“Bigger is better!”
In the case of gold bars? Yes…. In the case of diamond rings? Yes…. In the case of a spider that lurks under your covers at night? NO!!
What about for 3D printers though? Is bigger really better? That all depends on what you plan on 3D printing, and how much storage space you have for the machine. Larger 3D printers are obviously capable of printing larger objects, but at the same time, printer manufacturers have mostly been focused on creating machines that can fit on the desktop or garage workbench, not machines which will take up part of an entire room. However, things may be beginning to change. We’ve seen several large scale 3D printers come about, which actually have sold quite nicely. Whether you are a business looking to 3D print large prototypes or a mere hobbyist who would prefer to 3D print an entire cosplay helmet rather than individual pieces which then need assembly, lately there has been an ever increasing number of reasons to own large-scale 3D printers.
Printrbot founder and CEO, Brook Drumm apparently foresaw the demand for these larger-than-normal 3D printers begin to gain traction over a year ago. Back in June, we reported that he had been working on creating a larger than normal 3D printer. He had built it for a company called 11dy as a trade for photography work that they did for him. While we had a feeling that Drumm had something up his sleeve, more so than just creating a one-off design for a client, Drumm never mentioned anything about mass manufacturing these machines at that time. Things changed yesterday though, when the Printrbot Pro was officially unveiled.
“I have wrestled with this monster for over a year,” explained Drumm. “I buil[t] 5 prototypes from scratch and hated them all. The last one was too ambitious with servos and ballscrews… That last one printed beautifully after, oh, SO much work, but I tore it down the next day and went back to the drawing board, hacking together a totally new design in a couple days from spare parts lying around. The Printrbot Pro is aimed at those who want a very large build volume but don’t want to pay the big bucks for other options out there. “
The Printrbot Pro will be priced at $4,999 without the large enclosure and legs, and at $5,999 with the two additional features. Drumm says that they will be manufacturing these one at a time and in order to get one you will need to put your name on a waiting list. He even went so far as saying he may consider interviewing each potential client prior to a purchase, to ensure that they are a good fit for the machine.
“We hope to keep a slow steady pace with this one since the market is presumably small,” explained Drumm. “I have a handful of clients already lining up. [It’s] really interesting to hear what people plan to do with them! It is intended for businesses and education.”
Below you will find the specifications of this new Printrbot Pro:
- Build Volume: Approximately 2 cubic feet
- Print Bed: Heated bed.
- Extruders: Dual extruder — all metal Ubis hotends, v2 Alu extruder, with a Alu gear head extruder in the works.
- Print Materials: Drumm says “any material”, so we assume most of the filaments on the market will work, including flexible materials.
- Build Chamber: Open or Enclosed (see above)
- Controls: LCD panel, Dedicated heatbed controls
- Other Features: SD card slot, LED lights
Drumm also made two more announcements. He unveiled a Printrbot CNC router called the “Crawlbot”, which will have the ability to cut objects 4’x 8′ in dimensions, and announced that the Printrbot Play has gone on sale today for just $399, completely assembled. Orders for the Play can be placed now, and shipping will commence on June 1st.
The Printrbot Play is constructed of metal and features the all new Alu Extruder v2 as well. It is targeted toward beginners, kids and “enthusiasts”, and it has the following specifications:
- Build Volume: 4″ x 4″ x 5″ / 100mm x 100mm x 130mm / 80 cubic inches
- Overall Footprint: 14″ x 11″ x 12″ (D x W x H)
- Print Speed: 80mm/sec max recommended
- Print Resolution: 100 Microns
- Filament: 1.75mm PLA (sample included)
- Extruder: Alu Extruder v2 (direct drive) with 1.75mm Ubis Hot End with 0.4mm nozzle
- Auto Leveling: Auto-Leveling Probe works with software to calibrate Z axis height (see video)
- Print Bed: Not heated
- Construction: Powder coated steel and aluminum body with 8mm diameter linear shaft
Without a doubt, these two new printers and the CNC router will all bring Printrbot even more satisfied customers. Drumm has quickly built his company up from a Kickstarter baby into one of the more popular desktop 3D printer manufacturers in the world. His customers are usually extremely happy because his machines are built with such high quality.
What do you think about these new announcements from Printrbot today? Discuss in the Printrbot Pro forum thread on 3DPB.com.