Ben Reytblat’s new venture, 3DMonstr, has attracted some attention on Kickstarter, where the pledges are flowing in rapidly for the new 3D printer. 3DMonstr is actually a family of fully assembled 3D printers, each of which entirely deserving of the “monster” label.
Sure, it’s size that is the major factor. The “small” version, the T-Rex-12 has a print volume of 305 x 305 x 305mm, or in Imperial terms, one cubic foot. There’s a T-Rex-18 and a T-Rex-24, with a staggering 610 x 610 x 610mm build volume, or eight cubic feet. As you might imagine, these are not small machines, weighing from 75 to 150 pounds without filament.
As large as they are, the T-Rex’s are said to be portable. They can actually fold easily into transportable volumes.
It’s not just print volume the 3DMonstr’s exceed at. They’re capable of handling up to four different extruders. Presently the extruders can work with plastics, but the intention is to offer extruders capable of printing food grade material, low temperature squishy substances and very inexpensive plastic pellets. A quick-mount mechanism enables easy extruder changeout.
A concern with large-format 3D printers must be reliability. For printing large objects, which you must be doing otherwise you wouldn’t buy a 3DMonstr, much time will elapse, particularly if you print at 0.04mm layers, the best quality layer size available. During that long print time the printer had better be very reliable, lest you waste a ton of plastic on that half-built eighteen inch gnome. Based on their intentions, it seems that the 3DMonstr team understands this and has spent considerable effort re-engineering their designs to meet the challenge. Be sure to watch their video where all these features are demonstrated – especially when Reytblat takes a blowtorch to the machine to prove its durability.
But how much will these enormous printers cost? It depends on the print volume and the number of extruders you required. But in all cases the price will range from USD$2,499 for a single extruder T-Rex-12 to USD$4,999 for a four-extruder T-Rex-24.