For a couple of years, 3D printers designs have been rather stagnant. Many companies produce printers that look just like the competitors with just a few minor changes or upgrades. It is hard to create a printer that sets itself apart from the rest as the classic design works well.
Raise3D is one company that may not be breaking the overall design trend of 3D printers, but they have modernized their machines enough to catch your eye. The company is well known for the N2 series of 3D printers, which constantly won awards and was a fan and professionals favorite for many years.
Lucky for us, Raise3D isn’t stopping there. In the spring of 2018, the company released its newest series of 3D printers, the Pro2 series. Raise3D aims to incorporate industrial grade components into a desktop-sized machine and lead the charge on Flexible Manufacturing systems.
What is Flexible Manufacturing? Well, Raise3D’s CEO envisions it as the solution to manufactures the most difficult problems, small batch runs. The Pro2 series is designed to ease the pain of small batches by making them easy to manage, mimic, and keep costs low. With the Pro2 you can quickly tweak designs, change materials and batch sizes, and print anywhere from one to thousands of parts
The Pro2 is a large-format desktop 3D printer that is ideal for professionals. While some at-home hobbyists will want to get their hands on one, it will cost every a few dollars, $3,999.00 to be exact.
Now with a price tag like that Raise3D better back up all the fancy talk. Users will want to see it actually utilizes industrial grade components, it is ideal for manufacturing, and it is as powerful and high-performing as its predecessor. So let’s see what all the hype is about.
Core Features of the Pro2:
Dual Extruders: The Pro2 has the ability the print with either single or dual extruder setups. The dual extruders will take about one inch of the width of your total build volume but still leaves you with plenty of room to work with. Raise3D uses a unique technology that will automatically retract the nozzles when not in use. The extruders are fast and precise, so you always know what you are getting. As well, these nozzles are compatible with just about every type of filament you can think of.
Wireless Connectivity: The Pro2 runs with Raise3D’s splicing software, ideaMaker, which is as well polished as the machines themselves. The software enables the user to wirelessly control, collaborate, monitor, and operate their 3D printer from afar. Multiple users can collaborate to design and build their models to ensure everything aspect is how you intend. It is great for teams looking to streamline the design process. While a lot of users prefer third-party software, the capabilities and connectivity options ideaMaker and Pro2 allow will quickly change the user’s minds.
Best-in-class Technology: Speaking of ideaMaker, the built-in camera on the Pro2 allows you to monitor your prints in real time through the software where you are connected wirelessly. You don’t need to sit in the same room to monitor prints which let you be more productive throughout the day. The Pro2 has a big 7” touchscreen display.
With the screen, you can get print status and progress updates, visual depictions and progress images, as well as full control during the print to make any last-second changes you may have missed before beginning the print. Not to mention it has some of the best features we see with other 3D printers such as run out sensors for filament and print recovery after power loss. All in all, the Pro2 has all the technology you could need and want in a 3D printer.
Build Plate: Raise3D introduced a new build plate design with the Pro2 Series as well. Raise3D claims it is incorporated Aerospace grade materials with an aluminum bed. A silicone heating material provides even heat distribution and allows the bed to heat very quickly. The max temperature the build plate can reach is 110 ºC, which should be more than enough for the filament of your choosing.
Since it is aluminum, this allows for a magnetic hold. This ensures you build plate will stay steady throughout the entire print. The magnetic design means users can easily swap build plates in and out with minimal adjustments. As well, it features a pre-calibrated leveling system that takes all the work and user error out of it. No more fiddling with tiny nuts and bolts that are difficult to reach and turn. The Raise3D will automatically make sure the plate is perfectly level prior to each printing session.
Keys Specs of the Pro2:
|Build Area||12.0” x 12.0” x 11.8” (single)
11.0” x 12.0” x 11.8” (dual)
|Print Speed||150 mm/s|
|Filament Types||PLA, ABS, HIPS, PC, TPU, TPE, Nylon, PETG, PVA, Glass Fiber Filled, Carbon Fiber Enforced, Metal Particles Filled, Wood Filled|
|Layer Resolution||10 microns|
|Nozzle Diameter||0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0 mm|
Pros of the Raise3D Pro2:
Large Build Area: Did we mention you get a lot of room with the Pro2? Depending on your extruder set up the build area will be one of two sizes. For a single extruder you’re working with 12″ x 12″ x 11.8″ of space, and with the dual extruders you get 11″ x 12″ x 11.8″. Both are quite big for desktop 3D printers. Especially given the overall footprint of the machine is just 24.4” x 23.2” x 29.9.”
Extreme Precision: The Pro2’s extruders are some of the most precise on the market. You can use many different sizes of nozzles, 1.0mm, 0.8mm. 0.6mm,0.4mm or 0.2mm depending on how precise you need to get. It can print down to 10 micron thick layers, which is just insanely smooth for a 3D printer. The finished print is some of the highest quality you will see.
Material Compatibility: Not only is the Pro2 precise, but you can also use a wide variety of filament materials to best suit your needs — anything from the classic PLA and ABS to nylons and composites. The Pro2 can get the extruders up to 300°C and will automatically adjust the height of the nozzle depending on the material you are printing with. This is ideal when printing with flexible filaments.
Con of the Raise3D Pro2s:
Price: The one downside we could find with the Pro2 is the price. While it is quite steep, you are getting what you pay for. This 3D printer is reliable, precise, and powerful. It is not meant for everyone as it is an investment to get your hands on one. However, if you plan to use it correctly, it is an investment that will surely pay off in the long run.
Comparable 3D Printer on the Market?
While the Pro2 seems to be leaps and bounds ahead of most 3D printers, there is one that can hold its own against the Pro2. The Zortrax M300 Plus is quite similar to Raise3D’s best. With an almost identical build volume, the M300 Plus falls into the large format desktop 3D printer category. However, the M300 will only give you one extruder, and slightly lower max temperatures of the hot end and build plate.
It does have many of the advanced features we love about the Pro2. You will still get a great run out detection system and smart spool holder, a beautiful overall design, and a collaborative WiFi connectivity option. Since the M300 Plus doesn’t quite live up to all that is the Pro2, you can find it for about $200 – $500 cheaper. So, if you need a large format 3D printer but can do without a few features of the Pro2 to save a few hundred dollars, the Zortrax M300 Plus is a great machine to consider.
Final Take: Pro2 is one of the best 3D printers on the Market.
It may not be for everyone, but everyone will want one. Raise3D has done an incredible job following up the N2. They made sure to keep all the aspects we fell in love with on the N2, and still improve on them and add even more features that we can’t get enough of. This is an absolute monster of a 3D printer that can get any manufacturing job done. It is clearly designed for professionals and is trying to bring the industrial grade printers to the masses with a small, cheaper, equally performing 3D printer.
If you run a small shop or business and are looking to upgrade some machinery or invest in a new tool, the Pro2 should be a top priority. The only option that could be better, is the Pro2’s big brother, the Pro2 Plus.