You know how it feels when you really love a certain place and as family and friends come to visit, you become an overly excited cheerleader/tour guide for the area? Sometimes I feel like that in the realm of 3D printing. While in visiting a destination the question is ‘what’s there to do?’ — for 3D printing the continual question from those just learning is ‘what’s there to make?’ With that question you can just wind me up and listen to me go, as it’s so much fun blowing minds with examples such as 3D printed blood vessels spun on cotton candy machines, the role of 3D printing for the next mission to Mars—and then of course, the wrench-your-heart-out-with-cuteness stuff like wheelchairs for kitties and goats.
What really interests people though? I’ve discovered what gets a bit reaction from even the most mildly technologically interested people is the idea that you can actually 3D print your own 3D printer à la RepRap, or purchase one that’s made from completely 3D printed parts. That idea gives pause because it offers an instant glimpse into the level of affordability and self-sustainability that can be attained by ambitious makers. And although it’s not a new concept, we don’t see the advertising of 3D printed parts in new brands all that often–and that’s why the recent announcement from 3DPrint.co.uk really caught my attention.
Just launched by 3DPrint.co.uk, the Blitz 3D brand is unveiling their latest creation, with the BlitzBot 2.0, unique in that indeed it is a 3D print in itself. Blitz 3D is used to being unique though—and that’s a great selling point in the 3D printing industry where pioneering and innovation are held in the highest regard.
Although the West Midlands is quite an urban area within the UK, 3Dprint.co.uk is actually the only tech company there able to boast designing, manufacturing, and marketing for their own 3D printer. Not only that, but reaping the rewards of research and development over the past year, the company is already seeing a positive return on the BlitzBot 2.0.
“Continuous development in technology is a key focus at 3DPrint.co.uk, and in our Blitz 3D brand. That principle has allowed us to create the BlitzBot 2.0, as well as to have new R&D developments starting in the Autumn, such as our patent pending print head. It is the most exciting industry around, and we are passionate to be a leader in our region in 3D printing,” Billy Harding, Business Development Manager for 3Dprint.co.uk, told 3DPrint.com.
The BlitzBot is a good-looking, streamlined machine with an open frame that you should be happy to put on the desktop. Upon actually using it, 3DPrint.co.uk promises you will discover the ability to make ‘intricate detailed 3D masterpieces.’ Boasting a compact, lightweight design, the team has increased this model’s build volume by 31% in comparison to the BlitzBot 1.0, in an effort to allow their users to explore and innovate further with larger models. It retails at £1,199 (around $1725 USD).
“It’s such an exciting time for us as a technology company, and the staff too, who have put a lot of effort into producing our brand of printer. The BlitzBot 2.0 is a terrific product and has a fairly unique selling point; it’s a 3D printer, printed by 3D printers,” said Harding. “A lot of the mechanical and working parts are produced in our factory by our own printers, which is testament to how brilliant the technology of additive manufacturing is.”
3DPrint.co.uk has worked to be even more adaptable in an industry developing at an accelerated rate. According to 3DPrint.co.uk, the Blitz 3D range has a larger build volume compared to other desktop printers as well, and thanks to the tutelage of Mark Thistleton (Head of R&D), the BlitzBot 2.0 produces finished products to extremely high levels of detail.
- Print Method: FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling)
- Extruder: Single
- Build Platform: Auto-Levelling Borosilicate Glass Heat Bed
- Build Volume: 210 x 210 x 260 mm
- Layer Resolution: 100 Microns
- Nozzle Diameter: 4mm
- Filament Diameter: 3mm recommended (1.75mm optional)
- Recommended Print Materials: ABS, PLA, HIPS
- Ambient Operating Temperature: 15-32°C
- Storage Temperature: 0-38°C
- Power Input: 110-220v 360w
- Print File Type: .stl recommended
- Connectivity: USB, Wifi (with touch screen upgrade)
- Software: Blitz 3D Software, also compatible with CURA
- Product Weight: 9.98kg
- Shipping Weight: 12.7kg
- Dimensions: Width 54.6cm, Height 49.6cm, Depth 32.8cm
- Frame: High quality aluminum frame
Warranty and Support:
- One year warranty
- One year customer support
- 21 Day delivery
3DPrint.co.uk is a technology company specializing in ‘all things 3D.’ They are based in Brierley Hill, West Midlands, and are fully recognized by The Made in Britain Campaign. They also offer an education program (Educate in 3D), and a Rapid Prototyping Service for all customers.
READING, UK, May 11, 2015 – CREAT3D Ltd., the UK’s leading independent specialist retailer of desktop 3D printers announced the addition to their product range with MarkForged’s new Mark One Composite 3D Printer.
MarkForged was founded by an MIT aerospace engineer who spent many years designing and manufacturing high performance composites in the Autosport industry. The motivation behind creating the Mark One was to use 3D printing hardware to automate the composite layup process to offer a broader capability than standard FDM desktop 3D printers, whilst producing high-strength parts that would have an end use application.
