About this project
From all of us at team STACKER, we want to extend a special thank you to everyone who made this campaign such a HUGE SUCCESS, starting with our BACKERS! Thank you! We really appreciated your great questions, comments, and engagement. It really made all of this better for everyone.
We also want to give a special thank you to our business partner Colorfabb.com. Their quality filament and enthusiasm for 3D printing is truly advancing this industry for the sake of everyone.
We also want to thank all the people behind the blogs that talked about our printer, wrote about our printer, and helped get the word out. You didn't need to do any of this, but you did. Lastly, we want to thank our other vendors and business partners at Repetier, Lin Engineering, Watlow, igus, and Panucatt devices. Their premium products help make STACKER a true commercial grade printer.
Now that our campaign is over, please go to our website at stacker3d.com to purchase a printer, filament and supplies, as well as for updates on your pledge and other related info.
Thank you all!
Most commercial 3D printers are slow and expensive. This is about to change. Today, we are pleased to introduce STACKER®, the first of its kind, high speed, multi-part, commercial-grade 3D printer, all for an affordable cost.
- Print up to four parts at once
- Optimized for high tech composite filaments
- New HYBRID hot end for reliable printing
- Expandable Z-axis for printing tall parts (up to 24")
- Safe to use in any environment
A genuine 3D printing revolution doesn't leave the largest group of creators waiting on the side lines for an affordable and reliable printer to come along. This group of creators includes professionals, makers, scientists, teachers, entrepreneurs, and established business owners. 3D printing is too important a technology for anyone to be left behind. That's why we made STACKER affordable.
The next big push in 3D printing is digital manufacturing and composite filaments. Think how much better it would be if you could print more than one part at a time? That's why we designed STACKER to print up to 4 parts at once. STACKER is taking digital manufacturing up to the next level.
STACKER is more than just a fast and affordable commercial grade 3D printer; it's also highly functional. For example, it can print huge and tall parts, up to 24" (600mm). This invention opens up a whole new world of possibilities. STACKER also ships with our new HYBRID hot end. This reliable new hot end was optimized to extrude our new generation of high tech composite filaments.
Thank you so much for your interest in our printer. Together, let’s bring high-performance 3D printing to the largest segment of creators on earth, like you! STACKER now makes it faster, bigger, and more affordable than ever.
4X Faster Print Speeds. STACKER’s “multi-part” printing technology allows you to print up to four copies of the same part, at the same time, in different colors, and with various types of filament. Why print one part when you can get two? Alternatively, three or four parts at the same time? Welcome to the new age of digital manufacturing.
Modular Construction. To convert your STACKER desktop model into a mobile version, just bolt on our full height frame and caster options, and now you have the ultimate mobile printer! We even engineered our casters with a suspension system for even smoother rolling. To increase your build height, just add our Z-height extender. If you have a two head printer model, you can always add more heads in the future, as you need them. In fact, all options can be added in the future.
Huge Build Volume. Desktop models have a MAX print size of 250mm x 450mm x 220mm. Full height mobile models have a MAX print size of 250mm (10") x 450mm (18") x 600mm (24"). That's right, you can print 24" tall parts!
Expandable Z-Axis. STACKER has an expandable Z-axis. What this means is that you can increase the printing height of your desktop printer from 220mm to over 600mm. To do this requires our full height frame and Z-height extender options.
Universal Filament Rail. STACKER uses a universal filament rail that accepts any filament on the market. Unlike most commercial printers that gouge you with high priced materials, STACKER will accept market rate filaments, and this keeps your printing costs affordable. Our universal filament rail was also designed for easy and fast loading of your filament spools. The small "U" channel design fits all popular spool sizes, and is super strong.
Industrial Grade Motors. Stepper motors are a key component in any 3D printer. Unlike consumer grade printers, commercial grade printers need to run for hours and hours. This means your stepper motors better be up to the task. That's why STACKER only uses industrial grade stepper motors from Lin Engineering, the market leader in providing high torque and high performance motors. In fact, their extreme torque motors are 35% more powerful than any other motor we tested, and this helps prevent skips and lost steps. We also have our motors custom wound to our specific RPM, torque, and temperature requirements, and this ensures our motors run efficiently, smoothly, and accurately. There are other far less expensive stepper motors on the market, but none that are better.
