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Open Gigabot® 3D Printer

Open Gigabot® is an open source, small-batch production 3D printer by re:3D and funded by the Kickstarter Community. Throughout the design process backers were engaged, leading to the creation of the largest, most personal, maker-accessible, and inherently useful human-scale 3D printer on (or off) the planet.

OpenGB_Machine.gif

Product Lead

Disciplines:

  • New Product Development

  • Branding, Copywriting

  • Kickstarter Campaign

  • Open Source Documentation

  • Weekly Meetings & Quarterly Reviews

  • Community Management

What began as a simple prototype and 10 page PDF turned into a fully-realized Kickstarter to bring a product to market.

OpenGB is a high-end 3D printer specifically designed for super-users in mind. In order to make the product without disrupting core production, internal R&D processes were built and OpenGB was offered as a limited run unit. Backer feedback over the course of a year kept our team priorities straight — first, improve user experience; second, bolster high-quality 3D printing output; and third, distribute Open Source resources to empower super-users autonomously.

Still as large, clean and affordable as Gigabot, OpenGB enhances user experience and offers a host of new features.

As a huge, fully enclosed machine which can now fit through your door, OpenGB utilizes linear rails, front-homing print heads, dual extrusion, out-of-filament detection, a heated bed, bottom-loading filament, and a touchscreen interface with it's own custom software, OpenGB App.

To better understand our objectives for running a Kickstarter, we set out to:

  • Design how we approach R&D as a boot-strapped hardware startup

  • Develop in-house knowledge to challenge ourselves in areas of discomfort

  • Eliminate roadblocks in areas where we are relying on external suppliers

  • Increase use of as many 3D printed components in assemblies

With a community-first approach, we took lessons learned from our customers and translate them into a design proposal for a new take on product development.


Kudos

"It solves a problem in that a lot of 3D printers are just not functional because they're too small."


From Concept, to MVP, to Production


Inside Open Gigabot®

To keep the project scope focused, OpenGB was outlined with 8 key tenants including:

8features.png

Online Platforms & Documentation

Product communities have potential to be a company's biggest asset. Not only is community important when you're small, it is the lifeblood of our innovation economy.

Open Gigabot Kickstarter  57 Project Backers, 10 Units Sold, $50,239 funded.

Open Gigabot Kickstarter
57 Project Backers, 10 Units Sold, $50,239 funded.

Support Forum  Once Backers receive their Open Gigabot, we encourage them to join the community forum to share their hacks and feedback. By using Zendesk's support forum, we are able to streamline support ticketing and track issues.

Support Forum
Once Backers receive their Open Gigabot, we encourage them to join the community forum to share their hacks and feedback. By using Zendesk's support forum, we are able to streamline support ticketing and track issues.

OpenGB Channel  Videos deconstructing CAD sub-assemblies, feed from recorded On-Air hangouts, and other project goodies from the team.

OpenGB Channel
Videos deconstructing CAD sub-assemblies, feed from recorded On-Air hangouts, and other project goodies from the team.

Backer Hangouts  An inclusive, open forum monthly call to facilitate discussion among super-user customers, enthusiasts, and our production team. These calls were used to share project updates and evaluate our priorities based on their needs.

Backer Hangouts
An inclusive, open forum monthly call to facilitate discussion among super-user customers, enthusiasts, and our production team. These calls were used to share project updates and evaluate our priorities based on their needs.

Open Source Software Codebase  Host to the OpenGB backend and front-end framework, written in Python and Vue.js. Features for consideration in future development are tagged as GitHub issues for the community or team to build on at any time.

Open Source Software Codebase
Host to the OpenGB backend and front-end framework, written in Python and Vue.js. Features for consideration in future development are tagged as GitHub issues for the community or team to build on at any time.

Open Hardware Documentation  Hosting simple to advanced printing tips, 3D printed parts files, assembly information, and instructions.

Open Hardware Documentation
Hosting simple to advanced printing tips, 3D printed parts files, assembly information, and instructions.


3D Printing Applied to Open Hardware

SketchFab partnership to publish open source files for part-by-part printer assembly.

Screen+Shot+2016-06-23+at+4.24.38+PM.png

Check out OpenGB App in Action!

With the Beaglebone community winding down, we were drawn to the support amassing around Raspberry Pi to ensure a lifetime value for the product. 

A simple 3D printed, adjustable bottom rack design to run and store filament for OpenGB. Watching it move smoothly is absolutely mesmerizing thanks to ball bearings.

Build time: approx. 40 hours.

A partial time lapse of this awesome Stormtrooper helmet, which was the first big print for Open GB! Just in time for the Star Wars premier this weekend. Print time: 41 hrs Made from Thingiverse.


Open Community


Product / Market Fit

OpenGB was created for artists, teachers, DIY 'makers', design professionals and engineers in mind. As a beta, small-batch product, OpenGB offers entire functionality, hack-ability, added features (not originally scoped in the Kickstarter), and is beautifully packaged for it's owners.

The production shipment of Open Gigabot ended up being a steal. With it's nominal cost on Kickstarter, verified reliability, and host of new features, the OpenGB product produced broad appeal. Compared to other commercial or industrial 3D printers, OpenGB was offered for $3,300 and $4,300 as opposed to $40k, $200, and in some cases, $1M.