Sensei-tional

Updated: Blackbelt 3D Printer “Changing Paradigms” of FDM Technology

Blackbelt 3D

Launching on Kickstarter tomorrow, June 1, the new Blackbelt 3D printer aims to offer a monstrous build volume and support-free prints.

On Thursday, another 3D printer will join the lengthy list of Kickstarter campaigns involving additive manufacturing. While some projects fail and others become forgotten, the Blackbelt 3D printer might just end up “changing paradigms” of FDM 3D printing technology.

Marketed as an industrial production machine, this printer is capable of creating extremely lengthy parts without the need for supports. These prints are easily repeatable thanks to a specially designed conveyor belt system.

Blackbelt 3D

Blackbelt 3D: Printing Ideas That Are Larger Than Life

The most unique concept of the Blackbelt is the high-precision carbon-fiber composite conveyor belt that replaces the typical Z-axis. While the X-Y actuation system remains the same in theory, it has a slant of 45-degrees. This modifiable angle will allow the user to print support-free overhangs.

The build volume allows for prints of up to 340mm x 340mm in the x- and y-direction. For prints that measure out to 1300mm or longer, Blackbelt recommends utilizing their roller table to provide additional print support.

Once the print process is complete, the machine will be ready to start producing the next object almost right away. The conveyor belt allows prints to roll right off of the print bed and into a container, eliminating the hassle of removing objects.

Despite the machine’s capability to print support-free overhangs, some models feature geometries that are beyond the Blackbelt’s ability. To accommodate this the angle can change — in 10-degree increments from 15 to 45 degrees. Though this can result in reduced quality of some surfaces. For other overhangs that are impossible to adjust the angle for, a starting geometry is required.

The printer will be made available as a desktop and standalone machine and prints 1.75mm PLA, ABS and co-polyester filament. It comes equipped with three interchangeable print heads; including 0.4mm, 0.6mm, and also 0.8mm nozzle diameters.

Blackbelt uses BOSCH Alu profiles to build the frame, ensuring adaptation to both industrial and desktop environments. The stainless steel components offer precision and rigidity to the overall construction of the printer.

Blackbelt 3D

Will the Blackbelt 3D Printer Succeed on Kickstarter?

There’s good reason to put faith into this crowdfunding project, as the creator has vast experience with the technical side of 3D printing. The Blackbelt 3D printer is the work of Stephan Schürmann, a former 3D printing engineer with the renowned filament producer colorFabb.

Unsurprisingly, colorFabb’s filament has served as the testing material throughout the Blackbelt’s four-year development. And making good on this long partnership, the Blackbelt states on its site that the printer ships with a 2kg spool of the brand’s nGen co-polyester.

Although the project has yet to hit Kickstarter, the Blackbelt team is already unveiling details for the project. The retail price for the desktop version will be 9,500 EUR, while the package that includes the standing frame and roller will cost 12,500 EUR.

Those who make the jump and become Super Early Bird backers can snag the heavily discounted price of 5,500 EUR.  The Blackbelt 3D printer will launch on Kickstarter at 3PM CET, June 1, so keep an eye out for updates.

Although the Kickstarter landscape is often uncertain, the Blackbelt team has the experience and the concept to revolutionize 3D printing technology. Whether or not they can deliver on this idea, however, remains to be seen.

Blackbelt 3D

Source: Blackbelt 3D

[A previous version of this article stated May 12 as the Kickstarter campaign launch.]