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Week 17 - Invention, Intellectual Property and Business Models

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objectives >

dissemination plan >

target demographic for the project is for fablabs and makers with a budget comparable to machines like the ender 3, or genmitsu CNC mills ($200-$300 per machine).

to capitalize on the market, I would offer both kits and finished assemblies of the machine(s), similar to Prusa’s business model. Ideally, design will be made parametric to readily available materials in fablabs, so parts for kits can be assembled as locally as possible.

license >

I’d like to keep the base project open-source. There are a variety of licenses to choose from here. I haven’t narrowed down the specific license, but I would like the following traits:

funding >

from practice working on projects for both work, class, and otherwise, I’ve learned that quick spirals overrule all other forms of feedback.

ideally, I’d start by organically growing the user base based on interest within my network. Like Dan, who had both Kyle-Pierre and I beta-test the Foam Crawler, there’s a mutually beneficial relationship sending machine kits to willing testers for free.

like other desktop machines, owners can make their money back pretty quickly if they can sell enough parts made from their machines. a similar concept applies here, but critically, the idea of this machine system enables combining multiple operations to create more complex objects more automatically. this is still a few spirals down, given the current status of my project.

future possibilities and probabilities >

there is a lot to explore in the machine space, but the aim of this project takes a couple of key features from other projects and aims them elsewhere.

the cr-30 has a continuous belt system that can be used to create parts longer the machine itself or parts continuously.

the e3d toolchanger and jubilee are toolchanger machines that use the same build volume but swap tools to create more complex build operations.

this project aims to combine the continuous build system of the cr-30 and the combination of tools offered by the toolchanging machines.

by maintaining separate build envelopes for separate operations, different motion systems can be used per machine for different tools; different motion systems may confer different advantages for different kinds of tools. However, by creating a continuous motion system that can be interfaced between each machine, with freedom to rearrange, medium-volume throughput is possible.

future possibilities include different tool types and different motion systems, but I think this set of machines could be a compelling competitor to the existing toolchanging paradigm. to transform from possibility to probability, I’ll need to explore this space more and evaluate whether there are true benefits rather than just wishful thinking.

the main argument is that using all tools available simultaneously, there are time gains, whereas a toolchanger is only capable of a single tool at a time.

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