A Croatia-based company hopes to launch a very large-format 3D printer in the next three months.
Darko Strojevi is to introduce the “DRAGON”, a plastic filament-based 3D printer, which has a variable build volume from 400 x 400 x 400mm to 2,000 x 2,000 x 2,000mm. It sounds like their first model will be 1,200 x 1,200 x 800mm, placing it in the same size bracket as 3D Platform, Titan Robotics and BigRep.
But as is usually the case, a company must differentiate itself from the competition in some way. This project is no different as the Dragon appears to have at least three interesting features for a large-format machine:
First, the machine can use pellets as the input material, dramatically reducing costs and offering the potential for speedy extrusion, if the extruder is designed to do so. However, I was not able to find any statistics on this.
The machine’s most unique feature is that it has no less than three gantries, each holding two extruders. Yes, there are SIX extruders on this machine. This means you could potentially 3D print six identical (or unique) objects simultaneously, or have all six work together on a large object or objects. This is a great way to speed up printing operations.
Finally, the Dragon can apparently use interchangeable print heads: You can swap out a 3D print extruder for a CNC mill, for example. The company says you can use “3 and 5 axes CNC machines and work on wood, aluminum, plastic….any nonferrous material”.
I have no idea on pricing for this item, as it hasn’t yet been launched. But I expect it to be in the more than USD$10,000 range for sure, perhaps much higher.