The Pro is precision engineered, has an industrial design, and a strong focus on the full user experience.
The two features that make it stand out the most are it’s precision metal parts and it’s auto-correction system.
The goal of the Pro was create a completely different legacy than other printers by: Designing dozens of sensors in an electronics control system, closing the loop many functions, making the printer more “self-aware.”
Using extremely high-end metal parts you usually only see in products priced in the thousands, giving away a lot of value with lower margins in order to reshape the field of 3D Printing towards a better standard - one where quality and reliability are a reasonable expectation and requirement.
Watch the M3D Pro Video:
A bit of History
M3D is an innovation company at its heart. Like you, the got into 3D printing, for two big reasons. First, because they saw the value it can provide today - it is a barrier breaking tool that can make some amazingly cool and useful things. After getting to know its capabilities and limits, today's 3D printers are able to help people pursue their creative dreams or reach productive goals; and at the very least, be a source of entertainment.
But more importantly, they have that unshakable feeling that 3D printers will iteratively improve until they become an everyday convenience and necessity. We know this is a future that may not be realized for 10 years, but one that requires nurturing the technology through many rounds of improvement, which seems to mirror the coming of the computer age.
They took the first steps towards this future on Kickstarter two years ago. At the time their goal was to make this technology more accessible to everyone, which was a lofty ambition.
3D printers were easily in excess of €1000, often had to be assembled, and required the user to learn how to write code to control it. Like many inventors they saw this and thought we could do better. So they set out to build a printer that was more user-friendly, affordable, and suitable for in-house use than any before.
On the surface, they achieved that goal (thanks also to their initial backers), and quickly M3D became a volume leader in the field, and many of their features were also quickly adopted by the industry.
However, they know 3D printers are still not perfect. They will achieve true consumer-friendliness when the full user experience is improved and the hardware is made so extremely reliable that it cannot fail. After that, the software needs to guide the user through the entire experience and take out all the guess work. Models need to be verified and/or curated carefully so that every print can succeed. Lastly, 3D printing in general needs to be faster, with advanced product features being more affordable.
With this in mind they took 2 years of direct feedback from their users to heart in order to advance 3D Printing technology. Today’s 3D printers operate on faith that they will run properly for many hours after hitting print.
They realized that the 3D printer needs to be totally redeveloped. Every single aspect of the printer must be able to be measured so that it can be corrected in real-time. Our solution for this problem was to add full sensor feedback - on everything we could; temperature, voltage, current, position, speed, bed leveling - and more. Over two-dozen sensors in total.
This technology has the potential to revolutionize the field and make previously common hardware challenges a thing of the past, allowing the user to focus more fully on their creative process.
Wittystore started to import in Europe M3D product back 2 years ago. We took M3D product seriously from the beginnning. You can order the new M3D Pro at the following link:
The Philosophy Behind The Pro
Based on the many things M3D learned from making the Micro, the Pro was completely redesigned with two key principles in mind.
A self-aware printer: First, that every possible aspect of the printer should be a closed-loop, so that it is self-aware and can correct issues on the fly, eliminating all typical frustrations with 3D printing.
Precision metal engineering: Second, that every aspect of the printer should be precision engineered so that it is extremely rigid and predictably assembled, leading to a more consistent and standardized user experience. You’ll see this concept in the first look pre-production samples below!
The cost of precision engineering: The Pro cost of goods is over 3 times that of the Micro. This is because almost the all of the plastic were replaced with precision metal parts that have ~15 times better tolerances. In fact the only thing the Micro and Pro have in common is the look of the enclosure, injection molded framing, and the style of the lead screws and H-gantries.
The Pro Sensor Network
Every other 3D Printer company uses expensive, strong, standard motors, but has to slow them down so they can power through any issues and get mostly successful prints.
The end result of this limitation is a practical printing speed limit of 60 mm/s to achieve quality on typical models, and prints can still fail. The Pro on the other hand uses lighter motors that are adequate for the job.
