FABtotum’s community highlights: CNC milling a wood plate

3D Maker Project: Engraved Name Plate using the FABtotum Milling Head: detail

Hi all,

here we are again!
Time for a second Community Highlight has come.
As said in the previous post, we are willing to let everyone see what a FABtotum lover can do!

Today we would like to introduce you our friend Alessio Cavalieri: he is well known on the forums already, and he likes to get his name clearly written where and when he makes something new. This is why his nickname is simply alessio.cavalieri, easy right?
He did many things along the time he has been a FABtotum owner. Today we’ll see how he created an Engraved Name Plate using the Milling Head (actually he used an old Hybrid one).


How is it possible? Here is what he did, briefly.
The plate he used perfectly fitted in the FABtotum working area: a woodplate 200mm x 80mm. He started with some tests and tries on the designing side and finally got to the perfect version, which was then finally used as a gift. What a nice idea!
Good tip: he used a plywood that gets a nice finishing thanks to the natural texture of the different layers. Wood’s grain of the various layers will contrast between them, with a nice optical effect. Compared to a standard wood block, you’ll get a better look with no additional stress.


How to get a proper file? Inkscape example
Well, there are many software you can use to create a project for your FABtotum. Alessio decided for Inkscape, a free one that can be used with any OS. Just use it to write or draw.
Step by step, to get a doable object and a working file, he proceeded with writing the name, placed it on the surface and created the path. Here is how:
1. Designed the plate and placed near the origins (lower left corner): this is important if the final part is not as big as the block you start from.
2. Selected the text of the inscription and from menu: Path → Object to Path. The “Path” is what the CAM software will use as directions to move around and create.
3. Saved the design using: Save as → Plain SVG

How to create a GCODE with Makercam?
Alessio opted for Makercam, a free online tool (http://www.makercam.com/).
Before you upload your svg file, check these settings:
1. Set centimeters instead inches as default unit (if you’re fine with inches make sure to convert all the suggested values);
2. Select Edit → Edit preferences Set → DPI to 90 (suggested to import a drawing from Inkscape, set 75 for Illustrator)
Now upload your SVG and turn into a GCODE:
1. Open the plain SVG saved with Inkscape, make sure to delete any unwanted object;
2. Select the inscription/draw you want to be engrave, it must be red;
3. Select CAM → pocket operation, and add some settings:
name: writehereyourfilename
tool (mm): write here the diameter of your bit (Alessio set 1mm)
target depth (mm): set how deep you want to mill (Alessio set 2 mm)
safety height (mm): write here how much the Head should rise before spinning (Alessio set 10)
step down (mm): how deep the mill should go at each pass (Alessio set 0.25)
feedrate (mm/minute): movements speed (Alessio set 400)
plunge rate (mm/minute): (Alessio set 100).

You’ll need to set the above settings for each part of the design: to do so, simply select the part (n°2) and start again with n°3. In Alessio’s one, for example, he then needed to set screw holes and outside shape. Read the whole article he published on his blog or contact him if you want to know more!

Last part: get the GCODE saved properly:
1. Select CAM → calculate all
2. Select CAM → export gcode
3. Select all calculated toolpaths, export and save the GCODE file on PC.

As a safer procedure, check if the FABtotum will be able to get your project done. Check the outer path: is it going to fit? If yes, go for it!

Post processing the GCODE
Ok, one last step: as you will use the FABtotum, you’ll need the GCODE that Alessio set up for us (thanks!). It’s called MakerCAM2FABtotum, it’s on GitHub. It is essential to make sure that your 3D printer knows you’re going to get her something different to bite than some good PLA. It’s a Linux bash script but you can run it also in Windows. Ask him if needed!
Here is an example of what you can do:
This will set the FABtotum’s Milling Head to spin at 12000RPM.
Ok you’re done! Now get on the FABUI, open the Object manager and proceed just as you are used to.

Final tip: add an extra layer underneath your starting block if you have cutout parts so that neither the Hybrid Bed neither your milling bit will get damaged.



So, it looks like a long process and it might not be as easy as a sandcastle, but it looks great, right? Will you try yours? Do you have tips to get things done faster? We’d love to hear from you!

That’s all for this Community Highlight: thanks to Alessio.cavalieri once again, keep up the good job!


Keep following us,


FABtotum’s community highlights: multicolor 3D printing

Multicolor 3D printing: high quality 3d printed miniature

Hi all!
As we truly believe in it, we thought that our community deserved to be highlighted. Many of our customers have been sharing with us their jobs: it is a source of pride for us to show you all of them and surely a source of inspiration for all of you.

So: from today on we will dedicate a post to our best users on a weekly basis.
Want to be one of them? Share with us your results, we’ll do our best to get them all published!
And don’t forget our social accounts: using them will get your objects straight onto the FABUI dashboard.
Today’s protagonist is: Angelo D’Angelo, aka @Johnnytrapano!
Our fellow has been using his FABtotum for a while now and many things have been created with it. Lately he stepped even further and developed a script than enables multicolor 3D printing on the FABtotum. Yes, really! He named it CFOG (Change Filament On the Go).




