The swollen artery of 3D printers on the market keeps expanding. I would say it has burst open, spewing endless configurations of plastic, epoxy or powder binding possibilities across your workshop/office floor. You would think there’s not much innovation or improvement left with the explosion of 3D printers we’ve seen… unless you have actually used one. After tossing clogged extruder nozzles or stripping nuts to prevent wobble, you may be looking for a new printer, something above consumer grade, with better accuracy and a larger build platform that’s easier to maintain. The Isis One from Isis3D is aimed at solving the problems many people are becoming more familiar with and after seeing the Isis One, learning more about it and seeing the results, it’s a 3D printer I definitely have on the short list.
Isis One 3D Printer
Isis3D says the Isis One is “The RepRap. All grown up.” I’d say it’s the RepRap, all grown up with training in the ways of the ninja–sleaker, more accurate, stealthy, quiet, larger, more reliable and much more refined of a machine. First and foremost, it escapes the DIY dependence of the RepRap coming fully-assembled with no requirement to gather, cut or print components yourself. That may be a turn-off for some, but we’re definitely moving into an era of 3D printing where engineers, designers and savvy consumers are fine with the open-source software tweaking, but ready to pay for the hardware to work out of the box. With this in mind, Isis3D attacked the project addressing three core issues to perfect the print. From Isis3D:
Linear motion. Solved.
The most important factor in print quality is how exactly the printer can stack one layer on top of another. Because layer stacking is largely dependent on the machine’s linear motion systems, we concentrated much of our research and development efforts here, extensively testing more than a dozen options. We’re proud to present the Isis One’s rod-based linear motion system which achieves solid, smooth, and quiet travel down the entire length of all three axes. Strong, 12 mm precision-ground hardened steel rod gives the system more than enough stability with next to no slop, and self-aligning teflon filled acetal bearings are super quiet and resist wear over thousands of hours. Finally, both the X and Y systems feature a carefully designed float mechanism to prevent binding while maintaining rigidity.
Z wobble absorption spring.
By using a floating leadscrew nut design, the Isis One eliminates Z wobble, an often overlooked phenomenon that in other printers causes a vertical banding pattern in the printed object. The printed spring that holds the leadscrew nut allows it to flex slightly in the X and Y planes, absorbing wobble perpendicular to the direction of travel, while communicating movement in the Z axis with perfect fidelity. It’s an easy fix to a small problem, but one we took care not to neglect.
20 Micron Positional Accuracy.
Excellent positional repeatability is vital to good layer stacking, and the Isis One achieves this with an extremely quiet GT2 belt drive system. Designed for fast and lightweight linear motion systems where precision is crucial, GT2 belts and pulleys feature rounded teeth that completely eliminate backlash and provide 20 micron positional accuracy. Made of neoprene and fiberglass, the belts neither stretch nor slip, while the high-torque 20 tooth pulleys communicate the motors’ force powerfully, preventing skipped steps.
If you’re wondering more about how they solved a lot of the problems inherent in consumer grade 3D printers, the Isis One design section is a must read. They go through each problem they wanted to address and explain it in detail. The specs are fabulous as well, with the largest build area of a desktop printer I’ve seen, ready to use up the extra rolls of PLA you have laying about.
Printer technology: Fused filament fabrication
Build area: 300 x 300 x 225 mm (12 x 12 x 9 in)
Build volume: 20,250 cm³
Infill / inner perimeter print speed: 200 mm/s with 500 μm nozzle; 100 mm/s with 350 μm nozzle
Outer perimeter print speed: 40 mm/s
Acceleration: 1000 mm/s²
Filament: 3 mm PLA (supported), ABS, nylon, PC
Build platform: Heated glass, 70ºC max temperature.
* Borosilicate glass bed with 120ºC max temp available upon request at no extra cost, for those who want to experiment with ABS. (Boro is fantastic with PLA as well.)
X/Y resolution 20 μm
Layer thickness: 300 – 50 μm with 350 μm nozzle, 400 – 100 with 500 μm nozzle
Minimum feature size: 500 μm
Hotend: Budaschnozzle 2.0 with 40 W cartridge heater
Standard nozzle diameter: 350 μm, 500 μm available for $20 extra
The Isis One printer comes packaged with a 4GB SD Card, Marlin firmware and Kiss KISSlicer PRO (or Slic3r). The Isis One retails for $2,199.00 USD available directly from their site. We’ve been told by the company that orders will begin shipping in ‘a few more weeks’. Until then, here are some high-res shots of prints to check out the layering and accuracy.