The beauty of open source technology is that it is constantly changing and improving. German RepRap is an example of a company that has made its name through its consistently evolving printer technology. The x400 printer has been a popular one among manufacturers in industries from textiles to chemicals to architecture for its speed, precision and convenience. Never one to be satisfied, however, the company has announced that they are now releasing the third generation of the x400. German RepRap fans, meet the X400 PRO V3.
The X400 PRO V3 has several significant improvements over its predecessor. Most notably, the printer now has two DD3 low-gap extruders as a standard feature. The recently developed DD3 low-gap allows for a wider variety of filaments than before, including specialized filaments such as Carbon 20 or soft TPU. The dual extruders also give the user the option of printing in two colors, and are compatible with water soluble support materials such as PVA for PLA filament or HIPS for ABS.
The flexibility in filament options is thanks to the DD3’s ability to be heated to a temperature as high as 290 degrees Celsius. Ease of use has remained a priority for German RepRap as well; the DD3 extruder can easily be adjusted and can accommodate a large variety of nozzles. Users should note, however, that when using the second extruder, the pressure chamber is reduced to 350 x 400 x 320 mm, a bit less than the original 390 x 400 x 320 mm.
One weak point that the company noted in the previous iteration of the X400 was the tendency of the Y axis shaft to lose stability over time, causing the printer to vibrate and affect the precision of its print jobs – certainly a point of frustration for frequent users. To remedy the issue, the X400 V3 now uses low-wear aluminum parts that allow the belt pulley to run more evenly; the Y pulley has also been stabilized with a double bearing.
Users of the X400 who were experiencing some frustration with their prints detaching from the print bed during the printing process will be relieved to hear that German RepRap has heard your complaints; the V3’s heated bed has been redesigned to allow for more even heat distribution, improving the adhesion of printed objects.
If you’re already the owner of an X400 printer that you’re not ready to replace just yet, you can still benefit from at least a few of the V3’s improvements. Options are available for upgrading existing printers to the DD3 extruder technology and adding the double bearing to the Y pulley. If you’re thinking of replacing your printer entirely in the near future, rest assured that German RepRap is continuing to improve and enhance their technology; if you’re already an X400 fan, know that it’s only going to continue to get better. Discuss this new machine in the German RepRap X400 V3 forum on 3DPB.com.