Compound Dynamics: A Machine Tool-Style 3D Printer
A brand new company has entered the large-format 3D printing market: Compound Dynamics.
Founded by Jared Wesenick less than a year ago, Compound Dynamics has developed a powerful large-format 3D printer suitable for use by industry. Compound Dynamics is privately funded, at least for the moment, and has a team of eight on staff.
The first prototype machine has been under design for a year and a half, but is now ready for public release.
Wesenick, who has a notable background in the development of CNC equipment, garnered an interest in 3D printing some years ago. Like many 3D printer entrepreneurs, Wesenick was disappointed in the options available at the time and set out to build a superior machine.
Wesenick’s comprehensive knowledge of industrial CNC machine builds was the key to the development of the Compound Dynamics machine. It features a number of design aspects that would normally be seen on industrial CNC machines, but are rarely, if ever, seen on typical industrial 3D printing equipment.
The machine’s frame, for example, is welded steel. This forms an extremely rigid platform for 3D printing, which is particularly important for the large format delivered by the Compound Dynamics RM Printer: it sports one full cubic meter build volume.
While many 3D printer manufacturers boast of their machine’s rigidity, the rigidity of this machine is way beyond. Wesenick told us the prototype RM Printer’s bed was out of level only 0.3mm after being shipped by truck over 1000km of rough roads. This is quite notable, as a 1m square bed is significantly larger than typical print beds. Wesenick explained the machine rarely requires leveling at all.
In addition to the system’s rigidity, the components of the system are all high grade. Top quality servo motors are used instead of stepper motors. Ball screws used throughout. High-quality linear rails used extensively. And much more.
They explain their design philosophy:
“It was designed from the ground up to be a big, fast, FDM printer. It is not a scaled-up desktop machine, or a revision of a machine designed for stepper motors. We have worked with machine tools for our entire careers; using, designing, building, servicing, testing and purchasing. Basically, we are machine guys. Every printer out there just didn't appeal to us. So we set out to design a machine that met our expectations. We took ideas from the machine tool industry, mixed in our experience and combined them to create this printer. It's big, it's fast and we love it. We intend to be the best in the industry through better mechanical design, better components and better software, to combine for the best ownership experience.”
The 2.85mm dual extrusion system is quite interesting. The RM Printer includes swappable nozzles — from 0.6mm to 2.0mm for very fast printing — but they are attached by a clamp, rather than screwing them in. This enables the ability to swap them when they are cold, unlike every other extrusion system we’ve seen, which could save some time.
There’s a number of other features, such as networking, webcam, safety pause on door opening, and the ability to accept up to 11kg filament spools.
The system is capable of 3D printing in all the normal materials, including PLA, ABS, PETG, etc. While the bed is heated, there are optional air heaters for the chamber itself.
At this time Compound Dynamics has not shipped a machine to customers, but they have completed an impressive prototype to demonstrate the machine’s capabilities. They are accepting orders, and upon reception they will build to order. Pricing of the machine is set at US$159K, which is definitely not out of line for a capable piece of industrial equipment.
It seems to me that the RM Printer could be a very capable machine tool for the right kind of workshop.