Electronics

While 3D printers build, iModela carves

While 3D printers build, iMode...
Unlike typical 3D printers, iModela carves rather than builds its models
Unlike typical 3D printers, iModela carves rather than builds its models
View 13 Images
Unlike typical 3D printers, iModela carves rather than builds its models
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Unlike typical 3D printers, iModela carves rather than builds its models
Users can create a 3D model with the included iModela Creator software by either downloading files online or sketching out their own designs
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Users can create a 3D model with the included iModela Creator software by either downloading files online or sketching out their own designs
iModela can create a 3D product from common crafting materials like plastic, balsa wood, wax, or foam
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iModela can create a 3D product from common crafting materials like plastic, balsa wood, wax, or foam
The iModela 3D Modeling Machine was created with hobbyists in mind, though design engineers could definitely get some use out of it
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The iModela 3D Modeling Machine was created with hobbyists in mind, though design engineers could definitely get some use out of it
The iModela 3D Modeling Machine was created with hobbyists in mind, though design engineers could definitely get some use out of it
5/13
The iModela 3D Modeling Machine was created with hobbyists in mind, though design engineers could definitely get some use out of it
Unlike typical 3D printers, iModela carves rather than builds its models
6/13
Unlike typical 3D printers, iModela carves rather than builds its models
Unlike typical 3D printers, iModela carves rather than builds its models
7/13
Unlike typical 3D printers, iModela carves rather than builds its models
Rather than slowly building a model by layering the material, the iModela iM-01 3D Modeling Machine carves its creations down from a larger block of material
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Rather than slowly building a model by layering the material, the iModela iM-01 3D Modeling Machine carves its creations down from a larger block of material
Rather than slowly building a model by layering the material, the iModela iM-01 3D Modeling Machine carves its creations down from a larger block of material
9/13
Rather than slowly building a model by layering the material, the iModela iM-01 3D Modeling Machine carves its creations down from a larger block of material
iModela can create a 3D product from common crafting materials like plastic, balsa wood, wax, or foam
10/13
iModela can create a 3D product from common crafting materials like plastic, balsa wood, wax, or foam
The whole iModela machine can even be packed up into a portable carrying case for easy transportation
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The whole iModela machine can even be packed up into a portable carrying case for easy transportation
The iModela 3D Modeling Machine sells for US$899 and can be purchased from the product's website
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The iModela 3D Modeling Machine sells for US$899 and can be purchased from the product's website
Unlike typical 3D printers, iModela carves rather than builds its models
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Unlike typical 3D printers, iModela carves rather than builds its models
View gallery - 13 images

3D printers are certainly hot technology these days, with machines like the Printrbot, MakerBot and Cubify launching on a regular basis. But while most of these devices focus on building something from the ground up, Roland DG has unveiled a new machine that does the exact opposite. Rather than slowly building a model by adding layers of material, the iModela iM-01 3D Modeling Machine carves its creations down from a larger block of material, like a small, automated sculptor.

iModela can create a 3D product from common crafting materials like plastic, balsa wood, wax, or foam. The machine's spindle motor is also built to accommodate a variety of milling attachments, allowing users to have greater control over how their creations turn out. The whole thing can even be packed up into a portable carrying case for easy transportation. The device was created with hobbyists in mind, though design engineers could definitely get some use out of it.

Rather than slowly building a model by layering the material, the iModela iM-01 3D Modeling Machine carves its creations down from a larger block of material
Rather than slowly building a model by layering the material, the iModela iM-01 3D Modeling Machine carves its creations down from a larger block of material

Users can create a 3D model with the included iModela Creator software by either downloading files online or sketching out their own designs. Pre-made designs can be found and shared through the iModela website's online community, where tips on using the machine can be shared.

The iModela 3D Modeling Machine was created with hobbyists in mind, though design engineers could definitely get some use out of it
The iModela 3D Modeling Machine was created with hobbyists in mind, though design engineers could definitely get some use out of it

The iModela 3D Modeling Machine sells for US$899 and can be purchased from the product's website. Check out the video below to see the milling process in action.

