Mar 8, 2016 | By Alec
Though desktop 3D printers for home users are steadily coming down in price, manufacturers tend to cut costs on all sides during production. While the core of the technology will be the same, you’re suddenly left with a flimsy plastic frame that doesn’t look too impressive. Or a very small build space. This was one of the things that a trio of Luxembourg-based engineers were fed up with, so they decided to build their own 3D printers with all the properties users look for in an expensive machine – including an aluminum frame. They have now taken that excellent machine, dubbed the Trium Delta 3D printer, to Kickstarter, through which they are available for as little as €399 (or approximately $435).
Now of course the field of 3D printers in the sub $500 range is expanding rapidly, but the Trium Delta 3D printer is one of the few that doesn’t sacrifice on components or build space. It has been realized by mechanical engineers Aurélien and Matthieu and mechatronics engineer Aubry, who have joined forces in the startup E-Mergin. As they explain to 3ders.org, they are simply responding to what they believe is an unfair trend in the 3D printing industry. “We have realized that the 3D printers on the market were very expensive for no reason. Indeed we found out that for only a few hundred euros we could build our own 3D printer with similar characteristics than printers of €2000,” they tell us. “So thanks to our mechanical and electronic engineering experience we have decided to make a low cost but powerful 3D printer.”
By day, the trio works for international tire manufacturer Goodyear in Luxembourg, but by night they have been working hard in the garage of brothers Matthieu and Aubry. Though all French, they are based in Luxembourg and Germany. “We like plane and copter modeling, and now we are also interested by drones and our next project after this low cost printer will be to develop a low cost and powerful drone,” they reveal. “Our main tasks [at Goodyear] are to coordinate the implementation of new processes, work on the conception of mechanical parts for machines and programming robots and 5 axis milling machines.”
Taking that experience, they have built a very impressive 3D printer concept that seems to tick all boxes. Most importantly, they have simply removed all the plastic, wooden and acrylic components that so many other budget 3D printers depend on. “[Instead] we use EU tailor made parts that require complex tooling like aluminum extrusion matrices, powerful laser cutter and bending machines to offer you a high quality full aluminum frame,” they say. Their design is also dressed down to dramatically reduce the number of parts (screws, nuts, sliding rails and so on) necessary – as well as the price.
But a simplified, functional design can be a very good thing too. Though not looking like something out of a Sci-Fi show, the Trium Delta 3D printer does well in just about every list of properties you can think of. It features a speedy, yet accurate 0.5 mm nozzle (extruder heats up to 265C), comes with an aluminum heat bed that can be heated up to 130 degrees Celsius, an aluminum rotational spool holder, auto bed leveling features with inductive sensors for perfect results, an LCD screen and a SD card reader. Where most budget machines feature a very limited build space, the Trium Delta 3D printer has a big circular print area with a 220 mm diameter and a height of 220mm – and can even be upgraded.
With all that packed in a solid aluminum frame, you start to wonder what else you need. And yet, they have relied on off-the-shelf, affordable parts. “We used standard components for the electronic (ramps 1.4 + Arduino),” they say. “The next thing we would like to add on the printer is a nozzle like the diamond hot end for multi-material or multi-color printing. We also want to apply the CE marking on our printer but we are searching exactly the things we need to comply with.” What’s more, the all-metal extruder can be used to 3D print just about every type of 1.75mm filament you can think of: Nylon, PLA (including carbon fiber, wood, bamboo, copper and bronze composites), ABS, Thermoplastic Polyurethane, HIPS soluble, PVA soluble, PET, PETG, TPE and so on.
Really the only downside to this affordable 3D printer is that it doesn’t exist yet. Just about all aspects have been completely developed already, the makers say, except for the aluminum frame which is being produced by external suppliers. Through Kickstarter backing, they are now hoping to make that final push. To do so, they are selling both kits and plug-and-play versions of the Trium Delta 3D printer – with the kit being very easy to assemble with just some common tools. “No welding, no drilling, no tapping, no flashing, no programming: we've prepared everything for you,” they say. With the early bird kit priced at just €399 (or $435), we wouldn’t be surprised if they easily reach their €38,000 goal by 12 April.
