A soon-to-be-launched on Kickstarter project promises to produce a truly massive desktop 3D printer.
“The Beast” is the aptly-named 3D printer from Australia-based Cultivate3D. While it’s staggeringly huge build volume of 470 x 435 x 690mm is its most obvious feature, this machine has some additional twists that make it even more interesting.
But let’s first consider that huge build volume. It’s equivalent to 141 liters or 37 US gallons of volume. Cultivate3D says the machine is so big it can “3D print a child”.
They’re not kidding.
This massive size is so much larger than other competing desktop 3D printers it’s hard to believe. Check out this diagram comparing The Beast’s build surface with the popular Replicator 2 and Ultimaker 2 build beds.
Huge, isn’t it. You can clearly fit several of the competing machines within the same Beast space.
But wait – that’s where Cultivate3D came up with a very interesting idea. Consider this comparison:
See, we can fit four Ultimaker 2’s within the Beast’s print area. And that’s exactly what they did.
They’ve set up their FOUR extruders to operate in “synchronous” or “normal” mode. In normal mode, the four extruders can be used to print a very large object in multiple colors or materials by switching hot ends during printing.
In Synchronous mode, the extruders are moved apart, similar to the four-way Ultimaker diagram above. Then they all print simultaneously! Thus, you can print four objects in the same time it takes to print only one. And they can be quite large too. Dividing the build volume four ways yields a “sub volume” of 117 x 109 x 690mm, not too shabby at all. And still quite tall.
The Beast can 3D print in layers as small as 0.05mm, similar to smaller machines, and providing ability for reasonably fine details. The Beast does not appear to include a heated bed, meaning you’re likely to be able to print only PLA effectively with this model. But for large objects, that should not be an issue.
This machine seems to fit a gap in the marketplace, where the smaller 200mm and smaller machines don’t offer much in-between their size and the larger, 1000mm machines that often cost tens of thousands of dollars.
The Beast, while not quite available on Kickstarter, is set to be sold for only USD$1,850 for a kit version and USD$3,299 assembled and “shipped anywhere in the world”. That’s a very good price for such a massive machine.