BCN3D is a Barcelona-based 3D printer manufacturer that’s produced several generations of desktop 3D printers.
Each generation is improved on the former, and now they’ve released the BCN3D Sigma R17 (which I presume corresponds to 2017). It’s a much improved machine with some interesting capabilities.
The BCN3D Sigma R17 is one of the few desktop 3D printers featuring independently operating extrusion systems. Instead of having a single hotend, or a pair of hotends bolted together moving around the build plate, the BCN3D Sigma R17 sports two independently operating hotends. This means you can print two different objects simultaneously, for example. Or you can 3D print a single object faster by having two hotends work on it at the same time.
The new R17 model is compatible with BCN3D’s “Hotend Family”, a collection of six unique hotends with differing nozzle sizes. The nozzle diameters range from 0.3 to 1.0mm, which is a rather large range compared to some other swappable nozzle systems from other manufacturers. The 0.3mm nozzle should permit printing extremely fine detail, while the 1.0mm nozzle can deposit vast quantities of plastic in coarse layers very quickly.
And these nozzles are made from hardened steel, meaning they are capable of use with composite filaments, such as copper-filled PLA, which would otherwise damage softer brass nozzles.
While the swappable nozzles are not a unique feature, it gets very interesting when combining them with the Sigma R17’s independent dual extrusion system.
You can, for example, print a finely detailed object with one extruder, and a large, coarse print on the other – within the same print job. Theoretically you could also 3D print fine portions of an object with a small nozzle and the larger, less detailed portions with a big nozzle.
This introduces a great deal of flexibility in controlling the speed and quality of any print job, particularly if a number of different objects are to be printed in one run.
The Sigma R17 also includes a brand new cooling system in which they’ve included carefully selected fans that are far less noisy. Noise reduction really doesn’t help with the quality of 3D prints, but it definitely could tip the decision to install the device in an office setting where disruption is not desired.
You will be able to 3D print a number of different materials, as the Sigma R17 includes a maximum 280C temperature on the hotend, heated print surface and enclosed build chamber, which happens to be reasonably large as well at 210 x 297 x 210mm. Minimum layer size is 0.05mm, as good as any other extrusion-based desktop 3D printer.
Finally, the Sigma R17 includes a fancy 3.5 inch color capacitive touch screen, making the operation a bit easier, as the well-designed interface can walk you through any operational task.
The BCN3D Sigma R17 is available now for €2,656 (USD$2,966) and ships in only a seven days.