In March of 2015, Houston, Texas-based company re:3D launched what would ultimately be a successful Kickstarter campaign for the open-source, large-scale Open Gigabot 3D printer, a re-imagined version of their original Gigabot, which was a massive Kickstarter success in 2013. Since then, the Gigabot has continued to get bigger, progressing into the Gigabot 3+, which features a build area of 590 x 600 x 600 mm, and the 590 x 760 x 600 mm Gigabot 3+ XL, both which can be upgraded to dual-extruder printers.
Today, re:3D has announced that they’re going even bigger with the release of the gigantic industrial XLT 900 3D printer. This latest behemoth features a build volume of 590 x 750 x 900 mm (2 x 2.5 x 3 feet), and was developed in response to customer demand, which, according to Chief Engineer Matthew Fiedler, was insistent. Gigabot fans wanted another 3D printer with the quality and affordability of the Gigabot 3+, but they wanted it even bigger. re:3D was happy to comply.
“Over the past year, re:3D has worked hard to provide you with enhancements for Gigabot to print at a higher resolution, faster, and with better quality,” he said. “Additionally, we have improved the user interface, made it easier to change filament and level the print bed while allowing you to print even larger objects!”
The Gigabot 3+ was recently made available for purchase to the general public, after re:3D created four custom units for manufacturing companies and educational institutions. A host of improvements were introduced to the latest iteration, including an improved all-metal hot end with interchangeable nozzles and better thermal efficiency, additional guide wheels on each bed side plate for added stability, and more flexible, lightweight filament tubes that reduce the load on the print head. As Fiedler pointed out, the cold end extruder has also been redesigned and simplified, with fewer parts and a new thumb tab for easy filament loading and unloading.
Additional improvements include a new ergonomic Viki enclosure that allows more room for wires and connectors, revised filament detection units, and updated modular filament spool holders capable of holding multiple 15-lb. spools. All upgrades are available as a separate bolt-on package, as well as included with the new XLT 900.
Despite the huge build area, the Gigabot XLT 900 is a reasonably-sized machine that can fit through any standard American doorway. Its price, like those of the other Gigabot printers, is extremely reasonable for its size as well, at less than $17,000.
re:3D is dedicated to making large-scale 3D printing accessible and affordable, as well as environmentally conscious, and they’re far from being finished improving and innovating their designs. The company has already experimented with creating a solar powered 3D printer, and currently they’re working on the development of a new system to 3D print with reclaimed plastic. And as always, re:3D continues to work on improving and (literally) expanding their Gigabot model – I wouldn’t be surprised to see an even bigger version in the works before too long. If you’re interested in learning more about the latest release, you can contact re:3D at sales@re3D.org. Discuss in the XLT 900 forum at 3DPB.com.
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