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Customizable 3D Printer Has Open Architecture

The AO-101 desktop 3D printer for prototyping and short-run production from the LulzBot brand of Aleph Objects Inc. (Loveland, CO) has been released. Said to incorporate feedback from users of an earlier model, the AO-101 offers quieter printing, updated electronics, and a better power supply. This release, adds the company, also features improvements to the solid plate for the heat bed, which allows for printing with a variety of materials. Additional enhancements to the pulley and spooling systems produce more reliable, higher-quality prints, according to the company.

Aleph Objects
The AO-101 3D printer. Image courtesy of Aleph Objects, Inc.

The AO-101’s technology is designed to be customizable to meet the needs of the project at hand. Its open build, explains the company, allows the system to be modified easily for printing a variety of materials, parts, and pieces. Simple customizations reportedly allow the AO-101 to print with polycarbonate and custom materials including experimental materials such as wood filament, nylon, polystyrene, and glow-in-the-dark materials.

Aleph Objects
During the development of the AO-101 3D Printer included a variety of standard and non-standard make and break testing, according to the company. Image courtesy of Aleph Objects, Inc.

“The driving force behind our company is to do everything free and open so together we can innovate,” said Jeff Moe, president of Aleph Objects in a press statement. “We are the opposite of companies who patent every little thing. They don’t allow others to think on ideas, change, or improve them. We believe that being free and open is good for innovation, and it’s good business.”

The AO-101’s specifications include 7.9 x 7.5 x 3.9 in. (200 x 190 x 100 mm) usable print area; 7.9 in/sec (200mm/sec) top print speed; 0.0029 to 0.029 in. (0.075 to 0.75 mm) layer thickness, with included nozzles; and a 0.008 in. (0.2 mm) print tolerance in the X and Y axes (Z axis averages are dependent on layer thickness). The overall physical dimensions are 18.3 x 19 x 15 in. (464 x 483 x 381 mm), and the weight is 18 lbs. (8.18 kg). Power requirements are 110 – 220 VAC.

The AO-101 is delivered ready to print. It comes with a toolkit, plastic for printing, a step-by-step manual, 5 lbs. of ABS filament, and 0.25 mm, 0.35 mm, and 0.5 mm print nozzles. Additional 0.15 mm and 0.75 mm nozzles are available optionally.

“A huge focus for us is to streamline our business and manufacturing process so that we are continually adding value,” said Moe. “Recently, we reduced build time from 5.5 hours to two hours, meaning we can pass savings on to our customers. Other companies build machines after you buy, or are backordered for weeks. We have printers across the globe, ready to ship.”

Aleph Objects
The AO-101 3D printer measures are 18.3 x 19 x 15 in. (464 x 483 x 381 mm) and weighs 18 lbs. (8.18 kg). Image courtesy of Aleph Objects, Inc.

Pricing for the AO-101 begins at $1,725. For more information, visit the LulzBot brand of Aleph Objects.

Watch in AO-101 in action.

Download the AO-101 brochure.

Check out the LulzBot blog.

See why DE’s editors selected AO-101 3D printer as their Pick of the Week.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.
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