Apr. 13, 2015 | By Simon

Unsurprisingly, many people have taken to various crowdfunding campaigns with what they think is the “next great 3D printer idea”.  While the printers themselves have varied greatly and tend to speak to a variety of different markets ranging from low-cost hobbyists to professional designer and engineers, only a select few have actually been able to rise above the noise of the crowd and become established brands long after their crowdfunding campaign has ended.  Among others we’ve seen start as grassroots crowdfunding campaigns and later become 3D printing powerhouses include the Form 1+ from Formlabs, the Micro from M3D and the FLUX All-in-One 3D printer from FLUX Technology.

Now, an electrical engineer by the name of Mariano Ronchi (along with his team of designers, engineers and developers at Drotix) is gearing up to launch what he is hoping just might be the latest 3D printer crowdfunding hit in the form of his Gala 3D Printer.

“During the last years we seen a lot of cheap and small 3D printers reaching the market, none of them caught our eyes, and after track their progress and check users feedback, we confirmed our suspicions, they aren't for everybody,” Ronchi told 3Ders.  

“So with a group of colleagues we started to design a printer that meets the (more considered) requirements.”

Among other requirements for the Gala 3D printer that the team focused on were those that made the 3D printer feel like a cohesive system form a user experience perspective rather than a standalone 3D printer.  Previously, we’ve seen these “system-based ecosystems” from larger brands including MakerBot and FormLabs.  

In creating their system, Ronchi knew that it must include a variety of features that would make the 3D printing experience easy for beginners while also maintaining a high-level of quality and compatibility for more experienced users.  These included a fully-enclosed housing that would house all of the wires, cables, mechanical parts and motors, a large build volume (at least 8” x 8” x 8”), balanced speed and quality (20 micron precision at 50-80 mm/s), must work with existing filaments on the market, must be “plug and play/print-ready”, as well as some other outlined features based on their own experiences with other 3D printers that they thought made the user experience a more friendly experience.  

Among others, these user experience-friendly features included the ability to connect to WiFi, have a touchscreen controller, an on-board video camera, a heated bed, automatic bed leveling, a fully-enclosed air carbon filter, an included microcomputer to remove computer dependency, an expansion port for additional accessories including a 3D scanner, ability to work with software from any device including mobile devices and finally, the ability to connect to social networks to share and download various 3D printing projects.   

“During past year we invest almost all our time (and money) to create an FDM 3d printer that meets expectations of end and professional users that can't or don't want to pay an excessive price for a great machine,” added Ronchi.   After a year of hard work designing, making, testing and starting over again, we (ended up with the) Gala 3D printer.”

Currently, the team has five functional prototypes that they are calling their Gala Beta model and have been extensively testing them for over 10,000 hours.  One of these Gala Beta printers alone has been printing 24 hours a day for 7 days a week over the last two months (with pauses only occurring between parts).  The Drotix team will be livestreaming the constant printing during the duration of their Kickstarter campaign in an effort to show the reliability of the Gala 3D printer.  

Unsurprisingly, Ronchi and his enthusiastic team of 3D printing experts are ready to share their progress with the world and are seeking funding through Kickstarter to help pay off the cost of the molds and other costs associated with establishing a supply chain and bringing the printer to market effectively.  If funded, the team will be producing and assembling them in Miami, Florida while their software will continue to be developed in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  

Gala 3D Printer Specifications:

  • External dimension X Y Z: 41.5 / 41.5 / 46.5 cm

  • Printer heads: 1

  • Layer resolution: up to 20 micron

  • Build volume: 20.5cm x 20.5cm x 21cm (8in x 8in x 8in)

  • Position precision X Y Z: 10 / 10 / 5 micron

  • Print speed: 20 mm/s - 100 mm/s (Up to 200 mm/s with heat block change and .6 to 1.2 mm nozzles)

  • Travel speed: 30 mm/s - 350 mm/s

  • Filament diameter: 1.75 mm

  • Nozzle diameter: 0.35 mm (Optional .25 to 1.2 mm nozzles, some of them requires heat block change.)


  • Print technology: Fused filament fabrication (FFF)

  • Operation nozzle temperature: 150° - 400° C

  • Operation heated bed temperature: 50° - 105° C

  • Ambient operation temperature: 0° - 40° C

  • AC input: 100 - 240 V / ~3.5 AMPS / 50 - 60 HZ / 200 watt max.

  • Power requirements: 12 V DC @ 10 AMPS

  • Connectivity: WiFi & RJ45 network support / 2 USB / 1 expansion port

  • Camera Resolution: 5MP Stills & 1080P Video.

  • Touch Screen: 2.8" Resistive touch screen.

  • Internal Computer: A 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU 1GB RAM

  • Hardware License: Creative commons BY-NC

Gala 3D Printing Software Specifications:

  • File types: STL / GCODE

  • Supported Slicers: Drotix Cloud slicer / Gala internal slicer / Gala suite - (Mac and Win) / Any Gcode generator.

  • Web UI supported Devices: Android / IOS phone and tablets. Smart TV (Tested with Samsung and LG), Mac, Windows and Linux computers.

  • Social sharing: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter (G+ & Pinterest are on the way)

  • Software License: Creative commons BY-NC

Additional Gala 3D Printer Features:

  • Active exhaust carbon filter

  • Fully enclosed chamber with hot (print) and cold zones.

  • Concealed design with no external parts

  • Additional accessories expansion coming Fall of 2015

  • 3D Scanner (Use the internal Camera, 2 linear lasers and turntable for about $250)

  • Acetone Chamber (Use the heated bed)

For Kickstarter early-birds who head over to the page starting when they launch their campaign on April 21st, the price of the Gala 3D Printer will be $1300 before moving up to $1500 and then $1800 with the goal to start delivering from September 2015.  In the meantime, those interested can head over to the Drotix website to stay updated.



Posted in 3D Printers


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jules wrote at 5/22/2015 12:38:25 AM:

so my solidpress with similar specs at $ 600 beats it easily ... Why don;t makers check the market.

manko wrote at 4/14/2015 5:05:37 AM:

I wish them well, but I have a bad feeling for them. Expensive compared to other printers.

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