#Industry (Production, process)
The Krak3n is coming: a modular monster 3D printer complete with 3D scanning and laser engraving
Only a few years ago, chosing a desktop 3D printer was quite easy; there were simply only a few affordable options. While new models are now appearing all over the place recently, some of them stand out more than others
The same can be said about the Krak3n 3D printer, a large forthcoming model that features some very interesting modular options and at the same time remains interesting to both beginners and experienced 3D printing hobbyists.
The Krak3n is developed by a group of four Hungarian developers based in Budapest. By their own admission, they were all 3D printing fanatics who were unsatisfied with the current models on offer. ‘They had been amazed because of the untrammelled possibilities of this new method, but soon they have realized that most 3D printing fans do not have the possibility to choose a perfect desktop 3D printer atomically,’ they write about themselves in the third person. ‘There are too many "either-or" attributes (precision, price, features, speed, design, etc.). So they decided to plan and make the ultimate 3D printer, a high quality device, with many features, that fits more users than anything ever before, with endless future development possibilities.’
While every new 3D printer is presented as something truly revolutionary (and many aren't exactly that), the Krak3n 3D definitely has some very interesting attributes that will doubtlessly catch the eye of hobbyists across the web. For its name, rather than a Norse reference, in fact refers to its many capacities. ‘It is a building monster!’ according to its developers. And while it won’t appear on Kickstarter for another two months or so, the specifications we’ve seen so far definitely suggest it is an all-purpose building machine.
‘Our printers have an unique structure, completely eliminating linear carriages. In addition they are complete with advanced features, such as automatic print bed calibration, or the print guard, so beginners can use it easily,’ they write, and especially the print guard is a nice addition. Ever ran out of filament halfway through a nightly 3D printing project? The Print guard takes care of that problem for you. ‘It monitors the filament feed in real time, and if it detects any issue with the flow, it pauses the printing process, moves the extruder head to a safe distance, so it won't melt the print, and tries to remove the [excess] filament, so it won't clog the nozzle. After fixing the issue, the user can continue the printing process, where it was paused.’
But perhaps more interesting is the Krak3n 3D’s modular character, as it can be fitted with more than just a plastic extrusion head. The Hungarian team behind the Krak3n are currently planning to include modular options for dual extrusion heads, a 3D scanner, a drawing tool head and even a laser engraver. They are also already planning further modules for paste and chocolate extrusion, and even a CNC engraver, though feasibility studies are still underway for that last option. For now, its not clear which modules are included and which have to be purchased separately (except for the scanner, which is a standard fit).
However, as can be seen in the table below, the 3D printing function itself is quite decent too. While still in development, the Krak3n is also projected to run on custom-made software that aims to be accessible to entry-level hobbyists while including advanced options for experienced users. ‘Just place it on a table, a shelf, or the floor, plug it in, and start creating! The Krak3n interface allows the user to operate the printer effortlessly, without the time consuming configuration process. This makes the Krak3n a really user friendly, out of the box 3D printer,’ its developers explain.
All this suggests that the Krak3n 3D printer is definitely shaping up to be a very interesting model that will doubtlessly turn some heads in the 3D printing community. First, however, we’ll have to wait for more information to appear alongside their Kickstarter (such as a price!), to see if it will live up to expectations. While modular options are often an excuse for grossly inflating prices, the Krak3n could really convince quite a few users if that manage to keep that side under control.