We checked out the Fabmaker 3D printer, which originates in Germany. It's a plastic filament-based device that is targeted for educators. We asked about the features that make the Fabmaker so appropriate for the education market and were told:
- Fabmaker provides specific consulting services to educators
- The Fabmaker's exterior case is made from safety glass
- The electronics are completed closed and cannot be easily accessed by enquiring students
- The case provides a high degree of visibility, useful for educational demonstrations
- Active carbon filter system to remove pollutants
- Full service training workshops to learn the concepts of 3D printing with their "Fabucation" program
So far, Fabmaker reports they've had positive reactions from both schools and universities.
Aside from the educational characteristics, the Fabmaker exhibits very decent statistics:
- Healthy build volume of 250 x 250 x 250mm
- One or two extruders capable of printing ABS, PLA or PVA (Although the initial models will offer only one PLA extruder)
- Very fine resolution, up to 0.02mm
- Touch screen
- Capable of standalone or network-based operation
- A unique extruder design, shown above
The machine is not yet available, but is to be released at CeBIT 2014 in March. The pricing is not yet set, but we're expecting to see a price between €3,000-4,000 (USD$4000-5500).