Another day, another new 3D printer. This one comes from German RepRap GmbH, is called the X400 and reportedly combines the advantages of an Open Source approach with the performance and quality of German engineering.
What is immediately obvious about this 3D printer compared with its main competitors — it is priced at €2259 — is the size of the build volume which is REALLY big at 400 x 400 x 350 mm. You get a real feel for the scale of it in the video below.
Jan Giebels, on of the German RepRap Team, commented to 3DPI about the development of this 3D printer; “We believe the X400 is the biggest semi-professional 3D Printer on the market and that was our main goal — to achieve a HUGE machine for enthusiasts and professional users that is also versatile and extremely durable.”
The X400 also offers multiple extruder capability now and German RepRap is currently developing extras for the X400, including tool heads for more than “just” 3D printing and milling.
Printing with a layer thickness down to 0.1mm in such a large build area produces precise models up to a volume up to about 56 liters, according to the German organisation. The Direct-Drive-Extruder (1.75mm or 3mm) is supplied as standard and permits the addition of one or more further extruders for printing separate support material and/or different materials or colours. The filament spools are housed within the printer.
Further notable features include high-quality components and trapezoidal spindles used on the z-axis instead of metric threaded spindles, resulting in easier operation, less backlash and an overall higher accuracy of prints.
GRR GmbH has ensured that all electronic components are compatible with the RepRap Open Source software to ensure users can upgrade and benefit as development takes place in the OS community. While the modular nature of the X400 means that users can easily access all of the mechanical components to adapt the system as they see fit.
German RepRap believes this 3D printer will be of special interest to professional machine operators and plant engineering firms for small batch production as well as the electronics industry and ambitious private users.
According to Alfred Bauer, an investor in the company, “The plan was to create a 3D printer for the professional market based on our customers asked for the capability to print bigger objects. The X400 is affordable to small & medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and we have been overwhelmed by the demand for our X400, with requests from moulding casting companies, architects and orthopaedics engineering companies from all over the world. They all want to print bigger models without paying a high price for a 3D printer. With the X400 engineers are able to print their first prototypes in-house, without using a service. The fact, that we are located in Germany, which is traditionally a machinery nation helps us a lot.”
The PRotos X400, supplied in kit form, is due to start shipping at the end of this month.
In the meantime, to see this 3D printer in action, and to get an idea of the scale of it, you can view this video: