German startup iFactory3D has upgraded and modified its debut conveyor belt 3D printer, the iFactory One, to launch its latest machine, the iFactory One Plus.
Designed for serial production, the One Plus features an upgraded extruder nozzle, modified belt tensioning system, changes to the cooling system, and is now capable of printing with flexible filament and at higher temperatures.
iFactory3D will present the new machine in an upcoming crowdfunding campaign planned for Q2 2020.
“We have received a lot of positive feedback for our product from a lot of companies who would like to build up their own serial production with 3D printers,” said Artur Steffen, CEO of iFactory3D. “Therefore, we made several significant design changes to our device and enhanced it for serial manufacturing. What we achieved is the perfect solution for serial production of 3D printed parts.”
The iFactory One
iFactory3D’s debut 3D printer, the iFactory One, offered hobbyists, SMEs, and entrepreneurs round-the-clock prototyping capabilities. After receiving substantial financial investment from business accelerator Startplatz, the company launched a crowdfunding campaign for the FDM conveyor belt 3D printer on Kickstarter in November last year.
In total, the Kickstarter project was supported by 434 backers which saw iFactory3D reach around 186 percent of its funding goal.
Characterized bits conveyor belt, the machine features a build volume of (virtually) infinite x 290 x 180mm and an exchangeable hotend angled at 45° to reduce the need for multiple supports, although complex geometries will still need them.
One feature that sets the machine apart from its competitors is iFactory3D’s own embedded AI-based error detection software, PrinterGUARD. The software is able to visually identify five of the most common errors that occur during FDM printing, including spaghetti, print bed detachment, part warping, stringing, and air printing.
The upgraded iFactory One Plus
According to iFactory3D, the upgrades to the iFactory One have made the One Plus “one of the fastest” conveyor belt 3D printers on the market. In fact, the machine is able to print up to three times faster than its predecessor with little or no loss in print quality, thanks to an increased volumetric flow rate.
One of the other key upgrades the iFactory One Plus has undergone is replacing the Bowden extruder from the original iFactory One printer with a direct drive configuration, in order to improve reliability and print quality. The upgraded nozzle also expands the range of filaments that can be used with the machine, such as flexible filaments.
The range of compatible materials is further broadened by discarding the PTFE inliner, enabling the machine to print at higher temperatures than were previously possible. Changes to the printer’s cooling system have also improved overall print quality.
Finally, iFactory3D has modified the machine’s belt tensioning system, which in the original model could not be adjusted. Users of the One Plus can now tighten the belt as needed, with the technology making it impossible for users to tighten the belt unevenly.