At the San Mateo MakerFaire, virtually everyone we spoke to asked us this question. With so many printer models to choose from, we were glad to see consumers becoming better educated about their options in the ever-growing 3D printing market.
So what makes our printer different?
It's the software.
Our software makes 3D printing easier. It helps you manage your filament, grouping your STL files into logical groups, and a unique feature: print recovery mode. 3D printers are still susceptible to many flaws, including filament tangles and nozzle jams. Should something go wrong in the middle of your 12 hour print, you used to have to throw it in the trash and start over. With our software, we allow you to pause the print, fix your tangled filament or clogged nozzle, rewind the print to the point of failure, and try again. Our software also works directly with our iOS mobile app (Android version forthcoming).
The Z Axis
Most traditional 3D printers use threaded rods to drive their Z axis up and down. This has a few drawbacks. For one, it's very slow to move the build platform into position. Secondly, screws can be manufactured imperfectly, causing a pattern to be ingrained into your print. By eliminating the screw, and using a belt instead, our printer produces perfect walls and edges, and no wobble pattern can be seen. Plus, because the belts are timing belts, re-inforced with fiberglass, there are no issues with stretching.
Single extruder printers only have one nozzle, and can only print with one material/color at a time. Dual extruder printers have two nozzles, and are therefore able to print with two different color/material combinations. They're very useful for printing support structures. Dual extruders tend to be trickier to calibrate and work with than single extruders. We recommend beginner printers start with a single extruder and upgrade later.