Isis3D of Chicago has announced the availability of the ISIS One, an FFF 3D printer. They describe it as a next generation RepRap bridging the gap between consumer and professional FDM 3D printing.
Having originally analyzed standard RepRaps such as the MendelMax, the Isis3D team sought to improve print quality and printer reliability through hardware augmentation and slicing software pre-calibrated and optimized for their specific printer. The result, claims Isis3D, is a print quality similar to that of Stratasys professional class FDM printers such as the Mojo, uPrint, Dimension or Fortus, but at a greatly reduced price.
The Isis One's technical specifications are indeed daunting for a printer in the personal class price range. Its build envelope is 300 x 300 x 225 mm (12 x 12 x 9 inches). Its maximum print speed is said to be 200 mm/s. It is capable of a 50 micron minimum layer height and 20 micron X/Y resolution, with a minimum feature size of 50 microns. The company attributes the printer's high end print quality to X/Y accuracy that is beyond that of typical personal 3D printers.
For filament, the Isis One officially supports PLA. The printer is designed for printing directly to its evenly heated glass bed using only hairspray as an adhesive agent. However, the stock software settings can be adjusted to allow for experimentation with ABS, PC, PVA and probably Kai Parthy and Taulman's more exotic materials.
Because it is primarily intended to be used without Kapton or painter's tape, subtle nozzle-to-bed calibration issues should be avoidable. According to Isis3D, the bed is leveled once at the factory and never needs to be leveled again – it is that sturdy. That's not to say a laser level would never be useful as it's still possible to place the printer on an unlevel surface. However, the bed itself should not become unlevel as it relates to the printer.
The Isis One ships with KISSlicer PRO, pre-configured and ready to go. A Budaschnozzle 2.0 hot end and 0.35 mm nozzle are included. It can connect to a computer via USB, but it also has an LCD screen and SD card reader for independent operation. The Isis One's price is $2,199. Job seekers might be interested to know Isis3D is hiring.