Spain-based BCN3D Technologies released significant updates to their desktop 3D printers, now the Sigma R19 and Sigmax R19.
BCN3D has been manufacturing desktop 3D printing equipment since 2014, and has periodically updated their offerings to include the latest features. That’s the case here once again.
The company has smartly targeted the professional market, enabling them to develop and market machines with additional features for which they can charge a reasonable price and still make a good profit.
What’s in the new R19 versions?
First, the hot end has changed. Like many other companies, BCN3D has opted to simply install a slowly-becoming-industry-standard E3D-Online hot end. These hot ends are used in dozens of professional machines and have proven their value. Now BCN3D Technologies joins the club.
They’ve included Bondtech gearing, which is a dual gear system that provides significantly more grip on a filament. Most other systems use a single gear that presses the filament against a flat wheel, which can create slippage situations. Bondtech is another one of those companies that seems to be producing a de-facto standard component that’s increasingly popping up in 3D printer designs lately.
All filament-based professional 3D printers should include a filament out sensor that pauses the print and allows the operator to swap spools. Now the BCN Sigma and Sigmax do, too. This will not only reduce print failures and material wastage, but also decrease frustration.
BCN3D Technologies has souped up the graphical interface on their color touchscreen control panel. Marc Felis, BCN3D Technologies Marketing Manager, says:
“For this new generation of BCN3D printers, not only have we worked on creating a great hardware but also in improving the user experience, creating a refined graphic user interface with new informative screens, maintenance recommendations, new guided assistants and access to advanced settings. The ultimate test of a product comes when the users confront it, not just from a list of its specifications. That’s why we’ve taken special care of each phase of the user experience.”
The new machines sport interchangeable toolheads. This allows, say, the installation of a larger-diameter nozzle to 3D print larger objects more quickly – but at the cost of surface resolution. Similarly, smaller nozzles can be installed to 3D print objects with finer resolution – but again at the cost of print elapsed time. BCN3D Technologies’ new nozzle kit includes six nozzles ranging from 0.3mm to 1.0mm in diameter for all 3D printing situations.
The new enclosure surrounding the devices continues to capture heat and increase print reliability, but also includes a HEPA filter for cleaning some emitted particles. However, it’s possible that even a HEPA filter may not capture all particles emitted.
One of the most interesting features of the two machines is their IDEX architecture. IDEX is an acronym standing for Independent Dual Extruder System. The company was one of the first to market such a system, in which the dual extruders move independently, as opposed to the parallel approach used by most other dual extruder machines.
Eric Pallarés, BCN3D Technologies’ CTO, tells Fabbaloo:
“IDEX has proven to be, not only the most flexible solution, but also the most productive one. On top of that, the market is demanding a reliable ecosystem, far beyond than any fancy feature. For this reason, the new generation of printers equips globally renowned, state-of-the-art components to deliver the most reliable outcome.”
The feature allows the machines to not only 3D print in two materials within a single print job, but also perform the unusual acts of “duplication” printing, in which two identical objects are made at the same time on different areas of the print bed, or “mirror” mode, in which an object and a mirrored version are printed simultaneously. I don’t think I’ve seen mirror mode on any other machine.
That, combined with the ability to 3D print a wide range of technical materials, should make either machine a good choice for professionals.
The two machines are available now from BCN3D Technologies, priced at €2,994.75 (US$3,485) for the Simga R19 and €4,470.95 (US$5,200) for the larger Sigmax unit. BCN3D Technologies says they will provide upgrade kits for those using older models.