Composite Linear Motion Bearings. STACKER only uses high tech composite bearings from igus®. These bearings are made from Kevlar, PTFE and Nylon. The adjustable bearing retainers allow you to reduce the gap between the bearing and shaft, so now you can achieve really tight tolerances. Our bearings do not use messy grease, silicone sprays, or oil. Unlike metal bearings, composite bearings do not cause accelerated shaft wear during rapid back-and-forth movements, which is very common with 3D printing. Furthermore, our bearings can be used in really harsh environments and are highly effective at absorbing vibrations. Since they are clean running, these bearings are also perfect for highly sensitive printing applications too.
With our bearings it is time to say goodbye to constantly wiping down your shafts and reapplying the grease! These dry running bearings are self-cleaning. Once they are adjusted, these bearings require almost no maintenance for the life of your printer.
Kinetic and Powerful Design. STACKER does not look like an appliance because it’s not an appliance! STACKER is a productivity machine. There are no false bottoms or plastic panels to hide sloppy wiring and messy electronics. Everything is out in the open for easy accessibility. This makes it easy to modify your new machine to your exact needs. STACKER is also perfect for use as a development platform for alternative printing technologies. For example, we purposely designed the print heads with T-slots so you can easily attach alternative printing technologies.
HYBRID Hot End. STACKER is proud to introduce the HYBRID™, our innovative new hot end for 3D printers. The HYBRID is named for its ground-breaking interchangeable nozzles, each engineered for different filament melt temperatures.
We have had an overwhelming response to our new HYBRID hot end since we announced our STACKER 3D printer a few weeks ago. Because of this, we have now made the HYBRID available for backing on this Kickstarter campaign, at the $99 pledge level. We did this for two reasons. First, too many 3D printers suffer from filament jams and other hot end related problems. The HYBRID was specifically engineered to eliminate jamming and other problems. Second, many composite filaments are abrasive, and can quickly wear out hot end nozzles, especially ones made from brass.
The HYBRID uses a special grade of stainless steel to dramatically improve nozzle life when using composites, like our incredible new carbon fiber XT-CF20 filament, by ColorFabb. Furthermore, low melt filaments and high melt filaments have very different viscosity, surface tension and flow characteristic. The HYBRID's quick change nozzles allow you to use one hot end for both low melt and high melt filaments. Our low melt nozzle is optimized for lower melt filaments, like PLA and ABS. Our high melt nozzle is optimized for higher melt filaments like Nylons and high Tg (glass transition temperature) Co-polyesters.
Hybrid’s key features
- Quick change nozzles. Most users print everything with one size outlet diameter (often 0.40mm) because it's just too slow and tedious to change it. HYBRID nozzles can be changed in 30 seconds. No kidding. For finer prints use our 0.30mm nozzle. For faster prints use our 0.80mm nozzle. HYBRID now makes it feasible to actually match your nozzles to what you're printing.
- Dual nozzle types. The HYBRID was designed around two nozzle types, each engineered for the melting temperature of your filament. One nozzle is for lower melt filaments like PLA and ABS. The other nozzle is for higher melt filaments like high Tg Co-polyesters and some Nylons. This results are dramatically reduced filament jamming, and better quality prints.
- High volume design. The HYBRID was optimized for high volume printing. This means you can now print a lot faster. You can also lay down thicker layers, which will make your parts a lot stronger, and also print faster.
- One piece nozzle design. Our stainless steel nozzles will not leak and are highly resistant to wear and corrosion. Our nozzles do not use special sealers or require a tightening procedure while the nozzle is hot.
- Dual cooling fans. The HYBRID's compact design includes an integrated cooling fan for the heat sink, and a powerful blower for cooling your filament while printing.
- Industry compatible J-Mount. The HYBRID will fit many printers with little or no modifications necessary. Users are responsible for mounting HYBRID to their own printer.
