When Indian tech company Aha 3D was founded in 2010, their mission was to take on fundamental development activities and examinations into 3D printing technologies, and as a result of that work the company has launched the ProtoCentre 1M, the company’s flagship industrial-grade 3D printer.
Now their machines are certified for quality under ISO 9001:2008, and the company says their core strength lies in their in-house design and development capabilities. The company says their engineers and developers take on all aspects of machine design, embedded firmware, application software, core electronics, and mechatronics. They add that they also have a network of outside consultants who handle design for optimum manufacturing, ergonomics, and human factors of their machines.
The ProtoCentre 1M can build objects up to 1 meter in height, makes use of a water cooled quad-extruder print head, and includes a long list of user-friendly features.
Aha 3D Innovations says it’s their PrintProtect feature which is critical to the device’s filament management, filament jam prevention, and monitoring of power outages. They say that, should power fail during a print job, print jobs will resume at the precise location where it stopped as power is restored.
According to Aakash, the founder of Aha 3D Innovations, his company launched India’s first, fully-indigenous 3D printer in 2012 and the first dual extruder printer with soluble support 3D printer in 2013.
But he adds that customer support was a key concern in the design of the ProtoCentre M1.
“The machine has self-diagnostics and preventive monitoring, which enables us at HQ to detect the problems before they become a cause of concern for the customer,” Aakash says. “We provide live tutorials via video conference, on-site warranty, and we respond to self-diagnostic messages from the machine.”
He says “intelligent diagnostics software” can also remind users of the need for periodic maintenance tasks and regularly monitors all functions of the device. The company says standard interfaces like a touch screen, WiFi, and remote monitoring come standard with the ProtoCentre 1M.
Aakash says back in 2009, a post on wired.com about the MakerBot Cupcake introduced him “to the magic of 3D printing,” and that led to the creation of Aha 3D. He says the market options in production-grade FFF-based 3D printers fell short, and that as a result, auto, OEMs, tool shops, machinery producers, and designers lacked affordable choices. He adds that the 1M was meant to address that issue.
The machine retails for approximately $56,000 and materials are around $25 per kilogram, and Aakash says the ProtoCentre M1 can use ABS, PC, ABS-PC, HIPS, and PLA at a layer resolution of 100 microns. The Aha 3D machine features a build volume of 750 x 500 x 1000 mm, remote monitoring and what the company calls “remote health checkup” to make sure things go smoothly.
So what’s up next for the Indian 3D printing pioneers?
“At the moment, we are developing a multi-material 3D printer, capable of 3D prints using composites,” Aakash says. “This will create a new wave in production grade 3D printing. There are other technologies in development, which we’ll share with you shortly.”
Upstart 3D printer manufacturers Aha 3D are taking on the big boys with the release of their ProtoCentre 1M. At $56,000, the price seems very, very competitive. Have you ever used any of the company’s line of printers? Let us know in the ProtoCentre 1M Industrial Grade Printer forum thread on 3DPB.com.