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Release status: Concept

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Documentation of the Columbus initiative.
CAD Models
External Link

Columbus is an initiative to develop a 3D printing device that answers the inspiring challenges of the Kartik M. Gada Personal Manufacturing Prize. The current stage of development is: conceptual design. In this stage brainstorming sessions are combined with due diligence to narrow down goals and define objectives. The current version of Columbus, COL-105, is being designed to physically test many of the initiative's Key Concepts.

Goals & Objectives


The table below outlines the specifications of the machine.

Manufacturer Anyone
Model COL-105-0
Technology FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)/Thermoplastic extrusion
Price of all materials TBD
Annual Service Cost TBD
Size 400mm[15.75in] x 400mm[15.75in] x TBDmm[TBDin]
Weight TBDkg[TBDlbs]
Build Envelope 300mm[11.81in] x 300mm[11.81in] x TBDmm[TBDin]
Materials TBD
Material Cost TBD
Speed TBD
Accuracy TBD
Finish TBD
Volume of printed parts to replicate TBD

Key Concepts

  • Progressive Construction
It is expected that those who assemble Columbus will be in one of two main categories: those that have an existing 3D printer (i.e. Darwin, Mendel, MakerBot, RapMan) and those that do not. While it will be difficult to achieve the $200 price range with an existing 3D printer, it will be nearly impossible to reach that goal without such a device. In an effort to increase the number of potential users Columbus is being designed with a "progressive construction" in mind. In this scheme the user will first assemble a RepStrap which contains many of the components of the full size Columbus (i.e. stepper motors, electronics, straight rods). This device will then print the remaining structural components. Finally, the initial device is dismantled and it's components are combined with the parts it printed to form the compete Columbus printer. It is hoped that this routine will not only save the first time user money, but will also familiarize the user with the components and construction ideas they need before assembling the complete unit.


  • In Print:
  • In Film:

Latest Workbook Entry


For a complete history of all entries see the Workbook.

File Folder

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