If a new technology deserves to be placed near robots, this is the 3D printing technology. We see a strong trend of turning these wonderful machines into robots used in full process of scanning, cutting, and printing.
In the first article about 3D printers we reveal features like WiFi connectivity or dimensions for layer thickness. In this article, we reveal perhaps the next generation of 3D printers with unusual features like real-time monitoring, and up to scanning abilities, modular structure, more eco-friendly, and the possibility to purchase these machinery as kits.
Modeling software is a very important tool used for digital representation of objects and preceding the printing process. Almost all of these printers comes with modeling software and improved features.
In the following, we make an overview of six new 3D printers that are available on the market or will become available in the coming months.
Portable 3D printer with 0.4 millimeter resolution and a build volume of 205 cubic inches.
Printrbot is not just a low-cost 3D printer, it is small and portable, but solidly built, allowing users to print different components anywhere and wherever it’s needed. Any user can choose to purchase the printer as a kit or already assembled. The designed successfully build an eco-friendly 3D printer from recyclable materials which works only with biodegradable materials like PLA filaments.
Printing speed is about 70 millimeters per second at a layer thickness of 0.4 millimeters, values that fit in the mid-range of others 3D printers. Inside, the Printrbot has a build volume of 205 cubic inches were 150 millimeters are reserved for the build depth, while the build length and build height is 150 millimeters each.
The low price has a direct impact on missing design elements such as a heated platform, warranty, WI-Fi connectivity, or a USB cable to connect the printer to a PC. Printrbot Jr. 3D has its own software that allows user to build digital objects in 3D shapes.
Zeus is not just a simple 3D printer, it is an all in one copy machine with abilities for scanning, copying, printing, or sending fax with 3D objects in digital format. Since the printer has integrated the scanning functionality, it can work without any PC or Internet connection. The user can add an object in the printer, scan, and then print the object.
All Zeus features can be operated from a 7-inch touchscreen and four additional buttons. Advanced printing technology allows a layer resolution of 100 microns or lower, which is one of the best resolution for all 3D printers available on the market. For a fast printing, optionally the user has available the 200 or 300 printing layer resolution.
Inside the Zeus can be printed objects with PLA filament that can fit in 26 centimeters in depth, 18 centimeters in length, and 15 centimeters in height. Also, the printer works as a scanner with maximum scanning dimensions of 24.5 centimeters in diameter and 17.8 centimeters height.
FABtotum is the second all-in-one 3D printer from this article with printing, scanning, cutting, and milling features. It can supports additive and subtractive manufacturing processes which allow users to use the printer for prototyping objects.
The hybrid 4 axis scanning technology are another important features that allow user to duplicate real objects without digital design in 3D modelling software. A modelling software could be used in case of making some changes to the scanned model. For speed can be used the laser scanner, while for a high resolution the user can scan objects in a Z probing method.
Printing precision is very high with 0,47 microns. For printing is available an area volume of 210 millimeters in depth, 240 millimeters in length, and 240 millimeters in height.
With a simple structure and with aluminum frame, GMax is a large personal 3D printer with an incredible layer resolution of 75 microns. It has a build envelope of 40 centimeters in depth, 40 centimeters in length, and 23 centimeters in height, enough to print robots at home.
Max can be purchased as a kit with a simple aluminum based structure that can be easily modified to suit your project. The modular design allows users to modify the structure in minutes by sliding the top structure.
Depending on model, the advanced model GMax can be controlled from an LCD screen where are displayed all controls on the printer.
The printer is designed to work with both PLA or ABS filaments with 1.75mm in diameter. The printer is connected to a PC through USB cable, or can print the objects from SD card.
Zim is one of the most powerful 3D printer that will be available on the market in the coming months, and these are not just a few words written. Two print heads, WiFi connectivity, high resolution, and a camera connected to a smartphone for monitoring the printing process are the main features of this wonderful 3D printer.
The dual print head allows users to build more complex objects that were built before with any other printer, a complex tool for engineers, hobbyists and for anyone who trying to build complex robots.
Zim doesn’t come with driver for PC. Once is connected to the Internet through WiFi or Ethernet connection the printer can be controlled from a PC, tablet or Smartphone with simple actions. Also, the Internet connectivity is used for sending files to printers.
The dual head printer is compatible with classical ABS, PLA and PVA filaments, or for a long time printing period it allows users to refill the cartridges and monitor in real-time how much material is left.
Two print head, two materials, two colors, and more complex designs.
Zim has a print envelope with 15 centimeters depth, 15 centimeters length, and 15 centimeters height. It has a resolution of 80 microns and can print at a speed of 110 mm/s.
An unusual feature of this printer is the built-in camera for real-time monitoring the print process even when the user is far away from home. The Internet connection allow user to activate, check and stop the printer if it doesn’t work correctly.
Ultimaker is now at the second generation and comes with a faster and more accurate system for printing. For pre-processing the 3D files users have available a customizable software called Cura. Cura is faster and is a very powerful tool for building prototypes with draft printing option.
Compatible with .stl files, an entire community waiting to share a wide range of models.
This is the first time when we write about the noise generated in the printing process. Ultimaker 2 generates only 49 decibels of sound, which is a very low sound.
We have to include in this short overview features like WiFi connectivity, support for multiple printing materials, and a large printing envelope with 22.5 centimeter in depth, 22.5 centimeters in length, and 20.5 centimeters in height