2015-09-26 12.32.05In just a few short years Maker Faire NY has transformed from a stepchild to Maker Faire San Francisco to flagship status, perhaps even becoming a larger festival than the original. And 3D printing played a large role in that transformation. Those first couple years saw an abundance of laser cut wood hobbyist machines, back when MakerBot was open source and the Cupcake was seen as a cutting-edge desktop machine. How times have changed. What was once a field dominated by domestic products now is seeing manufacturers from Italy, the Netherlands, China and other countries enter the market. And they are reinventing the game.

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Raise3D, a Chinese manufacturer with offices in Shanghai and in Pasadena, California, showed off their latest printer line the N Series. Their N2 printer was on display and I have to say I was impressed. The N2 has a large build volume, 12″ x 12″ x 12″, and has a fully enclosed build chamber with a removable top. It comes standard with a heated bed and glass build plate that is topped with BuildTak. All the N series printers can be purchased with an optional dual extruder. One of the simple things that Raise3D got right, and many printer manufacturers seem to forget, is how to build a good extruder. The N-Series printers use clear acrylic, so it is easy to see that the filament is loaded properly. In my opinion, this is something that should be standard on all printers.

Dual extruder design makes it easy to load and track filament

Dual extruder design makes it easy to load and track filament

Joining the N2 are its smaller and larger siblings: the N1, with a build area of 8″ x 8″ x 8″, and the N2 Plus, which is twice as tall as the N2 and has a build area of 12″ x 12″ x 24″. All three printers can print in a variety of materials; PLA, ABS, PC, FLEX, PETG, HIPS, woodFill, bronzeFill, Nylon, TPU, TPE and Carbon Fiber. They use Raise3D’s slicing software, ideaMaker, which runs on Mac and Windows XP or later versions of Windows, and takes .stl and .obj files.

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One of the neatest features of these printers is their 7″ touch screen that doesn’t just list the model names but shows a full color image of the model. The screen also displays a sliced view of the model that updates as the model is being printing, giving the user a visual representation of the build progress. Neat!

7" touch screen displays progress with a visual representation of the model

7″ touch screen displays progress with a visual representation of the model

The printers have aluminum frames and acrylic enclosures. They use an ATmega2560 motion controller and Freescale imx6, quad core 1 Ghz ARM processor with 1G of memory and 8G of flash storage. They also have a resume print after power interruption feature. The N1 Lite has many of the features of the N1, except that it has a smaller 3″ single color LCD, no onboard memory or resume print function.

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The N Series printers are very high resolution printers with stated specs of 10 – 250 microns, 0.4mm nozzles and a max nozzle temperature of 300˚C. The N2 and N2+ are pre-aligned at the factory. They are ready to print straight out the box, with no leveling required.

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Raise 3D will be launching a Kickstarter in the near future for the N Series. According to their US representative, Edward Feng, the early backer reward of the N2 will be $1,600. The dual extruder upgrade will be available for $200. That’s a very competitive price for such a capable machine.

Raise 3D will be in Santa Clara later this month at MecklerMedia’s Inside 3D Printing event. Remember that 3DPrint.com readers can save 10% on registration by using discount code 3DPRINT!

“We will exhibit our second generation printers in Santa Clara, and the second generation printers are exactly what we are going to launch the kickstarter campaign with,” Raise 3D’s Edward Feng told 3DPrint.com.

You can see the draft version of their Kickstarter video below:

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