The trend is fairly clear lately that, after entering the market with affordable and sufficiently reliable desktop 3D printers, several companies are now working to expand that experience into those segments that most stand to benefit from accessible in-house 3D printing, that is small businesses and education. Fusion3, makers of the well received F306 systems, are doing just that by launching the new F400 at Inside 3D Printing New York.
The new desktop 3D printer was developed to offer improved product surface quality, reliability of production cycles, increasing speeds and an ever growing range of compatible materials, thanks to the enclosed print chamber. Leveraging on the experience built thus Fusion3 has built the new F400 to address these aspects while keeping the system at a sub-$5,000 price point.
“We started Fusion3 three years ago because we felt that we can deliver at least 95% of the speed, quality, and reliability of today’s industrial-grade 3D printers that cost $20,000 to $100,000,” says Chris Padgett, Fusion3 CEO. “Fusion3 continues to provide our customers with industry leading performance at a price below $5,000, while improving every feature of our systems. The F400 delivers best-in-class performance while remaining affordable, making it ideal for both professional and educational users.”
The new fully enclosed F400 is setting a new standard in affordable, high performance 3D printing. Based on proven F series core XY architecture, it features a 1.46 cubic feet print volume, with improved safety, an optional HEPA filter and automated bed leveling. It also implements a new 32 bit controller, with integrated networking and remote management, as well as on-board controls through a 4.7” color touchscreen and 2GB of memory storage space.
The outside presents a rigid aluminum unibody construction while the “quality inside” is the same as the proven F306 platform, with a durable aluminum enclosure, rigid frame and upgraded mechanicals. The heated plate has also been upgraded with a multilane heater on mirrored glass. Combined with the enclosure for temperature stability, and a strictly open consumables policy, this guarantees a greater variety of compatible materials, including PLA & ABS as well as including Nylon(s), PCTPE, t-glase, PETG, N-Vent, HIPS, Infused PLAs, PC-ABS, Polycarbonate, PMMA, and more.
I had a chance to speak extensively with Chip Royce, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing at Fusion3, and he clearly explained how much preparation and enthusiasm went into this next major step for the company’s expansion. The F400 is not just a new product for the company’s business expansion but it represents the best answer to precise customer demands.
“Unlike the consumer 3D printing brands, we’re not a ‘one-size fits all’ manufacturer,” Chip explained. “Fusion3 has a laser focus on delivering affordable, high-performance 3D printers, with professional service & support for our business & education customers. Our customers range from small businesses and middle schools, to the largest companies & universities, as well as government entities who all require printers that can reliably deliver high quality prototyping and small-run manufacturing of plastic parts. Our ability to compete with the large industrial printers has been validated by our growing roster of blue-chip, Fortune 500 customers,” he said.
Two variants are available at launch. The ALL AROUND PERFORMER (priced at $4,499), featuring an E3D v6 Hotend and .4 mm case hardened steel nozzle, and the MANUFACTURING WHIZ (priced at $4,699), with an E3D ‘Volcano’ Hotend and .6 mm nozzle for unprecedented flow rate, ideal for serial production of end use parts.That of implementing a larger nozzle to meet the speed requirements of businesses and schools, incidentally, is also emerging as a major trend in filament based 3D printing in recent months. Every F400 3D is supported by Fusion3’s proven customer service, and backed up by Fusion3’s unique two year warranty, with full replacement, including shipping costs.
This time Fusion3 really seems to have considered every single aspect that desktop 3D printing adopters are searching for. A sub-$5,000 3D printer offering so many professional features was not even imaginable only a year ago but now the competition is getting fierce and it all goes to the benefit of end users.