Posted in 3D Printer
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Mike C wrote at 4/5/2016 5:10:10 PM:
So many ill judged negative comments. The picture is a prototype -so yes it has plastic parts, the campaign is to provide a good aluminium structure to hold quality parts. Its not revolutionary but it has quality at a good price PLUS they are developing options and extras as part of the package at no profit. And as for CE comments - its a European Standard Kitemark not China export. Geat Project - Good luck
The schooler wrote at 3/9/2016 7:07:41 PM:
Matthieu wrote at 3/9/2016 6:25:53 PM:
Hi this is Matthieu from E-Mergin, Sorry for the misunderstanding. First of all, the printer isn't yet existing in its final full aluminum FRAME version (only the frame is completely in aluminum). The pictures you are seeing are one of prototype to show that we did not come only with ideas, but with a functional product. That's why we are doing the Kickstarter campaign, to be able to invest in the necessary tooling for serial production of this aluminum Frame. Of course, we are using standard parts like ramps, arduino, nema 17 and so on, this to maintain the costs low. We never pretended to revolutionize 3D printing, we just want to make an affordable and good 3D printer easier to build and use. On our prototypes, we do not have any vibration due to motors at the top. The parts made by our prototype are very small. On our Facebook page we added a coin on the pictures so you can appreciate the size. We also used a 0.5mm nozzle but we can get a better resolution with 0.3mm nozzle and lower layer thickness. For those interested to see the final model, please have a look on our Facebook page where we put some photorealistic rendering: https://www.facebook.com/trium3D/ Regards, Matthieu Aurélien Aubry
Anais U wrote at 3/9/2016 5:59:09 PM:
I think that the pictures we can see is the prototype. The real printer looks like the picture in the video at 1'36". I have many printers and I can say that to have the motors at the top is not a problem, when the frame is rigid enough there is no vibration and everything is very stable.
David A wrote at 3/9/2016 5:52:17 PM:
I looked on their Facebook website and their examples print look great. You said "All aluminum" and guys, honestly, when you let a comment, just read first the article until the end. They launched a kickstarter to have money to finish the aluminum frame "Just about all aspects have been completely developed already, the makers say, except for the aluminum frame which is being produced by external suppliers" so READ BEFORE CRITICIZING.
Dan wrote at 3/9/2016 5:45:14 PM:
Oh look a Chinese delta salesman. "We also want to apply the CE marking on our printer" CE is China Export This delta printer looks very fraudulent, There are linear bearing rails but no bearing carriages on those rails. All metal Hotend has no fan which is needed to keep the cold zone cold, and it is an obvious knockoff.
darr wrote at 3/9/2016 3:06:33 AM:
?? All are standard parts since 2013...so what is new? And the motors at the top? Have these guys done any printing on a delta before? The vibration will make the top heavy printer extremely unstable..... And you still 'innovating' in 2016 with a ramps board? A standard AND identical delta kit from ebay cost far lesser than this 'doesn't exist yet' printer....
Chris H wrote at 3/9/2016 2:16:41 AM:
Honestly, their example prints don't look that great. Must be all those plastic parts their "all aluminum" machines uses. Why even bother using linear slides if your going to use crappy old hobby grade clevis ends.
adrian wrote at 3/8/2016 3:24:03 PM:
Misleading title. Look at all the non-aluminum 3d-printed parts scattered through-out the build. However I'm glad to see more lower cost 3d printers out there. I hope they have a great product and do well in their campaign.
jd90 wrote at 3/8/2016 2:48:46 PM:
"all aluminum" except for all those pesky plastic joints, rod end, effector, etc. I'm pretty sure hobbyist deltas have been aluminum framed from the beginning. If you want a commercial product, buy a SeeMeCNC. They've been around for at least five years, and they have better frame design.
craig billings wrote at 3/8/2016 1:25:52 PM:
Congrats for revolutionizing....nothing. Copy cat model