Feb. 11, 2015 | By Alec

For those of you who feel that your regular desktop 3D printer is too slow, too small, too limiting, then I’ve got some good news: the South African-made Cheetah 3D printer, one the largest commercial FDM 3D printers can now be ordered.

This very interesting 3D printer, that we first reported on in early January 2015, has been built by South African engineer and chocolatier Hans Fouche. He is something of a veteran of 3D printing technology, having previously built a 3D chocolate printer, an eight-extruder setup capable of quickly printing intricate chocolate sculptures.

Previous iteration of the machine in use.

While we report on a lot of different and interesting 3D printers, his Cheetah 3D printer is part of entirely different category. It’s name implies speed, but perhaps its size is more impressive: its build volume is a garage-filling 1000 x 1000 x 1000 mm. So why then call it the Cheetah? That’s because its speed outclasses its size with ease. Hans has estimated that its build speed is approximately twelve (!) times faster than a regular desktop FDM printer. Finally, it’s also particularly efficient, as it works with enormously cheap plastic pellets, rather than filament rolls.

In recent months, Hans has been working on a series of interesting and practical 3D printing projects to showcase his printer’s capacity. Of these, the working lawn mower we reported on a month ago is probably the most fascinating. As he explained to us, that perfectly illustrated the speed and efficiency of the printer, while only taking about nine hours to complete. And as can be seen in the video below, it works just perfectly.

And fortunately, that 3D printer can now be yours! The Cheetah can only be purchased through Hans’s own website. While its relatively expensive for us at-home hobbyists, being priced at 100,000 ZAR (around $8,500), it should be very interesting for small businesses looking for extra build volume, speed and efficiency.

The machine’s full specifications are:

  • Build volume: 1000mm x 1000mm x 1000mm
  • Building material: ABS granules
  • Nozzle size: 3mm (default). 1mm, 2mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 7mm, and 8mm available.
  • Software: Any CAD system that can produce .stl files, or .dxf files.
  • Slicers: Slice3r, Kisslicer, CURA, etc
  • Firmware: Marlin with modifications
  • Flowrate: 500gram per hour with the 3mm nozzle.



Posted in 3D Printers


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