BigRep is one of the biggest names in big 3D printers. Here we review the specs of their flagship printer, the.
In 2014, the 3D printing industry was riding high on a wave of explosive growth. Stock prices for the industrial companies were at historic peaks, desktop printing technologies were driving immense media hype, and dozens of crowdfunded startups were emerging.
Early that same year, BigRep was founded in Berlin and announced their intent to make large-format 3D printing as easy and affordable as possible. While the industry as a whole has undergone some serious volatility and maturation in the past few years, BigRep has maintained a record of steady and responsible growth.
BigRep’s first large-format 3D printer, the BigRep ONE v1, started shipping by the end of 2014. It was the only commercially available printer of its size, boasting a massive 1 cubic meter of build volume and priced at around $40,000.
The ONE addressed the market gap between small desktop 3D printers and larger, more pricey industrial printers. Plus, the majority of big printers available at the time were expensive, custom setups that major automotive or aerospace titans could afford to experiment with, but that were still out of reach for the average furniture or industrial design firm.
It was the success of that unique positioning — and impressive attention to design and performance — that has led BigRep to raise over $20M in investor capital and expand sales operations to the Americas by way of NYC. The firm has since launched the smaller (but still huge) and fasterBigRep Studio in 2016 and iterated up to v3 on the ONE.
Now, four years since the original launched, thestill ranks as one of the lowest price-per-volume machines available.
The BigRep ONE v3 is a cleverly simple cube. For printers as large as the BigRep ONE v3 (1005 x 1005 x 1005 mm³), printing is a series of trade-offs between quality and speed, which can be incrementally chipped away at with improvements to hardware, slicer settings, and materials.
For hardware, the modular dual extruders occupy a small lightweight gantry, reducing the risk of pendular rocking or vibrations during fast movements. The rigid frame and Z-stage show a similar stability-centric intent — altogether evoking the company’s “German engineering” aesthetic.
With a heated build plate, newly released “Power Extruders”, filament detection, acceleration up to 400 mm/s², and resolutions from 100 to 1400 microns, the BigRep ONE v3 reads like a supersized desktop 3D printer.
Appropriately, it supports a range of common desktop materials, like PLA, PVA, PETG, flexible and high-temp plastics. Most notably, BigRep offers a high-speed PLA, dubbed “PRO HS,” whose “high throughput characteristics” enables faster printing. For software, the printer is optimized to run on the popular slicer Simplify3D but is also compatible with Cura or Slic3r.
If you’ve ever needed to build a large or human-scale part and had to rely on manually fabricating it or 3D printing it in multiple pieces, you understand the serious advantage a full cubic meter of build volume offers. BigRep cites impressive furniture and bicycle design use cases, and claims Etihad Airways as a partner. A number end-use applications exist within the range of materials the BigRep ONE offers, but the printer’s real constructive capability is in producing large prototypes quickly and reliably.
Different barriers to speed, like instability or low surface quality, continue to challenge large-format printer manufacturers to find new ways to shave off print time. Given the industry’s history, we can expect a large portion of this to happen on the software side.
Smarter toolpathing and better material print profiles have been key drivers in reducing print time. However, BigRep’s “PRO HS” and fast extruder upgrades demonstrate serious attention to unlocking even higher speeds.
All told, the company’s focus on print quality and customer needs inspires confidence that the BigRep ONE v3 is the sort of powerful, stable platform that will easily enable further improvements and innovations.
For a deeper look at large-format 3D printers, check out our guide to The World’s Biggest and Most Expensive 3D Printers in 2018.
Priced for small businesses, the BigRep ONE v3 is available for approximately $39,000.
Given its industrial nature, purchasing one of these large-format machines isn’t as simple as adding it to cart and checking out. Interested parties will instead have to request a quote, which you can do right here:
License: The text of "2018 BigRep One v3 – Review the Specs" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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