At the London 3D Printshow we got a very close look at BigRep’s new BigRep Pro 3D printer.
This massive machine is literally big enough to go inside - Yes, it does have a completely enclosed build chamber. However, the prototype on display actually was slightly open at the bottom, but we were told that it still being developed and will actually be enclosed and temperature controlled.
The massive build plate is heated, and this heat is captured by the enclosed chamber walls and top. Heat control is accomplished by automatically controlled vents that permit excess heat to escape. In this way the BigRep Pro should provide a consistent temperature for 3D printing.
Technically, the BigRep Pro is improved in a variety of ways, including completely new mechanicals that have much higher quality. A touch screen LCD panel offers an easy way to operate the BigRep Pro. If you’re not near the machine, a remote maintenance feature may help. The new machine will be able to print ABS plastic due to the passively-heated enclosed chamber. Dual extruders are also possible, but we believe there is a significantly advanced extruder in the works.
Oh, and it’s even bigger, somehow. The build chamber on the BigRep Pro is a staggering 1060 x 1070 x 1105mm. Maybe we should start quoting such specs in meters? [UPDATE: We now understand a slightly larger model will be developed.]
As we said, the BigRep Pro is a prototype. We understand the unit is intend to be sold next year. There’s no word on the price, but it will no doubt be higher than the BigRep One price, which was on the order of USD$39,000. Sure, that sounds expensive, but for a machine that can literally print furniture-sized objects, it’s a huge saving over existing industrial 3D printers. Even better, the BigRep Pro uses inexpensive generic plastic filament, unlike the industrial machines. That alone will generate spectacular savings for big print operators.
While this machine is perhaps over the budget of individuals, it does offer the possibility of unique service bureaus, that could easily 3D print massive objects on demand at extremely low cost. One of the likely initial uses of the BigRep Pro will be as a service for 3D artists to print huge objects in a single operation, thus eliminating the need for laborious work joining multiple pieces together.
Finally, it’s REALLY BIG!