However, because M3D is implementing full sensor feedback on all the motion axes, we do not have to use one cautious speed limit for all prints. Instead of slowing down cautiously, the Pro can push the limits of motor technology and be optimized for maximum speeds per-print and saving costs.
In addition, M3D has had 3 years to improve motors through firmware, electronic, hardware, and software optimizations, allowing them to move much faster. Non-printing speeds of 150 mm/s (shown below), and print speeds of 80 mm/s have already been achieved (in main video).
The end result is a 3D printer that has the potential to be far more reliable, and uses a system with a lower cost basis than all other printers. Although it's a feature they could charge a lot for, they plan to extend these savings to the end user.
Technically, the basis of these systems are sensor fusion models and closed-loop feedback control. In general terms, these are the same systems that made cell phones able to provide navigation guidance, brought about quad-copters that are affordable and easy to fly, and compose the functional structure of many other innovative technologies we take for granted today.
The Highest Efficiency Heated Bed
A heated bed is a feature that is still not standard on most affordable or entry-level models. That’s because it's not necessary to have one for small prints, but also because the power requirements are so huge that it increases the costs dramatically.
For example, a typical heated bed would use approximately 5 watts of power per square inch! That means over a typical 7”x7” heated bed, would need 250 watts of power. That’s 6 laptops or 12 CFL light bulbs. So entry-level printers tend to avoid including one or sell it as an expensive add on.
One of the key innovations of the Pro is the most power efficient heated bed ever made for a 3D printer. Our new heated bed technology is engineered with high temperature polymers and glass, which provides strong thermal insulation and allows for a lower energy heated bed.
The Pro system uses only 0.6 watts per square inch - making it 833% more efficient! As a result, we reduced the power requirements and thus lowered the cost.
M3D is extending these cost savings to you by including this heated bed with the Pro, standard. Further, the bed is removable and replaceable which allows for ease of use and potential future mods or add ons. Here is FLIR (forward looking infrared) video showing the performance of a heated bed prototype in real time.
A heated bed is an important add on for a larger 3D printer. What makes the Pro nice is that it has a glass surface, made of the same type of tempered glass used in cell phone and tablet screens.
This provides a beautiful print bottom finish, excellent clarity, and an easily cleaned, heavy-duty surface. This new platform can make flatter, broader prints through better adhesion while reducing warp.
The heated bed can also support a wider range of 3D printing materials while easing and improving print removal. Even though this heated bed uses very little power, it can reach fully operational temperatures in under a minute.
M3D Software Features / Standard Gcode Support
M3D software is free and their products are still open to using 3rd party programs. The M3D software works on Windows, Linux, and Mac.
And it is powered internally using a powerful and fast slicer known as Cura, but because we accept open/standard gcode on the Pro, we guarantee open systems like Simplify3D, Octoprint, and other standard 3rd party slicers will work on our printer with ease, which means adding after-market wireless support will be easy.
We’ve added a number of core features too, many of which are proven and are going to be rolled out over the next few weeks. These can be seen on our development schedule and include important features like multi-model support, accurate time estimates, pause printing, multi-printer support (up to 10), zip-model model library support.
In addition, M3D plans to roll out more significant improvements next year, including native-mac support, web feedback & support integration, suggested model orientation, network printer support, and model integrity verification.
Filament and 3rd Party Filament Support
For the Pro, M3D will put forth our flagship material as a Professional (Pro) Filament on a large thin designer spool of 500 feet (152.4 meters) of industry standard 1.75 mm diameter plastic filament.
They sell by length so as to give you a more honest and exact depiction of the volume of print you can get out of each roll. This spool is approximately 1 Lb (.5 Kg).
The Pro filament material is the same as our current ABS-R line. This is a tough and durable material that is superior to ABS and PLA in almost every way.
Everyone who uses it has switched to it because it has low warp, zero odor, is biodegradable, can be drilled & tapped, and has many other benefits.
You can order the M3D Pro in EU and UK at this link: https://www.wittystore.com/m3d-pro-3d-printer.html