There’s a few companies that specialize in gigantic 3D printers, and Titan Robotics just announced a new version of their Atlas series.
The Atlas 2.0 is a little different from other large-format 3D printers in that it can print many more material types. But first, let’s look at it’s fundamental characteristics.
The big feature on this machine is, obviously, its massive build volume. The Atlas 2.0 can print objects as large as an incredible 915 x 915 x 1220mm. Heck, we may as well start quoting the dimensions in meters: 0.9 x 0.9 x 1.2m!
This is a significant increase over their previous model, which could “only” print objects up to 762 x 762 x 1143mm. That’s a volume increase of whopping 54%.
But there’s something about these large-format 3D printers that can be problematic. Most of the competitors support only PLA plastic as the print material. The reason for this is that other materials can (and will) warp at such large sizes. Even when printing on small printers, many people have trouble printing ABS plastic, for example. Printing ABS on a large scale is doubly challenging.
For this reason we see most large-format 3D printers recommending PLA plastic filament and a heated print surface, which can overcome the minor PLA warp that is evident in large prints.
Titan Robotics completely overcomes these challenges by adding an enclosed cabinet that can be heated to 85C, more than enough to tame almost any warping.
This means you can, with some reliability, 3D print very large objects in ABS plastic, for example. They’ve even designed the machine to accept flexible filament, another challenging material on some devices.
One important inclusion is the 0.7mm nozzle, which should dramatically speed up very large prints, as more material can be extruded at once. However, this compromises the print quality, but that usually isn’t an issue on large prints. Here you can see an example of the Atlas 2.0’s print quality.
While the machine boasts travel speeds of up to 600mm/second, they have not specified the maximum print speed. Faster is obviously a lot better on a large-format machine, but we anticipate something around 100mm/second on the Atlas 2.0. It would be quite interesting to see this machine integrate CreateItReal’s real time processor board for ultra-fast printing in the future.
Pricing for this machine, as you might suspect, is a lot higher than you’d find for common desktop machines. The base price is USD$24,000 for the Atlas 2.0 model, (USD$4,000 more than the previous smaller model). If you’d like to include the enclosed and heated chamber, that’s an extra USD$10,000. So, for USD$34,000 you can get a machine that can 3D print huge objects in almost any material.
We haven’t seen this machine yet, but we hope to at CES in January. Expect more pictures!
Via Titan Robotics