HYBRID Hot End SPECS
- Filament size: 1.75mm only, no 3mm version available
- Compatible filaments: most all types of high quality filament
- Temperature MAX: 300 degrees C
- Temp Sensor: Semitec brand 104GT-2 thermistor
- Height: 78mm (from top of heat sink to bottom of nozzle)
- Mount type: Industry standard 16mm diameter groove mount
- Heater: Premium quality cartridge type, 40watt, available in 12VDC or 24VDC models, made in USA
- Nozzles: Available in both low and high temp versions
- Nozzle outlet diameters available: 0.30, 0.40, 0.50, 0.60, 0.80, and 1mm
- Standard nozzle size: ships with both low and high temp 0.50mm outlet diameter
- Bowden compatible: yes, STACKER utilizes a bowden system
- Direct drive compatible: yes, comes with short section of 4mm OD PTFE tubing for guiding filament internally through hot end
The HYBRID is the same exact hot end we use on every new STACKER 3D printer. Each kit ships with one 0.50mm low temp nozzle, one 0.50mm high temp nozzle, heat sink and fan, heater block assembly, wire connectors, necessary fitting, and a blower fan with mounting bracket. You are responsible for mounting the hot end to your printer, which may include custom mounting brackets, depending on the type of printer you own. The kit does not include enough tubing for bowden applications. You must supply your own tubing. Comes in both 12VDC and 24VDC models.
STACKER only uses genuine Watlow® FIREROD® cartridge heaters. Why? Because Watlow invented the FIREROD over 60 years ago, and it is still the market leader today. FIREROD was the best heater we tested, and the most consistent in terms of wattage output. The last thing we want to chance is your heater giving out, just so we could save a few dollars. That's not how you build commercial grade machinery. Our FIREROD heaters are manufactured in Watlow's St. Louis facility.
STACKER has partnered with ColorFabb® to help us produce our filaments. Their company philosophy is the same as ours, produce class-leading products that are innovative, functional, and safe for the end user. ColorFabb not only makes excellent filaments in vibrant colors, but they are also pushing the boundaries of 3D printing with their new composite filaments, like carbon fiber, copper, and bamboo. As mentioned earlier, STACKER printers have been optimized to run these composite filaments by incorporating robust filament drives, low friction guides, and high wear nozzles. Our XT line of filaments use Amphora 3D polymer from Eastman®.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF COMMERCIAL PRINTER
If you want to buy a 3D printer today, you have two choices: consumer grade or extremely expensive commercial grade printers. Most commercial 3D printers produce precise prints, and they are far more reliable than consumer versions. When it comes to precision and reliability, STACKER is no different. However, that is where the similarity ends.
STACKER offers a number of benefits over most other commercial 3D printers.
- STACKER is affordable
- STACKER can print four parts at one time, making it at least 4x faster than most other printers
- STACKER accepts hundreds of different filaments in hundreds of colors, including our high tech composites, like carbon fiber
- STACKER filament is market priced, not proprietary and overpriced
- STACKER has a huge build volume (max print size is 10" x 18" x 24")
- STACKER filaments are very low odor, highly functional, and safe to use in any environment, a must for busy offices and schools
- STACKER has no service contracts and upgrades are affordable
- STACKER is highly mobile with or without casters
- STACKER fits into any workplace environment
STACKER was purposely built and priced for tech labs, colleges, busy offices, maker spaces, print/prototype shops, manufacturing plants, and most other kinds of businesses. Now, more professional creators have access to fast, reliable, and affordable 3D printing.
What makes STACKER commercial grade?
STACKER stands above the rest by providing optimum chassis design, gantry and high-quality components. Let's start with the chassis.
Just like expensive commercial 3D printers, STACKER relies on high strength steel instead of plastic and composite frame parts. This ensures your STACKER remains accurate for the life of your printer, and far less susceptible to seasonal changes in humidity and accidental damage. It also means you can drill a hole into your machine and make other modifications without voiding the warranty or weakening the structural integrity. Our modular chassis design also makes it easy to replace components, should they become damaged. All components are powder coated for durability, and it makes your STACKER look amazing! It is difficult to tell from the photos, but even the blue has a fine metallic base.
STACKER uses custom designed aluminum parts to reduce the weight on all moving parts. This means faster print speeds and much better quality prints. We also use maintenance free high-tech custom polymer bearings to eliminate the constant upkeep and lubrication requirements most commercial printers require. The bearings also allow you to use STACKER in harsh environments, something most commercial printers simply can't tolerate. Remote mounted filament drives keep the majority of weight off the gantry.
