There’s an interesting option available for those requiring a large-format desktop 3D printer: the T-Rex from FORMBOT.
The open-style cartesian 3D printer appears to have a simple design, but there are some very interesting features beyond the basics of 3D printing.
The most important feature, of course, is the huge build volume, which is measured at a spectacular 400 x 400 x 450mm. That’s larger than almost all but the enormous 1000mm massive 3D printers – and you won’t find them on a desktop.
Sample prints shown for this machine appear to be of very good quality, such as this:
One drawback with this machine is that it does not have an enclosed build volume, exposing the print to ambient air temperatures. It could be challenging to print larger-sized objects in warpy materials such as ABS. But for PLA it should work very well.
The 3D printing specifications are basic, but reasonable, with a minimum layer size of 0.05mm, a heated print surface (capable of 110C) and a 3” LCD display. There is an optional high temperature extruder that permits printing of additional materials, such as nylon. You won’t find fancy features such as WiFi or integrated WebCam on this unit.
But there is one very interesting feature you can find: a laser engraver option!
The sophisticated extruder design is magnetically attached, making it very straightforward to swap out the 3D print heads and replace it with the laser engraving head. Don’t believe me? Just watch this video to see how quickly it can be done:
See that? It takes only a few seconds to swap the tool head.
Also note that the connections to the tool head are also easy-to-use connectors, like an RJ45.
To be clear, the laser engraver is pretty low power; you won’t be cutting birch on this unit. But you can indeed engrave wood and paper materials, as shown in this video:
Now, you may be wondering how much this unit costs? Actually, it’s quite reasonably priced at USD$1,499 for the base dual-extrusion unit at 3D Printers Online Store. For an extra USD$50 you can convert to the high temperature extruder, and the optional laser engraving tool head may be had for only another USD$150.