As new companies and industries continue to explore 3D printing and rapid prototyping, more and more of them are eschewing the larger, and often expensive, commercial-quality printers for lower-cost desktop models. Primarily new buyers are taking chances on ultra-low-cost starter 3D printers, however a lot of companies are making wiser investments in some of the more affordable prosumer desktop printers. Hoping to capitalize on that widening market, Dutch 3D printer manufacturer FELIX Printers has announced that they are adding a second line of 3D printers to their product portfolio alongside their award winning FELIX 3.1.
The first new 3D printer in their Professional series of printers is the FELIX Pro 1, designed to be an inexpensive and easy-to-use machine that will easily integrate into an office workflow while still offering high-quality prints. The Pro series is a more robust and durable version of their successful FELIX line of entry level upgradable 3D printers that recently won the “Surprise Hit” award from Make: Magazine. FELIX Printers has taken the best of their first line of printers and incorporated their reliable and quality printing accuracy with a whole host of new upgrades and features.
“We are very excited to have added Felix Pro 1 to our portfolio of 3D printers and solutions. The FELIX Pro 1 exemplifies our mission to provide our customers with superior technology in order to help them achieve cost-effectiveness and incredible quality,” explained FELIX Printer co-founder Guillaume Feliksdal.
FELIX Printers has packed the Pro 1 with several features that are intended to make in-office 3D printing easier and hassle free. It offers an easily detachable heated bed that can be heated to over 220° Fahrenheit (105°C) and will run a fully automated calibration process before any print job begins. The print bed is held in place with a magnetic connection, so it can be detached after a print job has ended, allowing the part to be easily removed without the printer’s various component’s getting in the way. It also allows users the option of having multiple printing beds on hand, so once a job ends, another can be started right away without any delays.
Since the Pro 1 includes two full metal hot-ends users can print with two different colors or materials at the same time. The hot ends can reach temperatures in excess of 520°F (275°C), so it will print with two different materials that require two different printing temperatures, including water soluble support materials, flexible materials and premium composite materials. The hot ends were designed to be easily accessible so they can be swapped out as needed, almost as simply as removing a cassette tape. The .35 mm nozzles are capable of layer heights ranging from .05 mm to .25 mm.
In order to prevent accidental interferences between the dual hot ends, the Pro 1 offers an integrated intelligent hot-end positioning feature. While printing in dual mode, the right hot end will shift position slightly until it needs to be used. So when one of the two hot ends is idle, it will actually raise up and increase the distance between the idle hot-end and printbed. This will prevent things like heat exchange or part collision that often requires the job to be stopped and started again from the beginning. Even with the dual extruders, the Pro 1 has been optimized to for use in a working office, so it runs extremely quiet.
Here is a quick demonstration video of the FELIX Pro 1:
The Pro 1 has a pretty sizable build volume of 10 inches x 9.6 inches x 8.8 inches (255 mm x 245 mm x 225 mm) and is priced at about $2290 (€2,150) making it a surprisingly affordable prosumer quality printer considering all of the features that are packed into it. Go ahead and check out the FELIX Pro 1 here. The printer is available now for pre-order, with shipment expected toward the end of this month.
Have you had a chance to test out this new machine? Let’s hear your feedback in the FELIX Pro 1 forum thread on 3DPB.com.