In the past, we’ve reviewed the Formlab Form 2, NexD1, and Robo R2. While each possesses unique strengths and weaknesses, none of them come close to being similar to Kappa, a new and different type of 3D printer. It utilizes an improved version of the Scott Russell Straight Line Mechanism. This innovative design makes it the world’s first 3D printer of its kind.
 

Design

The 3D printer looks sleek; it comes with machine-cut aluminum arms. Its frame is made of customized extrusion mold. The mold uses high-grade raw materials and gets sent to the CNC milling machine. This ensures quality and consistency throughout all of the 3D printers the company manufactures. Heat from internally-housed motors and extruders conducts throughout the aluminum profile tower, acting as an efficient heat sink.

The nozzle’s linear movement to the bed, facilitated by the dual arms, results in a larger build volume for the user (200 x 200 x 200). The Kappa printer comes with a unibody aluminum frame, detachable heated bed, and large build volume.

The printer is foldable to become compact and easy to move. It runs off of open-source software, and you can get your layer down to 50 um thickness. Its total printing area (200mm x 200mm x 200mm) beats its competitors by a long shot.

It’s also one of the lightest 3D printers out there right now, coming in at 6kg. Unlike most 3D printers, the Kappa connects to your Bluetooth or SD card, in addition to the usual USB connection. And possibly its biggest selling feature: it supports all types of filaments.

 

Technology

Automobile and manufacturing industries use the Straight Line Mechanism. It is a great method to achieve precision and quality control – consistently. Traditionally, the Mechanism has two arms (one long arm, twice the length of the short arm); both ends of each arm connect to a vertical beam.

The other end of the short arm connects to the middle of the long arm. This renders the short arm stationary, while the long arm moves up and down the vertical beam, creating a perfectly straight line motion in a horizontal direction.

With an extra long arm, the printer provides additional support. It also helps keep the nozzle points looking downward at all times. Furthermore, moving both arms independently adds another motion to the existing setup.

 

Ease-of-Use

The unibody frame keeps setup simple and easy to maintain. Your printer comes with the main frame already assembled; just add 6 screws to your new printer, and you’re ready to start printing.

The heated bed uses magnetic holders to position the bed consistently each time you print. There is no longer any need to re-calibrate the machine after every use.
 

Price

The 3D printer starts at $359 right now, but the cost will likely increase with increased support. After enough printers are in demand, the cost is expected to drop.

 

Performance

Kappa’s large build area is a luxury, and the company promises the printer can handle big and small requirements with ease. And we think everyone loves to hear the magic words: Kappa doesn’t require specific filaments or filament materials to work; you can use any filament from any manufacturer for your project – just adjust the filament temperature using a slicer, and you are ready to print.
 

Availability

Though the concept is fairly new (the creators were validating the idea in June 2016), the team moved quickly to bring this printer into production. With several pilot runs beneath their belt, the company created a printer by slowly improving their hardware and software. The company expects to release Kappa sometime between February to April 2018, shortly after starting commercial production.

3D printing technology is experiencing a renaissance. Researchers are experimenting with Researchers are experimenting with 3D printed medication, companies are making it possible to print in space, and 3D printing has also helped replace part of a skull. Check iReviews often to stay up-to-date with the latest disruptions and innovations in the industry.

 

Sources: Ionic3DP, Kickstarter