In mid-November, just before the start of Formnext 2019, the Spanish BCN3D Technologies announced the premiere of its latest, third 3D printer model – Epsilon. The device was officially presented at the fair in Frankfurt am Main and was a significant step forward by the manufacturer – it was twice as large as the already big Sigmax R19, it had a closed build chamber, wireless communication and IDEX – the system of two independent printheads.
Global3D – the official distributor of BCN3D Technologies in Poland, mentioned that the new device will sooner or later come to us for testing, but no one knew any date. First, we tested the Sigma R19 calmly for three months, which we recently replaced with the larger model – the Sigamx R19 described yesterday in an unboxing article. Meanwhile, last Friday, quite unexpectedly, a giant box arrived surprisingly in our office with the brand new BCN3D Epsilon inside! Without wasting a moment, we started its unboxing…
The BCN3D Epsilon has a working area of 42 x 30 x 40 cm, has a closed (though not heated) build chamber equipped with HEPA and carbon filters. As well as the other two models from the Sigma series, it has filament flow sensors that detect the moment of its blocking (either on the spool or in the head) and a replaceable printhead system, including a one capable of printing with difficult, engineering filaments e.g. carbon fiber. The communication is wireless and the BCN3D Cloud system is used for this.
The 3D printer comes in a large carton, on a pallet. It’s really huge.
On top there is a smaller, white box with accessories and filaments. The manufacturer recommends opening the smaller box first, but honestly speaking, you won’t find anything in it that would help you unpack the 3D printer.
Well, unless the instructions saying that you do not need to tear a large cardboard box or try to pull the device from the top – the box is two-part – first remove the top and the bottom with the 3D printer remains intact.
Like all other BCN3D models, Epsilon is solidly packed in foam and foil.
This is how it looks right after unpacking – despite its large size (external dimensions: 53 x 69 x 90 cm), it is not that heavy (officially weighs 37 kg) and a healthy, adult person should easily be able to put it on his desk or table (I was…).
After opening the front door, we remove another portion of protective foams: from the X axis and from under the work table.
Finally, we can remove the protective films from the housing.
How does the device look structurally? BCN3D has apparently set a goal that each subsequent 3D printer will be twice as large as the previous one… Sigmax R19 is twice as wide as Sigma R19 – Epsilon is twice as high as Sigmax R19. Although I did not count it, I suspect that if you put four Sigma R19 in 2 x 2 rows, they would ideally enclose themselves in the Epsilon outline.
Epsilon has an identical system of moving IDEX printheads, the method of attaching the filament inside the device remains unchanged – the only difference is the distance that the material will have to cover from the spool to the printhead. A small change to the plus are big containers for filament remnants, which in Epsilon have the form of long gutters. Given the potential maximum size of printed details, this was a fairly obvious change.
The build table is made of steel and, unlike Sigmax R19, is uniform (in that model there are two smaller heaters arranged next to each other). We mount the glass on it – it is no longer hung on magnets, only metal hooks: two at the back and one on the left and right.
Unlike Sigma and Sigmax, Epsilon has already installed Teflon tubes for filaments.
In the upper right corner of the housing we have a HEPA and carbon filter – this will be the noisiest thing after turning the 3D printer on…
Just a short glance at the back of the device – there are two independent places for filament holders – two, even 5-kilo spools should easily fit there. The material entrance is located next to the housing protecting the extruders and filament sensors.
As for accessories, this is so far the only disappointing thing in the whole device… The set of tools is identical to the other two BCN3D 3D printer models, and therefore very poor (low quality spatula, bad pliers, a set of allen keys, Magigoo glue etc.). In addition, we get a power cable, Ethernet cable, USB cable and new – WiFi USB module to connect to the back of the 3D printer.
Two spools of material are again PLA, again in two the same colors: silver and navy blue. The filaments are officially branded by Mitsubishi Chemical, with which BCN3D signed a close cooperation agreement last year. This time we do not get a colored Gecko – instead, a professional, yellow and white test print.
SET-UP & FIRST LAUNCH
When we clean the inside of the 3D printer from all transport sponges, put the spool holders and plug the power cord into the socket, we can turn on the 3D printer. Fortunately, the LCD screen has not remained the same as in smaller models – it has 5 inches and looks very spectacular on the whole construction. Firmware is identical to Sigma, but that’s very good news – support for BCN3D 3D printers from the touch panel is one of the biggest advantages of Spanish devices.
After turning on the 3D printer, we select the control language and then connect it to the network. It is very easy – just select “our” from the drop-down list, enter the password and wait for the connection.
Then we will get the URL in the Cloud BCN3D service, which we should enter through the computer browser. If we do not have an account there yet – we set it up and then after logging in we confirm the connection of our account with this particular 3D printer model (it will be recognized by the serial number).
This is the view of BCN3D Cloud and connected Epsilon.
The next stage is the installation of the filament and calibration. Everything is identical to previous BCN3D Sigma and Sigmax models.
When the calibration is completed, we can proceed to work. Soon we will present the first 3D prints made on BCN3D Epsilon…