AirWolf 3D Debuts sub-$4K Dual Hot End 3D Printer
The Engineer posted on July 01, 2014 |

3D printing, airwolf, consume, dual extruderAirwolf 3D, a privately-held designer, manufacturer and distributor of high-performance 3D printers, has once again delivered on its strategic vision for the 3D printing industry by unveiling the AW3D HD2x dual hot end 3D printer, streamlining dual head printing. Once the print heads are calibrated, it’s essentially a set-and-forget operation.

Previously, desktop dual-head 3D printer manufacturers faced the nearly impossible challenge of maintaining alignment, temperature, and flow control over two separate and distinct hot ends. Such machines are plagued with clogging, dripping, misshapen prints and system shut downs.

The secret lies in the proprietary, patent-pending JRx print heads, each powered by its own stepper motor. Unlike other 3D printers, the two hot ends are manufactured as a single piece. This fixed relationship eliminates x and y axis alignment problems because there is no slippage; the heads are always in frame. As such, the machine’s dual head spatial calibration is fixed in the firmware rather than in the user interface.

“Our ultimate goal is to place a 3D printer on every desktop,” said Erick Wolf, Airwolf 3D co-founder and chairman. “To accomplish this we have to design and manufacture units that include the features customers want at an affordable price.”

“Our new dual hot end AW3D HD2x is the latest example of our commitment and our most significant product ever,” Wolf added. “We’ve engineered it to be a simple-to-use, hassle-free 3D printer that combines the versatility of two hot ends with the desirability of printing over 20 different materials including polycarbonate and nylon. Basically, we’ve built a $10,000 desktop printer for a fraction of the cost.”

The HD2x’s advanced dual JRx (jam resistant) hot ends are the first affordable hot ends that can run all day at temperatures of 315 degrees Celsius (599 degrees Fahrenheit) to print engineering-grade materials like polycarbonate, and numerous forms of nylon including Bridge Nylon and Nylon 645.

The dual JRx hot ends can print two compatible materials simultaneously. For example, the main body can be printed in ABS with a supporting scaffold of high impact polystyrene (HIPS) that easily dissolves for a cleaner final print with smoother edges. The dual hot ends can also print two colors simultaneously, which opens up creative options with materials like ABS, PLA, and PET.

The HD2x uses nylon gears for less wear and longer life and a finer pitch lead screw for increased z positioning accuracy. It features a class-leading building envelope of 1,050 cubic inches (11” x 8” x 12”), making it ideal for large prototyping. The printer offers layer-to-layer resolutions as fine as 0.06mm and a maximum print speed of 150mm/s with a positioning precision of 0.02mm. Because the 3D printer is fully autonomous, no link-up to a computer is required. It comes fully assembled and calibrated with an MSRP of $3,995.00.

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