Since I’ve been writing about large-format 3D printers lately, today we are revisiting 3D Monstr’s line of 3D printers.
The last time we wrote about 3D Monstr was over two and a half years ago, when the company introduced their massive T-Rex series of large format 3D printers. What’s happened since then
It seems quite a bit. When these machines were introduced they included features focused on achieving sturdiness and durability, which are certainly good things to have in any 3D printer. But now I notice there are also a number of interesting features designed to make life as a large-format 3D print operator a lot easier.
But first a recap: 3D Monstr produces three professional-grade 3D printers, the T-Rex 12, 18 and 24. The numbers correspond to the build volume’s axis dimensions in inches. In other words, these are machines with build volumes ranging from 305 x 305 x 305mm to 610 x 610 x 610mm. That’s large - although there are a very few machines that are a bit larger that have emerged since the introduction of 3D Monstr’s equipment.
The machines can print layers as small as 0.04mm, which is something I wouldn’t be sure I’d want to do for such large prints as it would result in very long print durations. But you can do it if you require such resolution.
All T-Rex models also include an auto-leveling feature that again makes life a lot easier, particularly on a machine with such a large print surface.
But I’ve noticed some interesting features, many of which would be desirable on any large-format 3D printer.
One is their “Multizone” heated build platform. Normally, the build surface on an extrusion-based 3D printer is heated to prevent warping of most plastics, but in a large-format 3D printer that might be a lot of waste heat if your 3D model doesn’t cover the entire build surface.
3D Monstr has developed a heated build surface with multiple independently controlled heat zones, as shown here. Thus, you do not have to heat everything - just the portions you’re intending on printing with.
You can control these zones using an optional controller, where it’s possible to not only set the temperature independently, but also deactivate zones entirely.
Their extrusion mechanism is quite advanced as well. Not only is it compatible with the standard set of plastics, including ABS and PLA, but it’s also capable of 3D printing high temperature materials such as polycarbonate or nylon. It can also handle NinjaFlex, a fantastic flexible material that can be very challenging to 3D print on many devices.
Oh yes, there are up to FOUR of these in a T-Rex, enabling use of multiple materials. The standard configuration involves two extruders, but apparently you can easily add in up to two more.
They also offer a standalone, Raspberry Pi 3-based controller to operate the machine without the requirement for an attached PC. The controller can run Repetier-Server or OctoPrint, and includes a touch screen and webcam to monitor long-running 3D print jobs.
But the most interesting part of their extruder design is that it is water cooled! The balancing act between the hot and cold sections of the extrusion path enable them to present “perfect temperature control throughout”. There are not very many water-cooled extruders on the market.
And finally, they’ve designed this machine to be more easily transported with their “Folding Gantry”. This is important as I wrote earlier: some large format 3D printer manufacturers are dismayed to find they are losing some clients because their machines are so large they won’t fit through the doors! But it seems that 3D Monstr has thought of this problem and come up with a solution. Their largest machine, the T-Rex 24, has dimensions of 53"L x 36"W x 6"H when collapsed, permitting it to fit through virtually any doorway.
And a reminder of pricing, which is actually pretty low for machines of these capabilities: the smallest version, the T-Rex 12 is priced at USD$4,599. The T-Rex 18 at USD$6,349 and the giant T-Rex 24 at only USD$8,099.
If you’re one of the increasing numbers of businesses seeking a low cost, high-performance large-format 3D printer, you might want to check out 3D Monstr.
Via 3D Monstr