Airwolf has been producing great professional 3D printers for years, and now introduce a new machine, the EVO.
Actually, I must correct myself; Airwolf says it is officially NOT a 3D printer but is instead an “Additive Manufacturing Center”. But yes, it is a 3D printer, but one on which you can actually perform manufacturing.
The machine has a number of notable enhancements over Airwolf’s previous machines.
- They’ve upgraded the motion system to use linear rails, which enable faster and more accurate hot end positioning.
- The extruder is much stronger, as the NEMA17 stepper motor has been replaced with a NEMA23 motor.
- The print surface is a single-piece steel bed.
- An air filter system includes a HEPA filter to eliminate odors during 3D printing operations.
- A power protection feature gracefully shuts down the system during a power loss, and enables resumption of printing when you’ve got the lights on later.
- An intriguing clog-recovery system is possible, where you can resume a print at any designated layer. Imagine a filament problem causes three hours of “air printing”: You might be able to resume the print using this feature.
Finally, this machine includes actual heaters within the build chamber. No, this is NOT residual heat from the hot end and heated build surface, it is two separate, dedicated heating units. These ensure the build chamber is rapidly heated and maintained at specific temperatures to optimize the printing of particular materials.
I’m quite surprised by this, as the direct heating of the build chamber was largely unseen among 3D printers due to the Stratasys patent. However, it seems that patent has now expired so we may be seeing a lot more of this in the future. However, for now Airwolf has the feature, which should dramatically increase print quality.
We’re told that the EVO should be capable of 3D printing some of the emerging metal filaments, from which you can post-print sinter into actual metal parts. I suspect the company will be exploring this a lot more in future months.
The EVO is set to ship in February, but you can pre-order one now for USD$6,995.