Poland is a hotbed (get it?) for 3D printing and now up-and-comer Pirx is entering the fray. Their printer, the Pirx One, is a $1,199 PLA printer with some seriously classy looks and optional heated bed for ABS support.
The printer is a standard FDM device that prints layers of plastic into a cohesive whole. The team has added a few extras including a heavy steel frame and acceptable build envelope for producing larger objects. It’s also surprisingly light at 10kg (22 lbs), which reduces vibrations and ensures a cleaner print.
The most important part, however, is the bed leveling system that they’re calling the Q Sensor. It ensures that the printer can manufacture plastic pieces right out of the box. The nozzles automatically senses the bed position by touching a number of small electrical points on the bed and then begins printing when it knows exactly how the bed is positioned. Most of the interaction is done on a built-in LCD screen and models are uploaded via SD card.
They have a compelling product – getting a properly calibrated bed is one of the most important parts of 3D printing – but they’re also up against countless cheaper competitors that will probably drive 3D printing prices (and quality) to rock bottom. It’s up to the little guys like Pirx to keep the quality in 3D printing while maintaining a price point that can still bring in designers, makers, and engineers. Here’s hoping they pull it off.