China-based Mankati has a new, powerful professional desktop 3D printer on the market: the E180.
The E180 is in a class of special desktop 3D printers that offers high temperature capacities, making it a “professional” machine because it can use more professional materials.
That high temperature capability manifests in several specific features, most notably the hot end, which can hit 350C, almost 100C higher than typical desktop 3D printers. The print plate can be heated to 110C, and between the two of these, the fully enclosed metal build chamber with metal linear rails is maintained at 60C. That’s a sufficiently high temperature to keep all but the most misbehaving materials from warping. The linear rails should work better than a belt system at the higher temperatures encountered in the build chamber.
This means that this machine should perform more reliably than most, and offer good print quality.
The fully assembled unit comes with many features besides the high temperature capability. Here are the most important extra features:
An air cleaning system will purify vented air, making this machine more office friendly than most of its competitors, particularly when using more unusual materials.
An on-board camera system can be used with the included networking capability and a remote app to monitor and control machine activities.
Their extrusion system has a very short drive length, 50mm, which they claim to be the shortest in the world. Regardless of who the record holder might be, this certainly should enable much finer control over extrusions – there should not be stringy prints from the E180.
The E180 can detect when filament runs out and notify operators. It pauses the print, enabling a filament spool swap so that the print can be successfully resumed and completed.
The management software permits monitor and control of clusters of E180’s, making it easy for a professional office to maintain a set of machines.
The high temperatures in the build chamber require an equally matched cooling system, which Mankati has provided. This cooling system is sufficiently powerful to enable some ridiculous bridging, shown in the slide here. Watch their video to see this in action.
The build chamber volume is not particularly large on the E180, at 180 x 180 x 200mm (hence its product name), but it can print layers as small as 0.06mm, making for very detailed prints and smoother surface finishes.
The E180 is fortunately an open materials system, appropriate for professional use. You can use any filament that’s 1.75mm format and Mankati says they support “ABS, PLA, PC, Nylon, TPU, PETG, ASA, HIPS, Carbon Fiber, etc.”
The machine is apparently priced at a relatively low USD$2,160, although you will have to pay for shipping as well. That’s a very good price compared to alternative machines of this quality and feature level. Good news for professionals.