When most people seek a new 3D printer, the most important aspect that they are typically looking for is a machine that is built around a philosophy which puts quality first. Today, most really high quality commercial grade 3D printers are priced in ranges which are well beyond the budget of a typical consumer. This may all be able to change though.
Today, ColorFabb has informed 3DPrint.com that they have partnered with a company called STACKER, who will be launching what they say is the “first commercial grade 3D printer, that’s affordable”. The 3D printer, which will be made available via a Kickstarter Campaign very soon, is also called STACKER. It gets its named from its highly modular hardware setup which can be customized to fit the print job you need. It features many unique innovations which have not been seen on any other desktop 3D printer to date, as well as several innovative features seen on some of the other top 3D printers on the market today. Some of these features include:
Increased Print Speeds When Printing Multiple Objects – STACKER can be equipped with up to four different extruders, meaning that it can print 4 of the same objects in the time that it takes other machines to print just one. This is what they refer to as a “new age of digital manufacturing”.
Modular Construction – STACKER realizes that not every person or every print job requires the same size z-axis or printer in general, so they are making their 3D printer completely modular. This means that it can be expanded in size in the Z-direction and up to 4 extruders may be added or subtracted at any time. The standard desktop model will feature a print volume of 250 x 450 x 220mm, with the Z-axis being expandable to 600mm with the expansion package.
Mobility – The STACKER also has an option for casters, which are wheels that include a built-in suspension system to ensure that it can be moved from place to place without any bumps or bangs.
Universal Filament Compatibility – While STACKER has teamed up with ColorFabb to ensure perfect printing of their filament, their 3D printer is able to use filaments from virtually any manufacturer. It features a universal filament rail which can hold spools of all sizes.
HYBRID Hot End – STACKER features a HYBRID hot end which can easily be changed in order to print different types of filament. This is something not seen much in printers created by other desktop 3D printer manufacturers. This hot end has the ability to quickly change nozzles, which are available in two types. The lower melt nozzle is made for ABS and PLA-like plastics, while the higher melt nozzle is for specialty filaments such as copolyesters and nylons. This, they say, will help eliminate jamming and other problems seen with other extruders on the market today. Also nozzle tip sizes can easily be changed using this unique feature.
Polymer Bearings – The STACKER will use specially made adjustable polymer bearings. These bearings require no grease, oil or maintenance, and can be used in harsh environments.
The STACKER wil be priced starting at $5995, and like mentioned above, they have formed a special partnership with ColorFabb. In fact, every new STACKER 3D printer will come with a free spool of their new carbon fiber XT-CF20 filament.
“Their company philosophy is the same as ours, produce class leading products that are innovative, functional, and safe for the end user,” explained ColorFabb. “STACKER has been specifically designed to run colorFabb composite filaments by incorporating robust filament drives, low friction guides, and high wear nozzles.”
It should be interesting to see how well this 3D printer does on Kickstarter. They are certainly bringing something to the table not previously seen within the desktop 3D printer space. The backing of a name like ColorFabb should certainly go a long way in helping them reach their funding goal.
“Colorfabb just released this new filament, and it’s everything most users are looking for in a filament: incredibly stiff, strong layer bonds, lightweight, and tough. Having tested this filament for many weeks, we can tell you it’s the best filament we have ever used,” explained Norston Fontaine of STACKER.
What do you think? Will you be backing the STACKER 3D Printer on Kickstarter? Discuss in the STACKER forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video of the STACKER below.