introducing the Microfactory

a networked, easy to operate, affordable, mess free, quiet, safe desktop machine capable of: printing functional parts in four colors or multiple materials and computerized etching and computer-controlled milling!

Use the “Machine Shop In A Box”, the first machine to combine additive and subtractive machining in one package, to unleash your most innovative ideas!

Watch our Kickstarter video and check out the Machine Specs for lots of incredible details! Subscribe for updates from Mebotics below!

we need your help!

The Microfactory was made by makers for makers, but we need your help to go into production. The Microfactory team has footed the bill for the entire cost of development over the last year (some of us had to work some pretty interesting day jobs to make it happen).

In order to raise the cash to hire a production staff and negotiate the best price on your machine’s parts we need money up front. We are preselling a limited number of units through the crowd funding site Kickstarter. Please support our campaign, and help us bring about the personalized manufacturing revolution.

press

The Microfactory was named one of MAKE Magazine's "Ones to Watch 2014" it has been featured by:



machine specs

Basic Version

  • prints functional parts in four colors or multiple materials in 2 colors
  • 4-spool side rack for extrusion materials
  • 300W spindle for computerized etching and milling of plastics and wood
  • plywood frame, 25” wide x 29” deep x 25.5” tall
  • work volume 12inx12inx6in
  • sturdy enclosure tested to 350lbs, reduces noise output by ~10db
  • vacuum port for standard 2.5” shop vac + filtered air inlet with replaceable cartridge
  • safety features: fully enclosed moving parts; covered drive belts & motors; software-controlled large red Emergency Stop button
  • professional industrial motion-control package for high precision & machine reliability
  • swappable pallets for batch printing
  • internal dedicated networkable computer (no standalone computer required)
  • runs industry-standard gcode on a customized open-source system (cross-compatible with machine-shop mills)
  • Ports: 4x USB 2.0, VGA, Ethernet Power

Available Upgrades

  • 750W spindle for computerized etching and milling of plastics, wood, and aluminum (mill-only version)
  • welded aluminum, steel, or stainless steel frame for greater strength
  • larger, ruggedized support rails (for metal-framed units)
  • coolant option (for metal-framed units)

about mebotics

The idea behind the Mebotics Microfactory began when friends who were helping grow a local makerspace, the Artisan’s Asylum, started kicking around the idea of a portable, clean and quiet hybrid manufacturing machine. The concept grew out of a shared frustration – a desire to develop functional prototypes and art pieces in our homes and business (outside of traditional machine shop space) without making a mess or driving our neighbors and spouses crazy. The company incorporated in 2012 and, over the next few years, self-financed the development if 5 versions of the machine. In that time we received feedback from people both in our makerspace and around the world: toy designers, architects, small apparel makers, novelty manufacturers, and dental implant producers (just to name a few) who share the vision of using an affordable machine capable of working in wood, plastic and metal in the middle of their current offices.

see the evolution of the microfactory HERE

At Mebotics, our mission is simple: empower individuals and small business with affordable, clean, quiet, safe desktop manufacturing tools capable of working in a wide range of materials.

example projects

NEW!!! everyone is always asking us "what can you make with a microfactory?" and in response we have launched a fun, new weekly series to tackle that question. Each week we will feature a different project that showcases the beautiful, functional (and yes sometimes eclectic) things which can be produced on a microfactory. Enjoy!

custom speaker

This project combines our love of music will our love of design and showcases the Microfactory's ability to mill woods and etch circuit boards. We designed a custom circuit based on MAKE's "Cracker Box Amp" and a beautiful walnut and birdseye maple housing. This speaker is not only functional enough for your next outdoor BBQ with friends but sexy enough to fit in to the most refined decor.

custom circuit and project enclosure

From day 1 in the Microfactory's development process we were excited by the idea of making custom shaped circuit boards and housings. In this project we will walk you through making a working robotic heart (with lifelike 72 beats per minute) and an accompanying matching plastic housing.

woodblock print

We aren't crazy (well maybe a little). You probably aren't buying our machine to make woodblock prints. With that said we enjoy creative challenges and showing off the range of things one can make with a microfactory. We set out to turn two images graciously donated by local Boston professional photographer Rachel Tine into simplified, abstract woodblock prints. The process was super fun and we are thrilled with the results!

printing and milling the same part

One of the truly unique capabilities of the microfactory that we are extremely excited about is the ability to print and mill on the same part. In this project, we focused on solving a problem that has annoyed us since the very first FDM printer we got our hands on - getting holes to go where you want them. Because you are laying down hot plastic layer by layer, precision features such as holes tend to drift from their intended locations. The microfactory solves this problem by printing the entire part and THEN milling the features that you need (in this case screw holes). In this installment we show off this capability by making a plastic bracket.

custom phone dock

We wanted to show off the range of the materials the microfactory is capable of milling in and thought - what better way to do it than by making an attractive walnut and aluminum phone dock. We love the way wood and metal look together and totally dig how weighting the base makes the dock feel more substantial. In this post we'll walk you through the process of making one on the microfactory.

stuffed plush mini-microfactory

Since we first publicly announced the microfactory, people have been suggesting that we have our machine replicate itself. There are lots of problems inherent to this concept but it did get us thinking that it would be great to have the machine do something a little outside the box - cut fabric - and to use those parts to make an adorable, miniature, plush version of our device: meet Mikey the mini-microfactory!

6ft vinyl sign

We have had an interest in making something big using the microfactory and when the need arose for a company sign, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to attempt this. We bought a pre-sewn 6'x3' vinyl banner, and then cut out and attached the individual letters. While by no means the most efficient tool on the market for producing signage, it's pretty cool to know that you have this capability with a microfactory!

making stickers

We have always liked a graphic aesthetic - the look of a simple image with a threshold filter - and have been hankering to try our hand at sticker making with the microfactory. This project marries the two, demonstrating the basic process we used to create a pretty awesome decal.

wax casting chess pieces

The microfactory is a great tool for metal casting! To show off this capability we designed our own minimalist chess set and then set about using the microfactory to mill out the shapes. These were then sand cast (though you can also do a lost wax casting as well). The result was simple, clean looking pieces which feel substantial and will last a LONG time!

milling a chess board

To accompany our cast aluminum chess pieces we designed this nifty Canadian birdseye maple and Tanzanian wenge chess board. As the underlying board is larger than the table on the microfactory we broke it up into 4 interlocking parts that were individually milled and then glued together. The result is a stunning, solid board with a natural finish in two of the most beautiful woods you will ever see!