Over the years I’ve seen different solutions for flexible filament printing. While most solutions will work, a printhead replacement is usually required, along with some tweaking and fiddling.
Enter the Atomstack Cambrian Pro, designed from the start for printing flexible filaments, with the option of printing standard materials after a quick replacement of the printhead.
Assembling the printer when it arrives is not too difficult. Fortunately, the manual is very detailed in its layout to explain where everything fits.
After the machine is screwed together, which takes between 5 and 10 minutes, you’re good to go. The included MicroSD card has a number of printable models designed for rubber printing. You can also import and use your own models with Ultimaker’s Cura software.
The main focus of this printer is on rubber printing, and the models that come with it are an impressive demonstration of what is possible.
If you don’t want to always print in rubber, quickly swap the head out and you can print with standard filaments like PLA, ABS, and PETG.
From the look of the machine to its use, there is a clear reference to an engineer, not a product designer. Some things on the machine, such as B. the plug-in cables are not designed for daily use or durability.
Other aspects like the function of the belt adjusters are definitely what an engineer would be but not a product designer.
However, this is a unique machine whose main goal is to print rubber, which is what sets it apart in an increasingly dense market.
Currently, there is an increase in the number of multi-purpose 3D printers with dual or even triple functions. The benchmark for this type of machine must be the SnapMaker 2, which is characterized by design and support.
The Atomstack mirrors the Snapmaker with its aluminum design, but the Snapmaker is a streamlined commercial product, while the Atomstack is a little rough around the edges.
Read through the manual and it is detailed and shows exactly how to set up and maintain the flat pack machine.
Once created, everything seems solid and the manual includes all the points that need to be checked regularly to ensure high quality print.
Once you look at the design once constructed, there is nothing outwardly wrong with the parts or construction.
Despite the 3D printer’s main solid construction, the ribbon cable end that fits into the printhead is a concern and a weak point. The cable is not completed with the standard plug, but only remains as a plug-in tape.
Other than that, the construction is solid enough once tightened, and the full metal frame design gives the workbench a very neat look. One feature that stands out from the start is the touchscreen interface. This allows you to quickly step through machine settings, select materials, add custom materials, configure bed leveling, and review parameters.
While the user interface is good, it’s not the most intuitive I’ve seen and there are a few screens such as: For example, the one that shows the machine’s parameters, so you’re a little at a loss as to why it’s there.
While there is the touchscreen which gives the machine a fairly advanced feel, it lacks other features that usually come with the inclusion of the touchscreen.
Leveling the bed is done manually, as is loading the filaments and cleaning the nozzles. then there is no filament recognition or Wi-Fi. What you have with the Atomstack Cambrian Pro is a 3D printer that takes center stage with flexible printing.
The Atomstack Cambrian Pro comes in two sizes, the Pro I looked at in this review and the larger Max. Aside from size, they’re essentially the same.
Both have an interchangeable tool head. The model I’m looking at comes with the flexible and standard 3D print head. Search the literature and it looks like there is an option for a laser engraving head too.
The printer manufacturer has developed its TPR filament, which offers good elasticity and high elasticity with a hardness of 50 to 70 A and an elasticity rate of>50%. This is comparable to NinjaFlex with a Shore hardness of 85A and an elasticity of 20%.
Essentially, TPR is more flexible and less likely to break when bent, making it ideal for real-world solutions.
Atomstack has also invested in decent hardware and motor drivers that ensure the machine makes very little noise other than the virr of the fans.
The print area is decent at 235mm x 235mm x 150mm so you can print a good range of products. If you need more, there’s the Max model.
The design style means that all of the motors, electronics and cables are neatly tucked away and ribbon cables have been used on the outside to complement the machine’s clean lines.
The touchscreen is a nice addition and very responsive. So you can dive into the settings and select printouts that have been loaded onto the MicroSD and fit into the slot on the main base of the device.
One of the main features is the interchangeable print heads. These are held in place by three screws, and then the pressure of the tape data cable fits.
What is unusual, but makes perfect sense, is that the flex head uses a larger 2.85mm filament while the standard head uses 1.75mm filament.
Both options are printed on the mesh glass hotbed, which provides a better grip than flat glass.
Setup in detail
Here are the full specifications of the Atomstack Cambrian Pro:
Build Volume: 235 x 235 x 250 mm
Memory:Micro SD card
Nozzle size: 0.4 standard head / 0.8 flex head
Layer height:Not known
Bed:Removable glass hatchery
Printing area:Textured sheet
Materials: PLA, TPU, TPE, ABS and PETG
Included material: ATOMstack Rub
Setting up the machine with the help of the instructions is relatively quick. Follow the instructions to screw in the frame, attach the filament spool holder, LCD screen, and the head of your choice.
Then clip and plug in the cables and wires, turn it on and then run the calibration test, and that’s it.
For this test, I’m using CURA because the manual included instructions on how to set it up. However, you can configure the software you choose for use with the Cambrian as it does not come with its own software.
It would have been nice if Atomstack could have provided a Cura profile, but that might come later.
Either way, it’s straightforward to set up and configure, and you can expect to be ready to start printing in about 30 minutes.
To attach one of the two printheads, you have to attach the head to the frame with three small screws and then attach the ribbon cable. The screws are small and a bit awkward to tighten as the head isn’t quite as flush as you’d expect. The real problem is the ribbon cable, which feels very fragile. Atomstack informed me that this cable design will be updated in the final version of the machine.
Once you have configured CURA, files can be saved on a microSD card and inserted into the base of the device. There is also a MicroSD card slot on top of the LCD, but this doesn’t seem to recognize the card, so it may be something else.
Start up and print with the flexible filament and the results have been impressive. The large 0.8mm nozzle makes for great print and the quality of the ball, type, and shoe I printed was excellent.
There were a few cracks on the side of the tire wall but this is more due to the wall thickness than the print quality, and the shoe was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen from a 3D printer in years.
The Atomstack is surprisingly bringing the wow factor back to 3D printing.
This is a flexible filament, and by flexible I mean flexible, well beyond any flexible filament I’ve printed with in the past.
Switch to PLA to check standard printability and achieve average printer performance. It prints flawlessly from the 0.4mm direct drive nozzle, but the real focus of this printer should be on its flexible printability.
During the monthly test, the printer produced decent rubber prints. However, the ribbon cable proved to be a weak point and eventually failed.
Multipurpose 3D printers are the theme for 2021, and the Atomstack is the first one I’ve seen that prints flexible and standard filaments to a good standard.
Switching between each head is quick, but you have to be incredibly careful with the ribbon cable. This push-fit design is far from ideal and caused problems during the test when the cable end contacts started lifting up making it difficult to reinsert them into the chosen printhead. I spoke to Atomstack about the tape and they said it was under review and should be updated in the final design.
The printer is simple in design, although it lacks some of the finer and more advanced features found in the latest printers. It prints rubber exceptionally well, and standard filament prints are fine.
If you need to print rubber the Atomstack Cambrian is a good choice, but I would still use it as a single function printer if that cable is not updated.
Source link : https://www.techradar.com/reviews/atomstack-cambrian-pro/