3D Printing

Open-source 3D printer is easily customised

8th May 2018
Mick Elliott

A 3D printer which targets a wide range of users in manufacturing and many other commercial and business applications has been launched by RS Components. The RS Pro iTX additive-manufacturing machine, is also suitable for educational purposes and at home for anyone who wants to design and build things quickly and at low cost.

Along with all RS Pro 3D printers that leave the factory fully constructed, the iTX is made in Britain and is ready to use straight out of the box.

A key element of the machine is its upgradability: the high-quality machined parts and circuit boards are designed to be easy to replace and/or upgrade in a matter of minutes.

All RS Pro 3D printers are open-source designed, which means they can easily be customised by advanced users and enthusiasts alike.

In particular, the iTX’s RS Pro VariBLOCK head unit offers future-proofing, as it is easily interchangeable and upgradable to other extruder head systems, allowing the machine to use various other materials as they become available.

All serviceable parts including the printer’s hot-end and filament extruder can be easily maintained.

The machine uses the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printing process and comes with a fully heated build plate, handling temperatures in the 50 to 100°C range. The printer also features a metal-gearbox-controlled filament extruder system to deliver maximum power and reliability.

The extruder is designed for 1.75mm filaments and is capable of printing a wide range of materials including ABS, PLA and PETG.

Other key specifications include: nozzle size options including 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.8 and 1.0mm; build volume of 8000cm3 (200 x 200 x 200mm); and a wide selection of layer resolutions from 0.8mm for fast printing, down to layers as small as 0.08mm (80 microns).

Coming with a strong steel-powder-coated frame construction, the printer has dimensions of 450(H) x 535(W) x 370(D)mm, expanding to 550(H) and 535(W) when fitted with the spool holder and umbilical wire.

The printer has an integrated and fully upgradable PC computer, which is based on an AMD Kabini A4 quad-core processor, along with an AMD Radeon graphics card, Ethernet networking, 8GB of upgradeable memory, and an upgradeable 500GB SATA hard-disk drive.

The integration of a PC into the machine enables a number of accessory upgrades, such as adding a webcam or other networking and remote-access capabilities.

Also available separately from RS is a safety-compliant cabinet system that has been designed especially for use with the printer. The RS Pro iTX is shipping now in the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions.

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