We all know how much the 3D printing industry changed over the last couple of years. We have been seeing the overall prices of the machines drastically drop. As well, we have seen the performance greatly increase. This is especially the case for desktop printers. But not so much for commercial printers.
If you are looking to get your hands on a high-performing 3D printer for your business, in the past you needed to pay upwards of $10,000. Not to mention the expensive filament, which is typically only good for one machine and one machine only. And the closed-source systems slow the advancement of the industry, thus keeping prices higher. The entry fees to bring 3D printing to your business typically outweighed the rewards.
Luckily, the days of expensive, commercial 3D printers are coming to an end. We are beginning to see a new trend of affordable industrial-grade 3D printers. This is great news for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and designers looking to incorporate the technology.
One of the printers leading this new push is the Fusion3 F400. This 3D printer embodies everything you see in an industrial grade printer – speed, precision, capability – and packs it in an affordable, easy-to-use machine. It has the look and feel of a desktop printer, but it is designed for the industrial world.
Fusion3 currently offers two different models of the F400, F400-S, and F400-HFR. The later is designed for higher speed production with a reduction in quality. For this particular review, we will be focusing on the F400-S. This model balance’s print speed and print quality. So, let’s dive into the good stuff.
Core Features of the F400-S
Hot-end: E3Dv6. Need I say more? For those who don’t know, this is one of, if not, the best hot-ends you can find. In fact, we recently wrote about this particular hot end and a few others HERE(LINK). The E3Dv6 is an all metal, fully customizable hot end. It can withstand temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius. It is made of stainless steel, which will hold up to abrasive filaments much longer than the typical brass nozzle. Your options of filament are almost endless with this hot end. E3D has created an entire modular ecosystem for their hot ends. If you are looking to upgrade or modify your hot end you easily can with the many options E3D offers.
Structure and Design: The F400-S is a stunning 3D printer. It has an aluminum body with large windows. It is a modular design. This allows for easy disassembly to be able to clean and service the machine. The fully enclosed structure provides an extra level of safety. It helps prevent contact with high-temperature parts and sensitive electronic pieces. But the large windows make sure you can still easily see your print and the machine as it operates. As well, the enclosure reduces the operating noise. This is great if you have the machine running in your office or business. Fusion3 has incorporated a carbon filter system to remove harmful gases and unpleasant smells. The F400-S was designed with the end user/business in mind.
Filament Options: Fusion3 removed the nonsense of making its machine operable with only one type of filament. The E3Dv6 hot end enables this functionality. You can use almost any type of filament you want. The 3D printer can print PLA, ABS, ASA, PET, Nylon, Flexible, Polyester, Acrylic, Polycarbonate, and many more. You can visit the Fusion3 site to learn more about their certified filaments and the process to continually certify more. The company is constantly pushing to grow the list of certified filaments.
Performance: The F400-S is built for a very balanced performance. Fusion3 wanted to create one model focused on a balance between speed and quality and they nailed it with this one. You can still print at very high speeds for 3D printers without sacrificing quality. Or if you have some more time on your ends and you are really looking to create something beautiful, slow the machine down and minimize the layer resolution to where you can barely see the lines of the layers. It is a great machine to produce the highest quality prototypes and other parts for you and your businesses.
Here are the key specs of the F400-S 3D printer:
|Print Speed||250 mm/s|
|Filament Types||30+ types of filaments|
|Layer Resolution||20 – 300 microns|
|Nozzle Diameter||0.4 mm|
Pros of the F400-S
Build area: Holy crap does this thing have a huge build area. More than a cubic foot of room to work, you can mass produce parts and prototypes. Or just build something really big. It is rare to find a 3D printer with a build area this large for a price similar to the F400-S. Typically you will be paying top dollar to get anything close to this. With 1.43 cubic feet to work with, you can easily run batch jobs to create 5, 6, 7, or more parts at once. Even if you have something that doesn’t fit on this machine that you want to create, you can easily separate your model into just two or three parts and create something massive. Let your imagination run wild with this much room.
Ease of use: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the F400-S was created with the user in mind. Fusion3 made this printer as easy to use as possible. It comes pre-assembled and calibrated. It comes ready to print over 30 types of filament. There are multiple connectivity options from Wi-Fi to Ethernet to USB. It has a large 4.7” color touchscreen, which is easy to read and operate. It allows you to control the entire print process. It comes with a Simplify3D license. This is a $150 value and it is for one of the best slicing software available. And to top it all off, the F400-S has an auto bed-leveling system. No tinkering or toying with the bed in between prints. This 3D printer couldn’t get more user-friendly.
Warranty/support: 2 years. Not 1, but 2 full years. Fusion3 offers the longest warranty in the industry, which covers materials and workmanship. As well, you will get lifetime phone and e-mail support from the company. This will give you access to support staff and Fusion3 experts to troubleshoot any issues and help you improve your experience with the F400-S. If the 2-year warranty and lifetime support aren’t enough you can opt-in to an enhanced support plan. With this, you will get advice for basic and advanced operation, material selections, and model support to make sure your designs are the best they can be. And of course, once the warranty ends, Fusion3 offers replacement parts, for a price, if you ever need one. If all of this support doesn’t prove Fusion3 believes in their product and cares about the customer then I don’t know what will.
Value: This is pretty self-explanatory. For a few thousand dollars, you can have a massive build area, the ability to print over 30 types of filament, industry leading warranty and support, industrial-grade performance, and access to one of the best slicers. I’d say that’s nearly unbeatable.
Cons of the F400-S
I’m not sure I can say anything negative about the F400-S, so I’ll make some suggestions for what else I’d like to see.
Dual Extruders: I mean two is better than one. Also, this would just expand the possibilities of this 3D printer. You could design and create with multiple colors or materials to increase strength, durability, or just appearance of your creations.
More Marketing: Why this 3D printer isn’t in every school, architecture program, machine shop, and manufacturing plant I don’t know. I would love to see this 3D printer and everything it offers to become the standard in the industry. I believe this 3D printer has all the capabilities to help advance the popularity and use of 3D printing. Fusion3 just needs to get it out everywhere and in front of everyone.
Final Take – Industrial meets Desktop
Fusion3 has packed everything we always wished 3D printing companies would give us in one affordable, high-performing machine. It beats the competition in almost every possible category. Price, performance, warrant, usability, parts and design, I mean just everything is lightyears ahead with the F400-S. It is a beautiful 3D printer that can outperform the most expensive printers on the market. And it does it all for a fraction of the price.
Whether you own a business, you are an educator, or for any other reason you want a 3D printer and can afford to pay for it, this is the 3D printer you need. It will not let you down. It will continually blow you away. Yes, I like the F400-S a lot.