Raise3D Adds Focus On Education Market With E2 Announcement
Raise3D announced a brand new 3D printer, the E2.
It’s a somewhat smaller version as compared to their Pro 2 series, but has similar features and a few new ones. The new features are designed to address the needs of their new market focus: Education.
The E2 3D Printer
The new E2 has a smaller build volume of 330 x 240 x 240 mm, as compare to the larger 305 x 305 x 300 (or 600) mm for the Pro 2 and Pro 2 Plus. Like the Pro 2 series, the E2 sports dual independent extruders for the ability to 3D print complex 3D models with soluble support material.
There are the standard convenience features of automated bed leveling, color touchscreen, removable flexible build plate and more.
Features that should be of particular interest to the education market include: a power save mode to retain the state of a print when power is lost; video-assisted calibration of dual extrusion offset; and an automated pause when the build chamber door is opened.
The E2 also participates in RaiseCloud, a cloud-based system to allow remote control and monitoring of Raise3D systems, which was recently released for their clients.
That last point is quite important, as schools need to have every possible safety feature on their equipment. Children in particular can be quite inquisitive, and having a door opened during a print is a likely outcome.
Raise3D In Education
The pricing of the E2 is also targeted at educators: it’s only €2500 (US$2750), less than their Pro 2 series. Note that the E2 and its price point are ONLY available to the educational market. You cannot buy one otherwise.
One thing that I feel is missing from the E2 strategy is an educational portfolio. Most of the other 3D printer manufacturers who have entered that market have accompanied their equipment with comprehensive learning aids that can often be directly used by educators in the form of lesson plans, projects and more.
These items make the life of the educator far simpler and can launch proper training of 3D printing principles more rapidly. Raise3D would be wise to consider such a move with the E2.
One more thing: it’s a bit curious to see Raise3D entering this market, which is quite different from their traditional manufacturing market. While you might think it’s a straightforward move, it often requires an entirely different distribution strategy and network, as educators buy equipment in vastly different ways than do manufacturers.
Why expend that effort? It could be that Raise3D wishes to broaden their client base to insure against the possibility of increased competition in the future. Diversification is always a good thing.
It could also be that they are simply experimenting to see whether they could profit from this market niche.
Regardless, the E2 is likely to be an interesting option for some educators.