With the introduction of the 3DTouch, it looks like the “hobby” 3D printers are starting to cross the line into professional 3D printer territory. This latest model from Bits from Bytes™ products, 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD), prints in multiple colors. Starting at $3,900, this affordable color 3D printer includes multiple print heads for greater color and material choices, an intuitive touchscreen, and USB storage. According to a 3D Systems spokesperson, this innovative 3D printer is easy to set up, simple to operate, and capable of printing multiple materials and delivering more complex print geometries. This model comes in five versions: single, double, and triple print head, hobby, and education.
The print head(s) heat thermoplastic ABS or PLA material, pushing out a very fine plastic thread that is applied layer by layer according to x and y co-ordinates to build a solid, 3D object. Files can be read from USB drive; no PC connection is required. The BFB Axon 2 software converts your STL files for printing.
The build platform (10.75 x 10.75 x 8.25 in. for single head, and 7.25 x 10.75 x 8.25 in. for triple head) enables a wide range of ‘one-print’ parts. Print tolerance in the X and Y axis is +/- 1% or the object’s dimension or 0.008 in./200 µ, whichever is greater.
The multiple print heads enable multi-material prints. The support material can simply be ‘snapped off’ (or dissolved away) for a cleaner, accurate finish.
Each model’s electronics are configured to accommodate up to three heads, so a single head machine can be easily upgraded to a two or three head unit affordably. The frame of each model is rigid and durable for excellent mechanical stiffness.