Airwolf 3D has unveiled the AW3D HD2x dual extrusion 3D printer, and it's aimed at streamlining dual head printing to the extent that, once the print heads are calibrated, it's a set-and-forget operation.
"Our new dual hot end AW3D HD2x is the latest example of our commitment and our most significant product ever. We've engineered it to be a simple-to-use, hassle-free 3D printer that combines the versatility of two hot ends with the desirability of printing over 20 different materials – including polycarbonate and nylon," said Erick Wolf, President of Airwolf. "Basically, we've built a $10,000 desktop printer for a fraction of the cost."
Featuring dual JRx hot ends, the AW3D HD2x can print two compatible materials simultaneously. While the main body is printed in ABS, users can output their supporting scaffold in high impact polystyrene (HIPS) that easily dissolves for a cleaner final print with smoother edges. The dual hot ends can also print two colors simultaneously, and that opens up creative options with materials like ABS, PLA, and PET.
Successful multi-extrusion comes down to managing the challenge of maintaining alignment, temperature, and flow control between two separate and distinct hot ends. For this reason, each of the HD2x's print heads are powered by their own stepper motors and Airwolf's engineers merged two proprietary, patent-pending JRx print heads so that the two hot ends are part of a single greater component.
This fixed relationship removes alignment issues by eliminating slippage as both heads are always in frame. This allows the device to have a dual head spatial calibration which is fixed in the firmware rather than in the user interface.
The company says HD2x's advanced dual JRx hot ends "can run all day at temperatures of 315 degrees Celsius (or 599 degrees Fahrenheit) to print engineering-grade materials like polycarbonate, and numerous forms of nylon including Bridge Nylon and Nylon 645."
Using nylon gears for less wear and longer life, and a finer pitch lead screw for increased z positioning accuracy, the HD2x also features a build envelope of 1,050 cubic inches (11" x 8" x 12"), and that makes it ideal for large prototyping. With layer-to-layer resolutions as fine as 60 microns and a maximum print speed of 150mm/s with a positioning precision of 20 microns, the printer is fully autonomous and no connection to a computer is required.
The HD2x comes fully assembled and calibrated at an MSRP of $3,995.