Aug 1, 2016 | By Alec

Over the past few years, Kickstarter has emerged as a champion of the 3D printing movement and so many excellent projects could not have been realized without it. But some projects certainly fare better than others. Back in 2013, San Diego-based startup Blue Eagle Labs achieved the kind of crowdfunding success that the rest of us can only dream of, when they raised over $260,000 for their excellent Kossel Clear 3D printer. That same startup is now set to follow up on that success with another Kickstarter campaign for the Metal Delta 3D printer kit – a large-volume and dual extrusion machine that brings high quality 3D printing to your desktop for an excellent price.

As you might recall, the original Kossel Clear 3D printer was an excellent option for its time. Featuring many of the qualities that have since become standard in desktop 3D printers, it was especially notable for being far cheaper than MakerBot 3D printers and other equivalents. It also brought DIY assembly kits to a large audience, which have done a lot to make 3D printing less costly.

As a result, it is hardly surprising that the Metal Delta 3D printer builds on its predecessor. “But [the Metal Delta features] more durable steel parts, a higher resolution, larger volume and more upgrade offerings. The Metal Delta also incorporates many updated design improvements from the open source community,” its designers say. It is also easily assembled and features a stripped down manufacturing system that keeps prices below the $1000 mark – despite having a build volume that is 250mm in diameter and 304mm tall. This certainly gives the Metal Delta an excellent volume to cost ratio.

Like its name suggests, the Metal Delta obviously features an excellent and reliable steel frame. Made from 3mm hot rolled steel, it is as reliable as a desktop 3D printer gets. “The design incorporates strategic bends and cut patterns that make building a delta so much easier. Slots have been designed to easily mount various parts, such as hotends and extrusions. Holes are pre-tapped so that various other parts can easily be bolted on precisely such as motors, endstops, and extruder mechanisms,” its designers say of the body.

Ultimately, however, the 3D printer’s cost is determined by what upgrades are chosen. And there’s a good list of options. Perhaps the most intriguing is the Ultra-Precision Magnetic Ball Joints option, which can greatly enhance overall performance. Based on a design by Haydn Huntley, it consists of upgraded ball joints and arms made from light carbon fiber tubes, chromed ball studs and very powerful magnets. “This translates to easier and faster auto-calibration, accurate prints, and an easily swappable effector,” the San Diego team says. Combined with a Motors grade, it can make the Metal Delta 3D printer a very powerful making tool.

But equally appealing is a laser engraver upgrade, featuring a powerful 2 Watt 445 nm laser that can be used to engrave various woods/paper/cardboard. “Besides the safety glasses, the module will come with an attachable UV shield with added protection. We have prepared a python script that you can use as post processor to generate code for your laser engraver,” they say. This very potent upgrade will, however, require backers to sign a safety waiver.

Less dangerous but equally interesting are the dual extrusion and GeckoTek build plate upgrades. As the 3D printer is so large, there’s more than enough room for a special dual extrusion setup relying on shared nozzle – which would eliminate the oozing problem that is prevalent in dual head 3D printing. The GeckoTek build plates, meanwhile, hardly need an introduction. Thanks to a special coating, they provide optimal adhesion levels and are quickly becoming a common sight within the 3D printing community.

Thanks to these upgrades, the Metal Delta certainly becomes an excellent option for users looking for an upgrade. Indeed, it seems to feature everything you can expect from a state-of-the-art desktop 3D printer, but then for a very respectable price. While the costs of the dual extrusion and laser engraving upgrades have not been revealed yet, an early Metal Delta kit can cost as little as $499 ($680 with the other upgrades included). An assembled version costs an extra $300. But regardless of the chosen upgrades, all Metal Delta 3D printers come with a tantalizing one-year free subscription to Autodesk Fusion 360. The 3D printer itself is compatible with all the conventional slicers and hosts, including Repetier, slicer, cura and others.

If you’re interested, you can preview the Delta Metal Kickstarter campaign here. What’s more, development and testing has been completely finished already, with 20 experienced external 3D printing veterans having been brought in for testing. If the campaign is successful, shipping will begin as early as September. And if their previous campaign is anything to go by – when all rewards were delivered ahead of schedule despite the unexpected levels of success – fulfilment shouldn’t be a problem either. It looks like Blue Eagle Labs could have another crowdfunding success on their hands.


  • ·Movement speed: 320mm/s
  • ·Movement Resolution: 100 steps per mm, 200 steps per mm (upgraded)
  • ·Build Plate: 250mm diameter
  • ·Build Height: 280mm
  • ·Print Surface: Borosilicate Glass or upgrade to GeckoTek Build Plates
  • ·Auto Calibration



Posted in 3D Printer



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Blue Eagle Labs wrote at 8/4/2016 8:51:02 PM:

Thanks for the feature, and Alec! Just an FYI, The Metal Delta is now live on Kickstarter: Thanks again for helping us spread the word! ☺

Jiří Pytlík wrote at 8/2/2016 1:47:56 PM:

"when all rewards were delivered ahead of schedule despite the unexpected levels of success " - it is not simply true - most of complete printers had delay of about one month in average.

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