Desktop 3D printing manufacturers continue to upgrade their systems, improving precision and accuracy. German RepRap, for example, recently introduced the X350pro. This printer has a rectangular 350 x 250 millimeter (13.8 x 7.9 x 8.3 in.) build space, a more stable frame, a dual extruder for printing with two materials or two colors, and a USB interface.
The basic structure of German RepRap’s earlier printer, the X350, was upgraded for the X350pro. This includes the increased 12-millimeter diameter of the shafts and the stronger housing. The new design prevents vibration in the printer. It is also possible to set the X and Y axes, which simplifies printer adjustment after transport. The rear panel can be removed for maintenance work without having to undo any connections.
The DD3 dual extruder is standard and comes with a full metal hot end and can handle the latest filaments such as carbon reinforced Carbon20 or the soft TPU93. The variable contact pressure and a gapless filament feed right into the hot end are important for soft filaments. The dual extruder enables the printing of two-color objects; however, the second extruder can also process water-soluble material such as PVA, enabling the printing of washable support structures.
The build platform was overhauled with a horizontal design. The ceramic build platform no longer has drill holes but is positioned horizontally in a frame directly on the heater insulation made from silicon foam. The three-point fixture of the build platform was retained, so that calibration is straightforward and quick.
The X350pro is no longer only addressable through the Ethernet or Wifi but can also be connected to a PC directly with USB. The browser-based controller makes it possible to control the printer not only with the touch panel but also with any device with a web browser such as a tablet or smartphone. An optional print monitoring system using a webcam can also be set up to monitor print progress remotely.