Since its introduction in 2015, BCN3D’s Sigma 3D printer has maintained a steady popularity, positioned comfortably at or near the top of the highest-rated desktop 3D printers list on 3D Hubs since April of last year. At SOLIDWORKS World 2017 yesterday, BCN3D and retailer MatterHackers announced that the Sigma has been revamped and re-engineered as the Sigma R17, now available for presale on MatterHackers’ website.
The Sigma R17 retains the features that made the original Sigma so popular, such as the IDEX (Independent Dual Extruder) system that allows for easy multicolor, multi-material printing and multi-material supports. It’s essentially the same machine, but better, as BCN3D Sales and Marketing Manager Pol Domenech told us when we met up with him and Project Manager Marc Felis at SOLIDWORKS World.
“The machine looks basically the same, with two major updates:1. Redesigned stepper drives and fan system, so it’s a more efficient high-resolution machine, and lowers the noise level.2. Launching a hot end family, which increases versatility and adds the possibility of combining nozzle sizes.”
“Combining nozzle sizes is useful with dual extruders — allows you to combine materials and print up to three times faster, for example with a lower resolution in infill, to get high-quality parts in low time,” Domenech told us. “The goal is to meet the needs of every vertical market; each sector can adapt the machine to do what they need. We want to empower the user with the right tools to adapt to their needs.”
It’s not a complicated process, either, added Felis.
“On the BCN website, you can put in the diameters of each nozzle and the material type, it creates a profile to use in your software. It’s all set for individual uses,” he explained. “The first step to make the user think about what they want to do, not about the machine. The user doesn’t have to be super talented, they just want to print.”
Profiles can be created for both Simplify3D and Cura. In addition, a new capacative touchscreen makes for an improved user experience, and the redesigned stepper drivers not only lower the noise level of the printer but also boost the accuracy and surface quality of printed parts. As before, everything remains open source, which is of particular importance to BCN3D.
“It’s an open source machine, the hardware, software, everything is on the website so you can see how it works, it is open source in terms of materials,” said Domenech. “Parts are locally sourced, not from China. We have the philosophy of making it affordable for users while offering quality components.”
As of today, MatterHackers is taking presales of the Sigma R17, at a discounted price of $2,540 (list price $2,695). Orders are expected to ship by March 8. If you’re in California, you can also stop by MatterHackers’ Orange County showroom anytime to check out the printer in person, and representatives from both MatterHackers and BCN3D will be on hand at the showroom from 7-10 PM tomorrow, March 9, for a public Meetup event. Feel free to drop in, get some food and drinks, see the R17 in action and ask any questions you might have.
“MatterHackers has had a close relationship with BCN for the last year, it’s great to see a manufacturer responding to user feedback so quickly and making improvements,” Mara Hitner, MatterHackers Director of Business Development, told us at SWW17. “The quieter, faster hot end family makes it more robust for users at that price point. The new BCN Sigma has gotten a lot of attention at SOLIDWORKS World and it’s making beautiful functional parts.”
The popularity of the Sigma has spread to professionals and designers all over the world, including Europe, Australia, Asia, and North and South America. As the R17 is introduced and BCN3D continues to grow, the company is looking to increase their team and create more partnerships to help them further expand and reach more users. If you’re interested in being a reseller, you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Discuss in the Sigma R17 forum at 3DPB.com.