Raise3D had a very impactful launch with a printer that was to raise the bar in 3D printing. With a nice UI and a well-finished product, the company hoped to open new markets in the business segment of material extrusion 3D printers. Raise was perhaps not as successful as it hoped, but it is redoubling its efforts with another full-featured set of systems, the Pro3 Series.
Raise3D hopes to move towards small batch production with the 300 x 300 x 300 mm build volume dual extruder Pro3 system and the 300 x 300 x 605 mm Pro3 Plus. The company claims “improved usability, higher overall equipment effectiveness, and industrial-grade repeatability” which are exactly the kinds of things that industrial and enterprise customers want.
Chamber temperatures can rise to 300°C and the machines feature no-tool interchangeable hot ends. Auto bed leveling is also included, as is an air flow manager with a HEPA filter that can condition the air inside the printer and keep temperatures stable. The company also has its own slicing software and cloud solutions. New is the “EVE assistant” that can help you troubleshoot as well as remind you of relevant maintenance intervals.
The machine has a flexible build plate, pauses if a door is opened, and includes a better power interruption mode. Digital thermometers and a camera are improved, as well.
“In 2018, when the Pro2 Series was first launched, we were committed to ‘Raise the Standards’, something that was acknowledged by the market with the attribution of relevant awards to our printers. As a result of the recognition of Pro2 Series, we started working on our mission: ‘To lead the promotion and implementation of Flexible Manufacturing Solutions with 3D Printing’. With the launch of the Pro3 Series, and the launch of the E2CF this year, we will confidently be ‘Implementing Flexible Manufacturing’,” said Raise3D CEO Edward Feng.
Raise is one of the few firms active in the Pro/Enterprise material extrusion space. Ultimaker is clearly leading that segment. With good service and a very complete printer, the Ultimaker S5 is a safe bet. The S5 is also around $7,000 with more of a reputation, but less build volume than Raise3D’s larger Pro Plus. But, with Air Manager and all the mod cons, an S5 may set you back $10,000 or so. If I were a business, I’d pay the extra money for the more trusted brand. On the other hand, in the same price range, you could get a BCN, with an Epsilon W50 costing a grand more or so. On paper I really don’t think that Raise is throwing enough features at their printers to dislodge Ultimaker or threaten BCN in any meaningful way.
If I were a large company or someone who will use a printer as a key business component, I’d gladly pay more if it means less worry or more uptime. And if I really want to save money, then I’ll just buy a Prusa and use that. Hell, for this price I can get eight of them. So, to me, if you’re a mega huge corporate, you’ll spend more and get whatever is the most trusted solution because you know that downtime or expensive engineers repairing stuff is going to be more costly. Meanwhile, if you’re a bootstrapped startup, you’ll get a Prusa.
To me I’m not very tempted by this. I think that if Raise came out with premium service offerings and really saw what it could do to maximize more than just build volume, they’d find more adherents. What companies want are things such as Service Level Agreements or automatic next day printer replacement. To me, this is what could win in the enterprise space. The only thing that could change my mind would be the Raise3D’s reference to total equipment effectiveness and industrial repeatability. If we could evaluate it and it would perform on par with or even exceed the performance of Ultimaker and BCN, then the firm would be in with much more than a shot.
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