Loveland’s 3D printing legacy lives on as SynDaver West launches its new professional desktop 3D printer.
We’ve been awaiting fuller news of the venture, as synthetic cadaver manufacturer SynDaver, based in Tampa, recently introduced SynDaver West. Based in Loveland, Colorado, the venture is based in a city that until just a few months ago housed one of the best-known open source desktop 3D printers. That’s no surprise, either, as a quick glance at personnel reveals several members of the small SynDaver West team had a background with LulzBot. This endeavor is something of a local phoenix rising from LulzBot’s area ashes.
While LulzBot itself was revived and is now based in Fargo — and we’ll have updates soon from that company to see how it’s doing — its departure from Loveland left a strong base of local 3D printing talent. We caught wind of the new 3D printer last week, and now are getting a better look at just what is debuting.
The SynDaver Axi targets prosumers and hobbyists, and is available now for a $3,250 retail price, including a three-year warranty and free US-based customer and technical support. The availability announcement includes a good number of channel partners, which currently includes IT-Works 3D, Makerwiz, Midwest Technology, 3D Printlife, and Printed Solid, with further availability “soon” from Amazon, MatterHackers, Mouser, Digikey, and Print Your Mind.
Axi features include:
- 280 x 280 x 285 mm build volume
- Color touchscreen
- Heated, removable PEI-coated bed plate
- E3D Hemera toolhead: 1.75mm dual-drive extruder
- 25-point mesh touch probe bed leveling system
- Filament runout sensor
Many of these match up with Kerry’s determinations based on the single photo previously available (though it’s called “Axi” rather than “VAxi”). That’s nice in that what you see is in fact what you get. We’re hopeful this will carry through as well to the actual results from the new machine as well.
SynDaver Vice President Curt Ketner further describes the work that went into designing the Axi:
“When we designed this printer, we incorporated the best features from every other leading printer currently available, fine-tuned them to ensure the printer works amazingly well, and made it rugged and remarkably reliable. This printer can be used by companies with a need for serious 3D printing capabilities or by 3D printing hobbyists, and we even took security into consideration, so this can be immediately adopted and deployed by the military while maintaining operational security.”
Edit 6/4: The CEO of SynDaver has reached out with information that Axi is indeed open source; files will be available shortly on GitHub.
SynDaver’s 3D Printing Strategy
Axi, it seems, is just the beginning for SynDaver in 3D printing.
Developed at SynDaver West, with work “quietly” going on since late last year when LulzBot’s exit released 3D printing talent for new projects, the Axi 3D printer will be produced in Tampa now that it’s ready to go commercial. The SynDaver Tampa campus is “being set up as a new business incubator” that “will focus on helping companies that are manufacturing American-made goods in the technology space, and other businesses that serve those companies,” says the press release.
This all sounds like a new business angle for SynDaver, which has created a name for itself in a rather different niche. Still there’s some definite overlap of interest, as the anatomical education, surgical simulation, and medical device testing that have already benefited from SynDaver’s synthetic human and animal models have also long benefited from 3D printing technology.
3D printed anatomical models can be made to be patient-specific, for example, with multi-material technology enabling realistic simulations for medical practice ahead of a procedure. They can also be used for patient education (“here’s what your heart looks like, here’s the problem, here’s how we’ll fix it”) and for testing medical devices.
Sounds like quite a nice fit indeed for SynDaver — which has in fact “used 3D printers extensively in its manufacturing operations for the better part of a decade” per today’s announcement.
With the introduction of Axi, SynDaver is fulfilling its own needs and wants as well as looking ahead to better its offerings.
“Axi is highly capable and durable – basically the printer I have always wanted,” said Dr. Christopher Sakezles, Founder and CEO of SynDaver.
Now that the Axi has been publicly debuted with commercial availability, it’s no time for SynDaver to rest. We can expect to hear more, it sounds, in the next twelve months; Sakezles adds:
“Still, this is just the beginning for us – we are already developing our next printer which is expected to launch sometime in Q1 next year.”