Source: iModela

iModela_Roland_Howto iModela_en3.0_part2

View gallery - 13 images
13 comments
Chi Sup
Double the price of a Makerbot and perhaps half the functionality, is it justified by its form factor?
DonFG
This is called a CNC machine, nothing new. They have been out a long time.
PatrikD
\"Double the price of a Makerbot\"? Guess you haven\'t looked at Makerbot\'s prices lately. The original Cupcake kit is no longer available. The $1100 Thing-O-Matic unassembled kit is only available \"while supplies last\", and the new Replicator is $1750.
So - at *half* the price of a Makerbot, this doesn\'t seem too bad a deal for a hobby CNC. But I\'m rather appalled at how laborious it seems to use. It\'s agonizingly slow, considering it seems to be just cutting foam in the demo, and apparently you have to set up the data by hand in three separate steps: cutting, roughing, and finishing. This is definitely *not* a \"load the model and push a button\" kind of machine!
And yes, it looks well designed and glossy, and the fact that the whole thing folds out at the end is very cute. But they couldn\'t be bothered to install a switch to cut off the power when the case is opened?
Hmm
DonFG: By that logic, there\'s nothing new about any new product in a pre-existing category, say, phones, cars or computers...
christopher
Kudos to them for illustrating the realities of their software. They\'ve failled to mention that you need a Windows 3.1 or 95 PC to run it, with a DB9 or DB25 serial port though.
They\'ve also skipped the tool changes - this box is just a mini version of an \"MDX\" (I\'ve got one), same software and everything. Tools are just plain voodoo. They go through all this neat roughing through to finishing stuff, but there\'s no automatic or calibrated tool-height system (the printer is entirely 100% \"dumb\" - no brain, no sensors) - you have to manually guess that stuff with buttons, so it\'s going to take you 3+ attempts to get it right (if you\'re lucky) on any \"production\" run. Oh yeah - and it takes all night to do one \"print\", and is ultra-noisy, and the mess it makes is pure insanity (looks neat in their demo, because they didn\'t show you the guy with the paintbrush clearring the cuttings from the model for the 10 hours it would have taken to make that blob).
Mike Smith
There\'s things CNC are better at than Printrbots - for instance, if you want something machined out of metal. But this one doesn\'t seem to do metal.
Terry Penrose
This will be ok in time, just not this time. Needs to incorporate a 3D scanner to to get images and demensions of of the original into software, then this gadget needs to be like 100 times faster with auto tool change between stages. Ok, what are you waiting for? get to it already....
ELM
Gizmag - \"the iModela iM-01 3D Modeling Machine carves its creations down from a larger block of material,\" Since when is, what looks to be about, 100mm x 50mm x 50mm \"Large\"? Ok it is a tidy looking, small CNC. But honestly, I have seen faster DIY units on youtube, that have been built for half that price.
Nothing special.
Pete Kratsch
Agree with all the others. Just another mini CNC. Roland has been milking this technology for too long. Time for them to move in a new direction.
attoman
We invented the \"Creator\" in 1990 as a Desk Top Machine Shop overcoming the two main problems of low cost \"3D Printing\" otherwise known as CNC machining. The goal was to come in under $8,000.00 for 300 mm (1 foot) cube max dimension objects made from anything up to and including tool steels, resolution .025 mm or .001 inch, repeatability +/-.005 mm.
The purpose was to make parts for all manner of machines (Auto\'s to Zero\'s) rather then stock and ship them and of course create new WORKING designs. Something no present 3D machines seem to attempt in the range below $8k (except making gaskets and foam parts).
The problems we overcame? Low cost high performance ball screws, linear scales and tools, tool change.
There was no market, no interest, no body who even understood what we were about. In 1995 we went on and used some of the ideas at the nanoscale to nanomachine semiconductor related things these machines which helped make microprocessors, sold like hot cakes for thousands of times more money.
Go figure.