There’s a new and interesting desktop 3D printer in the MakerPi family.
The new P3 PRO joins several other machines made by Shenzhen Soongon Technology Co.,Ltd., under their popular brand, MakerPi. The company has been in existence for nearly ten years, and has produced numerous desktop 3D printers during that time.
While the P3 Pro may at first appear quite similar to countless other open gantry-style desktop 3D printers, this machine includes some intriguing features.
First, it uses dual extrusion, and not just the regular dual approach: this machine has independently-controlled extruders, at least on the X-axis. This enables the machine to, for example, print two copies of a print at the same time, or print mirror images of an object.
You’re also able to 3D print objects in two colors by loading different filaments into each extruder.
More importantly, you can 3D print using soluble support material. This enables easy printing of highly complex geometries because the difficult support structures can be dissolved away after printing with ease.
The toolheads seem to be swappable: you can use a normal 250C 0.4mm filament toolhead, or perhaps the hardened steel option when using abrasive materials like carbon fiber-reinforced polymers. There seems to be an option for soft, flexible materials as well: the machine uses a dual-gear approach for pushing filament, which should be able to handle spaghetti-like flexible filaments.
The hardened steel option is also able to reach 300C, and when combined with the 110C heated build plate, you should be able to attempt to 3D print smaller objects in tricky materials like ABS or Nylon.
The print plate is a flexible steel sheet that’s magnetically attached. This makes for easy print removal by twisting the plate, which causes the prints to pop off without issue.
There’s also mention of an optional 500mW laser toolhead, which presumably would be used for engraving or perhaps even cutting paper or cardboard.
The P3 PRO includes a number of other de facto standard features you’d expect to see on any desktop 3D printer these days, including:
- Automated bed leveling
- Color touchscreen
- Filament-out sensor
- Linear rail motion system
- Optical end-stops
- Power-off pause and resume
- USB connection
- Silent stepper motor drivers
The MakerPi P3 PRO looks to be a well-equipped desktop 3D printer. It’s not quite available yet, but apparently the company will be launching it on Kickstarter soon, and I have a suspicion there may be good discounts for early buyers.