto-level itself, is trainable and can work in collaboration with other Makerarms.

With all that, you can have it make complex objects -- the company's video shows it building an entire (rough-looking) laptop, for example. To aid in that process, it comes with its own software and includes a one-year subscription to Autodesk's Fusion 360. To mitigate risk, the company worked with Dragon Innovation -- the company that helped Pebble, Makerbot and others -- to ensure the product is Kickstarter-ready.

That said, such products are complicated to build. For instance, the aforementioned Flux printer is now several months behind its original shipping deadline. If you're willing to risk it, you can order a unit starting at $1,399 with a single tool head, or spend up to $2,199 to get a Makerarm and all the heads. If the company hits its full $349,750 goal -- which seems likely at this point, with $63,000 already in the kitty -- you'll receive your unit on the projected October 2016 delivery date.

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