Two Trees, the Chinese printer manufacturer, has released a new budget-friendly machine in the form of the Sapphire Pro, an upgraded version of their previous Sapphire S.
With a print area and machine size similar to an Ender 3, the Sapphire Pro has a cube shape and makes its mark with a CoreXY belt setup. It’s advertised as fast, accurate, and reliable, with some high-tech features to boot. Selling for a price point right around $300, the Sapphire Pro is marketed to midrange hobbyists and beginners.
Some of the advertised features include linear rails on the X and Y axes, as well as a dual gear BMG Bowden extruder and a filament monitor for increased reliability. With this in mind, the Sapphire Pro seems to be quite a bargain, with features typically seen only in printers at least twice its asking price.
Let’s take a closer look to see what Two Trees is offering with their Sapphire Pro.
The Two Trees Sapphire Pro unit pictured was kindly provided by Gearbest
The Sapphire Pro seems to be a very promising platform, with an impressive set of features that you wouldn’t expect to see on a printer in this price range. Let’s break down the most prominent specifications to see what this printer really offers.
The Two Trees Sapphire pro features CoreXY kinematics, which theoretically allows it to print much faster than other types of printers. The reason for this is that the motors are fixed, so the “flying mass” of the print head and gantry are greatly reduced. In turn, this results in less vibrations during a print, reducing artifacts like ringing and ghosting during a print, and increasing accuracy even at higher speeds.
The perfect pair for a CoreXY system, linear guide rails, and bearings on the horizontal X and Y axes ensure smooth motion and reduced wear over time. Typically only seen on professional-grade printers, these are a welcome sight in the hobby 3D printing arena, signaling a move to higher quality builds at lower price points.
Under the hood of the Sapphire Pro is a Makerbase MKS 32 bit Robin Nano control board, featuring TCM2208 stepper motor drivers. The 32-bit processor on the Robin allows the Sapphire Pro to quickly and effectively run calculations and coordinate movement without missing a beat. The TMC2208 stepper motor drivers allow the printer to run quietly and smoothly, thanks to efficient and quiet power cycling and “StealthChop” functionality (a noise-reducing feature built into the TMC driver chips).
The Sapphire Pro includes the ability to auto-level with a small removable sensor. A pressure-based system, the printer will probe the bed by tapping at multiple points to create a data grid, allowing the software to correct for inconsistencies. Similarly to some Delta printers where toolhead space and weight are at a premium, the sensor must be removed before printing.
One of the other features that are new to see on hobby printers, a BMG dual gear extruder, is mounted to the side of the Sapphire Pro. This system is based on popular BondTech extruders, with two gears gripping the filament, rather than a single gear and a bearing. Compared to other extruders, the BMG setup can better push filament through the Bowden tube, with much lower chances of jamming or stripping the filament thanks to the extra gripping power.
Also included is a mechanical filament sensor, which can detect if the filament runs out or breaks, pausing the print. This means that you don’t need to keep as close an eye on your filament reels, especially for long prints.
You can order the Two Trees Sapphire Pro from the following retailers:
(Lead image source: Two Trees)
License: The text of "2019 Two Trees Sapphire Pro 3D Printer: Review the Specs" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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