3D Platform seems to have a number of announcements lately, and one of them is for a unique “filament warmer”.
The device is an add-on to their line of very large 3D printers, and has been designed to fit with most of their models. The Warming Box is attached to an enclosure system that captures heat around the otherwise-open-to-the-air 3D Platform 3D printers to increase print reliability.
What does it do? It’s pretty simple, really. It is a box in which the active filament spool is stored during printing. The box is heated, which has two benefits, according to 3D Platform. First, it protects the filament from absorbing moisture from the air. As many Fabbaloo readers know, some plastics can absorb moisture and this can dramatically affect the quality of a print. It can even cause failures to occur.
Such failures are a really bad thing for large 3D printers, as they raise the possibility of losing a great deal of filament and print time should a failure occur towards the end of multi-day print.
The other benefit, according to 3D Platform, is that the Box “prewarms material for optimal printing”. I didn’t realize this was a thing, but it could make sense. I’ve not previously seen a machine pre-warm filament, but perhaps it makes the work of the hot end slightly easier as it does not have to raise the temperature of incoming filament as much. This could suggest slightly higher printing speeds are possible, or as they say, higher reliability.
The Filament Warming Box as seen in the image above appears to be an enclosure that surrounds the 3D Platform filament spools. The basic version of the Warming Box can heat filament spools up to 45C, but there are options.
One option is to add on a forced air heater, which can raise the temperature more. It’s not clear how much, however, as 3D Platform hasn’t explained that. However, heating filament to very high temperatures would not be a great idea as they may deform before they arrive at the hot end.
Another option is an air filter that would work in tandem with the forced air heater. Expelled air would be filtered to ensure a more safe environment.
3D Platform has not stated pricing for the Warming Box, but it seems to me that it would be a very useful add-on for larger printers.
And why has this not appeared as a standard feature on other large 3D printers? Maybe it will after this introduction.
Via 3D Platform