Since last year’s November we had the opportunity to test the dual-head 3D printer Sigma R19 manufactured by the Spanish BCN3D Technologies. You can read the articles describing each stage of working with the device here – now we are beginning the next cycle focused around its bigger version – the large-format Sigmax R19, with a working area of 420 x 297 x 210 mm.
A characteristic feature of BCN3D Technologies 3D printers is the system of two independent printheads called IDEX (Independent Dual Extrusion). Movement of the heads is independent to each other in the X axis – in the Y and Z axes it converges. On the one hand, this allows to print 3D models with two different colors, or using a soluble support material – on the other, it allows to split the work table into two and simultaneously print two sets of details in one 3D printing process. This is described in detail in the article “BCN3D Sigma R19 – working in copy and mirror mode“.
From the perspective of three months of work with Sigma R19, I have to say that the option of dividing the work table in half to increase the production capacity of the 3D printer is one of the biggest advantages of this device, but at the same time there is a great dissatisfaction here due to the relatively small work area. The flagship BCN3D model is equipped with a table with A4 sheet area, ie 210 x 297 mm [XY]. When choosing the 3D printing mode in a copy or a mirror image, the table is divided – however, not in half, but into three parts – the middle part is a safety buffer, protecting the heads from any collision. Thus, we have working passages of 7-8 cm wide depending on the operating mode – not enough to enjoy relative comfort in the selection of details.
In BCN3D Sigmax R19 this problem is no longer relevant due to twice the working area. 42 centimeters in the X axis make the user get two 3D printers!
However, before we get to this stage, we start with the technical specifications of the device and unboxing.
BCN3D Sigma R19
Structurally and visually, the Sigmax R19 is simply an X-scale version of the original, smaller device. It has the same functionalities as the Sigma R19, such as containers for filament remnants, filament filing “in the floor” of a 3D printer, or flow sensors to the head. The display with which we control the 3D printer is the same size and is in the same place.
The bed seems to be much stiffer and more stable, which was probably forced by its size. It consists of two heaters known from Sigma, installed side by side.
New is the possibility of installing larger filament spools outside the 3D printer chamber. On the back of the housing there are handles in which you can insert arms for holding the spools and filament entry. Regardless of whether we will put it inside the 3D printer or outside, it goes to the same place, just before the filament flow sensor.
As with the smaller model, the BCN3D Sigmax R19 only works with filaments with 2,85 mm diameter.
- technology: FFF / FDM
- working area: 420 x 297 x 210 mm
- number of heads: 2
- heads working independently on the X axis in the IDEX system
- max head temperature: 290°C
- filament diameter: 2.85 mm
- supported materials: PLA / ABS / Nylon / PET-G / TPU / PVA / Composites (open material policy – the possibility of using filaments from other manufacturers)
- work table: glass, installed on magnets
- max table temperature: 100°C
- layer resolution: 0.05 – 0.5 mm (depending on the diameter of the nozzle used)
- head calibration: automatic
- filament sensor
- communication: SD / USB cable
- LCD touch panel
- chamber installation option (extra charge).
The 3D printer comes to us in the same-but-only-twice-wider box as the smaller Sigma.
The device is packed in a solid way – we pull out protective foams from under the table and rip the stickers from the side panels (I did it a little later than it is visible in the pictures).
Inside, we find an identical set of PLA accessories, tools and spools (in the same silver and navy blue color) – all wrapped in the same black, but quite messy foam. The tool set is poor – it consists of a spatula, pliers, a set of Allen keys and a tube of Magigoo glue. Additionally with the 3D printer are delivered:
- glass table
- power cable
- USB cable
- SD card
- filament guide tubes
- a nylon roll for cleaning the heads
- two spool holders and a set of plugs for filament guide tubes and clamps, with which we attach them to extruder cables
- manual and warranty card.
We also get a two-colored Gecko, 3D printed on Sigmax.
THE SET UP & FIRST LAUNCH
The procedure for starting the 3D printer is identical to the smaller model. The glass table is mounted on magnets, teflon tubes guide the filament to extruders inside the device, and its other ends are put on the print heads. In Sigmax R19, printed covers appeared at the heads, which additionally stiffen the tubes.
When finished, just insert the SD card, connect the power cable and turn on the device. The display will show SetUp Assistant:
The whole procedure for preparing a 3D printer for work is identical to the smaller model, so all interested parties are simply referred to an earlier article: “BCN3D Sigma R19 – the unboxing and first launch“.
When the materials are already installed and the first calibration went smoothly (see: “BCN3D Sigma R19 – how to calibrate the printer’s table and its printheads?“), We can run the CURA software and prepare the first print for 3D printing. The program is downloaded from the official BCN3D website and installed on computer. After starting, in the SETTINGS tab, click PRINTER / Add Printer and select our 3D printer model.
We load the 3D model, set the material (in my case the original, silver PLA) and other print parameters and record the finished .GCODE file on an SD card.
THE FIRST PRINT
For a good start, I printed a large Viking ax, consisting of two parts:
Soon more tests and prints, but in the meantime… quite unexpectedly in the middle of work with a new 3D printer we received another “package” – this time directly from Spain. More details – tomorrow…