We obtained a preview of a new 3D printer that’s set to appear on Kickstarter: STACKER.
This machine appears to be a regular desktop-style filament-extruding 3D printer, but it has some very peculiar features that make it very different.
The most important difference is the number of extruders: four. But wait, they’re not for printing multiple colors or materials in an object. Instead they’re for printing FOUR objects at once! Each extruder is mounted on the same mechanical hardware, so they all move simultaneously.
Each of the four extruders has a separate filament feed, implying you can print an identical object in up to four different colors or materials. Or the same materials, whatever your choice happens to be.
It appears that the extruders can slide along the X-axis to operate as a normal multi-extruder machine, too.
The machine provides a very decent build volume: 250 x 450 x 220mm. A special “mobile” version on wheels has a vastly expanded Z-axis, providing a print volume of 250 x 450 x 600mm.
STACKER is designed to accept virtually any plastic filament available - although they have partnered with colorFabb, so you can be sure all of their excellent filament offerings will work on STACKER.
Designed for engineers, this machine is likely to be found making quantities of jigs and prototypes at a rapid pace in professional offices. The machine includes a number of high-quality components to ensure STACKER can be a workhorse within an office, running for long periods. Expect a lot of carbon fiber filament to be used in STACKERs.
This venture adds to our observation that vendors are recognizing the money, at least these days, is in professional applications rather than consumer 3D printing.
For now you’ll have to wait for STACKER, as its Kickstarter campaign has not quite launched. When it does, you’ll be able to nab one of these units for USD$5,995.