We had a quick look at the L-Devo line of professional 3D printers recently.
L-Devo is a brand name used by Tokyo-based Fusion Technology Co., Ltd, who have been making 3D printers for three years. Now they wish to market their products to the wider world, and it’s tough to do so.
Currently there are four machines in the L-Devo product shelf in Japan, all of which use the plastic extrusion process. Each includes a heated print surface (up to 120C on three models) and an entirely enclosed build volume. This makes them ideal for reliable 3D printing of otherwise difficult to print materials such as ABS.
Inside one of the L-Devo machines as shown here suggests a conventional 3D printing arrangement for plastic extrusion. The mechanicals appear robust, as is the frame, made from steel.
Some of the models have rather large build volumes, and to speed up 3D printing the company offers optional a 0.8mm nozzle to swap in for the standard 0.4mm nozzle. This permits four times as much material to flow through the nozzle, making larger prints considerably faster.
The company also provides a 0.2mm nozzle for prints requiring high levels of fine detail.
Fusion Technology says the printers are certified for printing in H-PLA, PLA, Polymax, FLX and Pc-MAX, with three models also able to 3D print ABS.
The major difference between the four models is the build volume and the price:
- M2030TP 200 x 200 x 400mm, USD$3,200
- M2048TP 200 x 200 x 480mm, USD$4,500
- M3145TP 310 x 310 x 450mm, USD$5,800
- M4040TP 400 x 400 x 400mm, USD$8,000
As you can tell from the pricing, these machines are intended for professional use.
In Japan, these four machines are sold through a network of resellers and distributors. And the company is therefore seeking resellers in the West to provide similar capability. However, the company is only marketing the L-DEVO Yamato model, priced at USD$5,999. It seems to be close to the M3145TP model sold in Japan.
I was told they are not considering selling directly through their website, as they are unable to provide proper service without local reseller assistance.
This could be challenging for them, as the number of resellers is limited, and many are already committed to selling particular brands. In some cases (Stratasys) the resellers are required to sell only that brand of equipment.
The other challenge they will encounter is that they have very stiff competition in this market, as there are several manufacturers of very capable professional desktop 3D printers specifically designed for engineering uses. And several of those machines are able to 3D print in a wider variety of plastics than the L-Devo machines can currently handle.