Microfactory combines additive and subtractive manufacturing, integrating machining and 3D printing into a safe, self-cleaning, networkable unit.
The Microfactory 3D printer contains four printing heads on two separate heaters, plus a milling head. This allows it to print in four colors of the same material, or two colors of two different materials, on the same part. The milling component is capable of cutting and etching wood, plastic and some metals (with optional upgrade).
Its user-friendly features are designed to bring more industrial capability to smaller workshops. They include a vacuum port to remove all the debris created by cutting, an air filter, prominent emergency-stop button, covered belts and motors (to keep clothing from getting caught by moving parts) and a noise-reducing housing.
The Microfactory 3D printer contains a full on-board computer, which gives it many unique capabilities.
With its Internet connectivity, the Microfactory will allow users to watch the progress of jobs in real-time from a phone or tablet, start and stop jobs remotely, or network machines together for more efficient production.
All of the software components of the Microfactory are open-source, and the hardware is designed to be upgraded and modified by more intrepid users: The gantry is intended to support the attachment of different heads, and the entire left wall of the machine is removable to support alternate modules.