How is it possible? Here is what he did, briefly.
He developed a gcode which has to be added where needed between the lines. It allows to pause the task, quickly change the filament and start again. It is possible to just switch the color or even choose a different material.
The CFOG gets your print layered in as many different kind of shades as you want: of course the layers only allow the texture to be horizontal, but it is a great starting point.

How to use it?
That’s pretty simple actually. Just fit the portion of code where you want to change the color: the print will automatically pause, unload filament and wait you for load the new one

Here below you’ll find some detailed instructions to use the CFOG script. If you need more information, you can write him anytime. Meanwhile, download it here.

  1. Open your stl file in your preferred slicing software, Cura will do.
  2. Set the print as usual, using our settings and tuning them according to your FABtotum.
  3. Save the gcode as usual.
  4. Open the gcode file and decide where you want to switch the filament. Every layer is well mentioned in the file, so you just have to get there and paste the CFOG code.
    Notice: Cura starts from layer “0” in the file but starts from layer “1” when visualizing the same one into the software. This means you’ll have to count down a layer to get the right one.
  5. If something is required to be set or done during the whole job, you’ll find it in the code, highlighted with three “!” symbols.

Additional settings:

  • Look for the last line starting with the command “G1” and copy it in the CFOG, just where needed (see below). Also: decrease the “E” value by 7: this will unload 7mm of filament from the hotend.multicolor-3d-printing-fabtotum
  • Make always sure to set a Z value higher than the Z layer height where you use the CFOG.
    This is where you need to do this:
  • Look up for the code below in the script: at this same line you need to change the “E” value with the first one you can find after the CFOG one. This will make sure that anything we changed turns back at the original gcode settings. Here is where to proceed:


Once you get here, you are ready to save the file, get it on the FABtotum and print.
Of course, you’ll need to stand next to your 3D printer to be ready and switch color/material. Beeps from the FABtotum will alert you when it’s time to hurry up and operate. Make always sure to get rid of excess filament.
One last thing, as Johnnytrapano says on his blog post: if you need to change the printing temperatures, remember to do so by removing the “;” symbol from the right line and set the new value.


Here are a couple of examples, you can find more on his website.


3D printed cone: a standard icon


A 3D printed multicolor hotdog


Download the full CFOG here!
This is the first post regarding users’ experiences and developments. The FABtotum is an open source project that aims to grow together with the people who use it. Once you get your FABtotum, you automatically become part of the team.

Have ideas? Know how to get this CFOG better? Maybe you know how to turn it into a self-guided script using some Python Code? Maybe you will just try as it is? Whatever you do, share with us your results!


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Milestone 2016 Recap

Milestone 2016: official presentation of FABtotum Core

Last Saturday at the National museum of Science and Technology Leonardo Da Vinci in the heart of Milan, FABtotum has officially presented the new FABtotum CORE: the all-in-one 3D printer, can incorporate 3D Printing, CNC Milling, Scanning and now Laser engraving.

“The FABtotum personal Fabricator CORE is the result of more than 2 years of development and improvements of the first product. It’s a milestone for us and source of pride” said Marco.
“With CORE we are refining the user experience and giving customers the best possible tool for multipurpose rapid prototyping and manufacturing” continues.
The FABtotum CORE is available for purchase on the FABtotum store: each customer can pick the add-ons to include and customize the platform to suit his/her needs.



Present vs Past: functionalities and modularity
The FABtotum CORE keeps the basic functionalities (3D printing, Milling, Scanning) and the modular concept of the previous model, which is made possible by swapping the addon heads. It as well retains backward compatibility with all units. If an upgrade is needed/wanted, the Team will assist all requests.
It improves efficiency and speed by all-new electronics, newer printing heads and build surfaces, as well as new built-in software.

Higher performance, higher speeds
The FABtotum CORE is several times faster than the precedessor owing to the introduction of the onboard Quad Core RPI computer board, namely the RaspberryPi3.
Printing times and speeds have also been increased thanks to newer electronics: our Totumduino is now at its V2.

Colibri: more than just a new Software, it’s an OS
The FABUI, the web based interface, can be accessed via LAN, Wifi and remotely on a browser. But the big news is that every FABtotum (not only COREs, just every unit) will soon also be equipped with the new FABUI Colibri, the brand new Operating System internally developed as the first operating system built from the ground up for 3D printing.
FABUI Colibri will dramatically improve the speed of the system even further and add full filestystem recovery and networking improvements.






Laser Head, PRISM & More: other products announcements
FABtotum has also presented the Laser Head Module, available from early 2017: the new add on is capable of precise PCB engraving, paper and stencils cutting as well as engraving images on wood or some alloys. The Laser Head will be available in January 2017 on the Fabtotum online Store.
A separate blog update will be dedicated to this module soon.

During the Milestone presentation we also talked about the PRISM stereolithography platform: the Team is working and investing on new materials and procedures with renowned University labs to bring this new technology to the market in the near future.

We as the FABteam would like to thank everyone who have been with us during these years.

Keep following us,
Marco & the Team