Over the past several months, we have seen 3D printer, after 3D printer go up on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding websites. The majority of these haven’t really been making any significant improvements over the printers that are already on the market. However, one company, named Acadian Robotics, hopes to change this with their new Copperhead 3D printer.
3DPrint.com has been given a sneak peak at what this printer will have to offer, when it goes live on Kickstarter, later this week, or early next week.
The Copperhead 3D Printer will include several features that the company hopes to improve upon existing hardware that is already available. This printer, which will print in either ABS or PLA plastic, will feature a print bed size of 9X9X10 inches.
The actual body of the printer is made with a black carbon fiber composite, that has a glossy finish.
“Pound for pound, carbon fiber is stronger than steel,” Acadian Robotics COO, Craig Billings informed 3DPrint.com. “As a civil/structural designer, my partner, Robb [Perkins, CEO] and I know how to design and engineer rigid structures.”
While the strong structure of the printer will make it quite heavy; about 60 pounds, Billings informed us that the mass actually helps with vibration and noise.
“Many 3D printing companies have been going for cheaper costs,” explained Billings. “Most of the time they disregard the fact that a 3D printer has an accuracy to thousandths of an inch. You lose that accuracy when you compromise with a cheap structure.”
On top of making the structure of the Copperhead extremely strong, the company also made several other additions that most 3D printers out there today do not include.
They have the eliminated belts, and went with a 32 pitch rack and pinion gear system for the x and y. The reason was to remove the issue that many printers have with loose belts that need constant adjusting to keep prints consistent.
Also, the Copperhead features a stationary extruder and feeder system. This is to eliminate misfeeds and those annoying ‘bird nests’ that form on the filament roll. If you have a 3D printer, you probably have had quite a lot of experience with what the industry refers to as ‘bird nests’.
Another feature included in the Copperhead printer is the vacuum & ventilation system. It is designed to help vent ABS fumes and create a negative pressure system that cools PLA.
Besides giving the printer improved accuracy and reduced vibration, the carbon fiber composite that the structure is constructed with also gives it a sleek look, “like snake skin, hence the name THE COPPERHEAD,” explained Billings.
The Kickstarter projects is scheduled to go live on February 28 or March 1, if all goes as planned. It will be priced at $999 on Kickstarter for the first 20 machines sold, and then climb in increments of $25 per additional 20 machines sold, until the final post Kickstarter retail price of $1,250 is reached.
Acadian Robotics doesn’t plan on stopping there though.
“Our vision is to provide the machines as well as the hands on support our customers need,” said Billings. “Instead of them picking up a phone or sending an email to ask a question, we want to be there for our customers. We understand it will take time to do this and resources but are determined to implement that plan. But first we are launching on kickstarter to introduce the Copperhead to the world.
The Copperhead will feature a single extruder, 1.75mm setup. However, Acadian Robotics is going to be working on a dual and even triple extruder for the next model(s) of 3D printers they release. For now they are focusing on the Copperhead market though.
Be sure to check out the Copperhead forum, to discuss this printer and chat with the developers.
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