The 3D Touch 3D printer is a rapid prototyping device from BitsFromBytes – the same company that brought us RapMan. The name of the printer actually refers to its interface – the 3D Touch is primarily controlled by a convenient touch panel. Aside from the panel, the 3D Touch boasts a serious variety of materials, good print tolerance, and other bonuses that justify a price difference between it and, say, the Replicator.
How Does the 3D Touch 3D Printer Work?
The machine utilizes the Fused Filament Fabrication method, also known as Thermoplastic Extrusion, or TPE – you can see it in action on this video. Actually, the video shows a triple head print 3D Touch 3D printer – there are single and double head print models available as well. Bonus heads provide printing of support structure if your design demands it and multi-color printing while reducing build size. This may make the 3D Touch machine look very similar to the RapMan printer – and that’s because it’s in fact a beefed-up version of the latter that comes as a fully-assembled device and not as a DIY-kit.
|3D Touch 3D Printer Specifications and Information|
|Technology||FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) aka TPE (Thermoplastic Extrusion)|
(Width x Depth x Height)
|~ 20.3" x 20.3" x 23.5"/ ~ 51.5 x 51.5 x 59.8 cm|
|Weight||~ 79lbs / ~ 36 kg|
|Build materials||PLA filament, ABS plastic|
|Accuracy||Z axis: 0.125 mm|
|10.6" x 8.1" x 8.3"/ ~ up to 275 x 275 x 201 mm|
|Price||$3,999 on Amazon/starting at $3,290 at BitsFromBytes store|
|Price of material||$75 per 1 kg at BitsFromBytes store|
|Manufacturer’s website and contacts||http://www.bitsfrombytes.com, phone number: +44 1275 873792, address: Unit 17 Hither Green Industrial Estate, Clevedon, Bristol, BS21 6XU, United Kingdom|
|Guides and books||Wiki, free 3D print files|
|Manufacturer’s forums and resources||Blog, news|
The 3D Touch 3D printer offers a range of improvements over the RapMan: it comes fully assembled (a large plus, considering the time it might’ve taken you to build one from parts), its build volume is significantly higher (twice that of a Replicator printer, even), but despite that, the printer itself is much smaller. It’s also a bit quieter, though that may be subjective. The hotter head also potentially lets you use a wider variety of materials – PP, uPVC, LDPE and so on. It also comes with a very good set of software which has a broad range of functions while being quite intuitive.
The only real con of this printer is its high price. At $3,290 it is one of the most expensive hobbyist printers, and its specs aren’t good enough to make this printer viable as a professional model.
The Bottom Line:
3D Touch 3D printer is a good machine – but only if you’re looking for a hobbyist printer and don’t really care about the price. It’s a very solid choice, and the fact that it is pre-assembled and easy-to-use is a huge bonus, but one can’t help but feel the price of this thing isn’t really justified.