The number of open-source based, entrepreneurial style desktop sized 3D printers continues to grow. Most are available for around $3000, making it a fairly easy decision to buy one for your own desktop for roughing out a design, and, once finalized, sending it to a major 3D printing manufacturer for a final production prototype.
The latest entrant, the Airwolf 3D printer, was revealed at the recent ATX West show in Anaheim, CA. Said Erick Wolf, president and co-founder of Airwolf 3D, “Our high-performance AW3D HD is the fastest, most accurate 3D printer available for under $3,000. It features a class-leading build envelope of 1,150 cubic inches (12” x 8” x 12”), making it ideal for rapid prototyping. The printer offers layer-to-layer resolution as fine as 0.06 mm, and a maximum print speed of 150 mm/s with a positioning precision of 0.02 mm (thanks to Thomson linear components). The 3D printer is fully autonomous, so no link-up to a computer is required.”
The build envelop of this printer is a good size for this market, but a distinguishing capability is the number of materials it works with. The AW3D HD accepts 12 materials from multiple sources, which will make a number of potential users happy, as a larger quantity and quality of materials has been a desire of users ever since desktop 3D printers arrived. Materials include ABS, HIPS, PLA, Nylon, PVA, LayWOOD-3, Soft PLA, TPE, LAYBRICK, BendLay, T-glass, and more.
It comes standard with Matter Control Pro host software and a six-month warranty. It’s compatible with both Windows and Mac computers.
The patent-pending Airwolf JR (jam resistant) 3D printer hot end operates longer than standard nozzles and is more easily serviced. This drop-in replacement for Prusa-derived 3D printers is available with 0.50 mm and optional 0.35 mm orifice nozzles.
The company technicians use these 3D printers to replicate more 3D printers nearly 24/7 at the company’s headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif. This enables the technicians to seamlessly evolve and improve the machines. The process also acts as quality control to ensure the 3D printers perform flawlessly over long periods of continuous use.
If you don’t have your own design ready, you can download an STL file from several locations on the Internet, then slice and print.
MSRP for the fully assembled and calibrated AW3D HD with Airwolf 3D’s proprietary jam-resistant hot end is $2,995.
Additional models include the AW3D XL ($2,399 MSRP), AW3D V5 ($1,695 MSRP) and two 3D printer kits that come unassembled and presoldered: AW3D XL ($1,895 MSRP) and AW3D ($1,295 MSRP).