Simon Chandler, managing director of CREAT3D states, “We are absolutely thrilled to be adding the Mark One 3D printer to our existing line-up of high quality desktop 3D printers. As the UK’s supplier of MarkForged products, this printer offers an unparalleled ability to really push product design and development for both our Business and Higher-Education customers. With the ability to print in Nylon with fiber reinforcements, it provides the opportunity to create not only advanced prototypes, but high quality end-use parts. No other desktop 3D printer in the market today offers the same combination of high-strength functional prints, and low purchase and operating costs”
Matt Katzman, director of sales at MarkForged affirms: “MarkForged is thrilled to partner with CREAT3D. CREAT3D’s wealth of knowledge about the desktop 3D printing market makes them a true value added reseller, providing superior pre-and-post sales support. We look forward to working together to expand use of the Mark One in the UK.”
The revolutionary Mark One is a stylish yet incredibly functional desktop 3D printer, ideally suited for engineering applications. With dual extruders, the Mark One uses FFF (fused filament fabrication) and CFF (composite filament fabrication) to provide functional nylon parts with the ability to add reinforced fibers in Carbon Fiber, Kevlar or Fiberglass, producing parts with the strength of aluminium. With the Mark One, you can also pause a print and add components before continuing the print, allowing you to embed sensors, electronics, hard mounting points and more into the 3D printed part.
What makes the Mark One 3D Printer so different from the rest? Incredibly strong parts. The Mark One uses engineering grade nylon to evenly fill contours and curves with close-packed reinforcement. The printer actively switches between two nozzles during a print, creating fiber-reinforced plastic parts with a strength-to-weight ratio better than aluminium. Finished parts are at least five times stronger than the plastic routinely used in 3D printing, enabling engineers to print real parts, tooling, and fixtures.
Greg Mark, founder and CEO of MarkForged, explains: “We’re making the most mechanically robust desktop 3D printer. No other printer can match the printing repeatability and print head accuracy at this price. On top of that, we’ve commercialized the best method for printing usable parts with fiber reinforcement to enable faster design cycles, more meaningful prototype testing and will change the way that products are developed for years to come.”
The Mark One can connect via Wi-Fi, Ethernet or USB memory stick and is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. It comes with MarkForged’s Eiger Software which is cloud enabled to allow for easy access and collaboration, with faster processing times.
The Mark One is priced at £4,000.00 excl. VAT and CREAT3D provide 6 day a week technical support.
Full details of the MarkForged product range is available online at http://www.desktop3dprinter.com/3d-printers/mark-one-composite-3d-printer.html.
About CREAT3D Ltd.
CREAT3D is the UK’s leading specialist in desktop 3D printers, 3D scanners and accessories for business and education. The company, which began in 2012, is based in Berkshire and operates within the United Kingdom. CREAT3D’s showroom is based in Caversham, Reading. CREAT3D has a hand-picked product range specifically tailored to the needs of its business and education customers. The CREAT3D team prides itself on its detailed knowledge gained through using, and challenging, its range of products every day. CREAT3D focuses on offering first-class customer service with friendly, straight-forward help and advice, with technical support available 6 days a week and tailored training packages.
For further information about CREAT3D Ltd, please visit www.desktop3dprinter.com.
Some key players in the 3D printing industry are taking a beat, and paying attention to an issue that needs tending to: supports. When using the technology of 3D printing, one hears much about models and whether or not they will need supports, and if so, how to handle the challenge of dealing with them.
Supports are absolutely needed in the business of 3D printing, and slowly we are hearing about products and equipment that try to make that easier on the user, from 3D printers that automatically remove supports to products and chemicals that make it easier to remove them and eliminate all traces of them. Figuring out how to 3D print with supports has a learning curve all of its own, but that experience tends to imbue the 3D printing enthusiast with a great deal more confidence as well as skill in producing a quality 3D printed model.
From the industrial level, the more streamlined support systems and structures are, the better companies are able to produce high quality products — and experience higher levels of efficiency to boot. Deadlines are met faster and bottom lines are trimmed.
Simpleware and 3T RPD are looking at the big picture in terms of supports as they team up together for the GOSSAM project. This project is quite simply meant to create automation for supports as well as making the structures smarter.
Simpleware is a software developer creating extremely relevant material for the 3D printing medium, as they make tools that convert 3D images into CAD and 3D printed models for use in a host of different industries.
3T RPD is responsible for manufacturing light, high performance plastic and metal components that can only be produced through 3D printing. 3T RPD has a big responsibility quality-wise in the UK considering they produce approximately half of the plastic and metal components that are 3D printed there. One of their main focuses lies in freeing designers from traditional design constraints.
The GOSSAM, or Generation of Optimal Support Structure in Additive Manufacturing, project was created to change the perspective in the 3D printing industry by shifting the focus to supports, as they, surprisingly, can often make up 50% of a build mass and can cause production of 3D printed items to be more high maintenance when they require structures to prop up geometric areas helpless to stand on their own.
With the GOSSAM project, the new partners will be involved in the improvements made on the support end of 3D printing. GOSSAM is being sponsored by Innovate UK, as they strive to develop software that will orient and position parts as well as performing the revolutionary task of “generating intelligent scaffolds.” The whole point is to:
- Reduce set-up time
- Reduce build time
- Eliminate waste material wastage
- Create better post-processing times
- Go to “print from CAD” more efficiently
“This new project aims to reduce time to market for additive manufactured support structures, while taking away some of the complexity for designers working with CAD technologies,” Gareth James of Simpleware told 3DPrint.com.
Innovate UK is responsible for bringing together businesses, and research and development agencies to help produce innovative concepts and materials to meet market needs, and propel the economy of industry in the UK.