I had a look at Loop 3D’s new Loop Pro X+ 3D printer.
Loop 3D is a Turkish company that has undergone quite a bit of change. When I first encountered them back in 2017, they had produced a highly unusual continuous 3D printer that used pins to eject prints from the build plate. However, that concept didn’t take off, so the company transformed into a producer of industrial 3D printers a few years later.
Over the past couple of years they’ve been developing their latest industrial 3D printer, the Loop Pro X+.
This is a 3D printer targeted at those making production parts in low volumes. The device uses the FFF process, and is equipped with a default nozzle of 0.4mm. You can swap the printhead with alternate tools in only ten seconds.
The build volume is quite large at 500 x 350 x 350 mm, and the build surface is a magnetically attached spring steel plate coated with PEI for adhesion. Under the magnetic surface plate is a solid aluminum heated print bed.
The frame of the device is very solid, having been made from CNC-milled aluminum casting. This should ensure quality prints by reducing vibration, but it also makes the device pretty hefty at 140kg.
There’s a color touchscreen, WiFi, USB and Ethernet connections available, which can connect to Loop 3D’s cloud-based slicing software. From there you can control a cluster of Loop 3D machines from a single point. They will provide offline versions of the slicing software on request for companies wishing to keep data onsite at all times, however.
What makes this a production machine? It’s the material handling system. The Loop 3D Pro X+ can hold dual 2kg spools of filament in its onboard dry box system. As one spool runs out, the machine automatically switches to the second spool. This allows the operator to swap in a fresh spool, which in turn can be switched over as the second spool runs out.
As a representative of Loop 3D told me, the machine can “run forever”. That’s exactly what you want in a production environment.
Another problem that often occurs in long running FFF systems is blobbing on the nozzle. The Loop 3D Pro X+ has an automatic nozzle cleaning procedure that runs periodically. This increases print quality, as you’re far less likely to see a detached blob of plastic land on your print.
While this is an industrial 3D printer, it is also set up for use in an office. The enclosure reduces noise, and there’s a HEPA filter system to eliminate odors that may disturb nearby people. Finally, there’s an electronically locked door to prevent passersby from interfering with an ongoing print job.
At the time of our discussion, Loop 3D had not yet determined a price for the device, but I would expect it to be somewhere in the €25-35K range.
Via Loop 3D