For years now the industry has looked to colorFabb for quality 3D printer filaments and innovative plastic formulations. Now they’re selling a 3D printer, too.
But they’re not making the printer; no, they’re just reselling it. The machine is the STACKER S4, of which we’ve written previously.
The STACKER S4 is unique in that it includes multiple heads; four to be exact. The idea is that you can print multiple small items simultaneously, as the four heads move in sync to extrude in different sections of the print bed.
It’s all about speeding the ability to print with the machine and enabling more effective low-volume production.
The other aspect of the STACKER S4 that likely attracted colorFabb’s interest is that it’s an industrial quality machine that’s attracted a great deal of attention. The STACKER S4 is also able to print in a number of high-tech composite materials of interest to engineering and professional firms. While the four simultaneous prints may have each a reasonable X-Y size, they all can be printed up to an astounding 655mm tall on the STACKER.
Check out the engineering on the spool feeders at the rear of the STACKER S4 shown here.
Being made by an American firm, however, colorFabb offers them a much easier path to European sales, where colorFabb is based. It’s my understanding the two companies have been discussing such a deal for years, perhaps even before the STACKER S4 was announced.
This shows an interesting advantage for colorFabb and similar filament manufacturers, as companies developing unusual 3D printers may seek high quality 3D printer filaments, putting colorFabb in the position where they may be able to get a glimpse of new machines before they are announced.
And of course, the STACKER S4 is essentially a low-volume production machine that will no doubt make heavy use of 3D print materials, which with this arrangement will most often come from colorFabb. It’s good deal for both companies, and for STACKER users, too.
You cannot order a STACKER online from colorFabb, as you’ll need to contact them directly to obtain a price quotation.
My question is: what does the sale of a printer mean to a filament company like colorFabb? Will they sell more printers? Or is this just an experiment? I suspect it’s an experiment to see if they can generate significant cash flow from associated sales of filament. If they succeed here, it’s possible colorFabb may introduce other printer models in the future.