Sigma and Sigmax 3D printers

This past fall, BCN3D Technologies, based out of Barcelona and best-known for its Sigma 3D printer, released the multi-material Sigmax 3D printer at the TCT Show. The professional desktop Sigmax, which features a large 420 x 297 x 210 mm build volume, uses FFF technology and is based on the original Sigma’s Independent Dual Extruder (IDEX) system, though with a few updates.

Now, the company is making an exciting announcement – it has released the open source CAD files for its self-described “mighty production center” Sigmax 3D printer.

In a blog post, the company wrote, “As we did in 2015 when we released the Sigma Source files, our goal is to spread the technology all over the world, showing that an innovative technological company can share its knowledge and keep leading its sector. We are very proud of our daily work and we are delighted to be able to share it with everyone. We were born thanks to the Open Source community and we still want to continue contributing to it.”

This decision highlights the company’s continued commitment to open source philosophy, along with the greater open source community.

The merits of open source versus closed source technologies are often debated in the 3D printing community. Maintaining a license on your own work can be important to safeguard yourself against those who would exploit it, sure. But think about where we’d be if the open source 3D printing community wasn’t willing to share.

Desktop 3D printing technology really got rolling with the RepRap movement, which is why BCN3D contacted RepRap pioneer Richard Horne to announce its open source news.

Horne, better known as RichRap in the 3D printing world, is well-known for his open source, 3D printed universal pellet extruder.

“I’m delighted to see the release of the Sigmax CAD design files by the team at BCN3D. The 3D Printing community is seeing steady innovation and further product refinement from BCN3D, both as manufacturers of professional desktop 3D printers and with the wider ecosystem to support them,” Horne said. “I’m delighted to see BCN3D continuing an open-source strategy, and even more excited to see what they do next.”

The company’s just-released CAD documentation is hosted on dedicated BCN3D GitHub repositories, and covers five main areas:

In terms of firmware and software, the company has published the BCN3D Sigmax’s firmware –Marlin’s evolution– source code, along with the company’s Cura source code files. With the hardware, users will have access to 3D files, assembling 2D drawings, electronics and mechanical designs, and the bill of materials with the company’s suppliers. Additionally, BCN3D has released all of the assembly documentation and tooling, including jigs and guides, that it uses every day to put the Sigmax together.

“It takes a lot of time and effort to get all the complex design files into a state for release to users and the 3D printing community, but it has such a great benefit for both the manufacturer and existing users of their machines. The community also benefits from current machine designs being released as quickly as possible after a stable product is launched,” Horne explained. “BCN3D seem to be speeding up in the release of design files after the launch of a new machine. This is to be highly encouraged. It’s often an extremely busy time for a manufacturer when they launch a new product. I take this open-source release of the Sigmax CAD files, to show that the machine has quickly stabilized in the market. BCN3D feel confident to release the design files and allow users to further benefit from the design evolution of the Sigma range over the last few years.”

All of the open source files and other information for the BCN3D Sigmax 3D printer has been published under both the General Public Licence v3 (GPLv3) and the CERN Open Hardware Licence (CERN OHL). The company is encouraging all of its Sigmax users to download the files for themselves, and pore over “even the smallest details of the printer.” You can even find a short explanation of the history of the 3D printer, which includes the company’s reasons for releasing a wider machine.

What do you think about this news? Discuss the release of these open sources files, and other 3D printing topics, at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

[Source/Images: BCN3D Technologies]

 

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