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To Beca or not Tobeca: New Portable 3D Printer

The Tobeca 3D printer — a RepRap derivative — appears to be a handy piece of kit seeking to join the now saturated niche of portable 3D printers occupied by well known names such as PrintrBot, PortabeeBukito PortableLulzbot TAZFoldaRap et al… but not including Bre Pettis with a MakerBot Replicator 2 on his shoulder akin to a ghetto blaster for cult-of-personality brand marketing… no, this is REAL, innovative portability.

The Tobeca differentiates itself from the crowd by the creative incorporation of a travel / flight case. The material of the case is a birch plywood ‘9mm to 7 folds + dark plastic coated.’

I’m guessing that the French website’s specification reference to ‘Duty Cycle’ refers to Build Volume, said volume is 8800 cm3 with X, Y, Z axis dimensions of 200 x 200 x 220 mm (7.87 x 7.87 x 8.66 inches).

The device uses, apparently solely, the ecological wonder-material PLA (PolylLactic Acid). PLA is a plastic that is derived from starch, thus crops such as maize; it is biodegradable, and, can be processed by the many filament recycling devices now available – @FilaBot, @FilaMaker, @FilaStruder or @OmNomProject – to coax you on to Twitter – doubtless more are around too.

I’ll list the rest of the specifications below, but the single stand-out feature is the hardcase. I made a reference in my review of the ZMorph here regarding portability and shipping, in particular reference to the Solidoodle 2 that I purchased last year, which turned up broken: Thus, clearly, portability is a genuine issue, not just a quirky sales angle.

Without having tested one in person (Makers, you bless us with the volume of the output of new 3D printers, but it is now impossible to reach out to test them in person – if you would like to send myself or colleagues your new 3D printer to test for review, and return to you, feel free to contact 3DPI) it appears to tick all the boxes for a positive, if fairly average RepRap experience, that fulfils its stand out criteria.

Tobeca Portable 3D printer

Full Specs:

  • Closed Dimensions: 440x414x175mm
  • Open Dimensions: 440x414x430mm
  • Printer open coil + PLA: 440x450x460mm
  • Weight: 10 KgMechanics
  • Horizontal translations: Linear Bushings 8mm Igus treated trees aluminum 8mm Igus
  • Vertical translation: Studs Stainless A2 metrics obtained by running + system integrated anti-backlash
  • Engine: Stepper NEMA14 (Z axis) and NEMA17 high torque (15 Nm and 44), not 1.8 ° microstepping 1/16
  • Drivetrain: Belt polyurethane T5 T5 aluminum pulleys, belts returns bearings 608ZZ
  • Printed parts: layer thickness of 0.25mm
  • Power supply: 220V AC to 12V DC 120W, 82% yield
  • PCB: 1.3a Sanguinololu
  • Drivers engines: Pololus A4988 (microstepping 1/16)
  • Power Connector: 3-pin IEC with 5x20mm 1A, EU power connector
  • Computer Connector: USB Type B
  • Cooling: Active with 40mm fan
  • Heating plate: 3mm aluminum plate (grade 2017A), with 6 10W 2.2 ohm resistors in aluminum housing and NTC 100KohmsSoftware
  • Firmware: Marlin
  • Printer software Repetier Host
  • Formats:. STL GCODE.
  • Supported OS: Windows XP, 7, 8 (x86 and x64), Linux Ubuntu and Debian (x86 and x64), Mac OSPrint
  • Technology: Extrusion melt plastics and derivatives
  • Plastic wire diameter: 3mm
  • Printhead: 0.5mm
  • Duty cycle (X, Y, Z) is 8800cm3 200x200x220mm
  • Resolution travel: 21.7μm (X and Y) and 0.39 microns (Z axis)
  • Layer thickness: 0.10mm to 0.30mm (depending on quality selected)
  • Print speed: 50mm / s to 120mm / s (depending on the quality selected)
  • Supported Materials: PLA, ABS, hybrid wood / plastic, nylon, flexible PLATemperatures
  • Use: 15 ° C to 35 ° C
  • Storage: 5 ° C to 50 ° C.

To find out more, check out the Tobeca website here.

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