Although nearly every component on STACKER is custom engineered and manufactured, we do purchase some components. Like our stepper motors, for example. Our motors cost at least 5 to 10 times more than the typical motors you see on 3D printers. Our motors have more power, better magnets, better bearings, better grease, run cooler, and last a lot longer. Our power supply is another example. We use the best power supply on the market, and it carries a five-year warranty. Sure, we could save a lot of money on a cheap power supply, and it may last awhile, but that is not the business we are in.
- Type: FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)
- Filament diameter: 1.75mm
- Hot end: HYBRID by STACKER
- Standard nozzle size: 0.50mm
- Option nozzle sizes: 0.30, 0.40, 0.60, 0.80, and 1mm
- MAX Temp: 300 degrees C
- MAX X/Y print area one head printing: 255mm (10") x 458mm (18")
- MAX X/Y print area two heads printing: 255mm (10") x 220mm (8.7")
- MAX X/Y print area three heads printing: 255mm (10") x 138mm (5.46")
- MAX X/Y print area four heads printing: 255mm (10") x 100mm (3.9")
- MAX Z height print area: 220mm (8.75") or 600mm (24") with Z-height extender option (double stack)
- Layer resolution: .1mm to 1mm or 100 micron to 1000 microns
- Positional accuracy for X/Y: 6 microns or .00023"
- Positional accuracy for Z: 4 microns or .00015"
- Real world print accuracy: .0005" to .002" ( depends mostly on filament diameter consistency)
- Print speed: 10 to 150mm/s
- Travel speed: 0 to 250mm/s
- Build plate: tempered glass, sandblasted, removable
- Print bed: heated, custom PCB, 250 WATT
- Internal Voltage: 24VDC/5VDC
- Controller: AZTEEG X3 PRO
- Connectivity: USB or SD card
- Power supply: Meanwell brand High-Performance Series
- Power supply input: 100-240VAC 8.5A
- Power supply output: 27A at 24VDC
- Operating temperature range: 50-100 deg F (10-38 deg C)
- Operating Noise: 35 to 70 dB
- STACKER has three print modes: Single-part, Multi-part, and Multi-material
- Single-part Mode: Print one part with one print head. For basic one-off printing. Load a part, print it.
- Multi-part Mode: Print multiple copies of the SAME EXACT part. This mode only allows you to use one head per part. You can choose if you want to print two copies, three copies, or four copies of your part. Each hot end temperature can be independently adjusted!
- Multi-material Mode: Print one part with more than one material type. This mode allows you to extrude multiple materials from more than one hot end onto the same part. Just to be clear, you can only print one part at a time in multi-material mode. Each hot end temperature can be independently adjusted. Example: print main part with head number 1 and support structure with head number 2.
Physical Printer Specs
- Width: 675mm (26.5")
- Height: 400mm (15.75") (for one full height single stack)
- Depth: 720mm (28") (with filament rail and roll of filament)
- Weight: 30kg (65lbs) (bare machine with no filament)
Shipping Box Specs for STACKER Desktop model (2 or 4 head)
- Length: 840mm (33")
- Width: 640mm (25.25")
- Height: 430mm (17"")
- Weight: 36kg (80lbs)
- Host Software: Custom STACKER version of Repetier
- Other compatible software: Cura, Slic3r, Pronterface, Simplify3d
- Supported file types: STL, OBJ, AMF
- Operating system: Windows 32/64 Bit Vista/7/8, Mac OS X 10.6+, Linux 32/64 Bit (Ubuntu 12.04+)
STACKER's final design has already been approved months ago, and we have already assembled and tested a small number of production class printers. We built these printers from a small run of actual production-grade components. We did it this way because it is the best way to discover the problems you will inevitably encounter during your first production run. It's not the cheapest way to build a new product, but it's the best way we know to reduce problems, and build confidence in your production plan. It is also a great way to test your vendor's QC program and ability to ship in a timely manner.
Over 90% of STACKER is made right here in Minnesota. This makes it a hundred times easier for us to build strong relationships with our vendors, and ensure our first production run goes smoothly. As for components with longer lead times, we have partnered with U.S. based distributors to bulk up on their in-stock inventories.
Since we have already assembled and tested our printer from real production parts, our production plan is pretty simple. We will closely monitor the success of our Kickstarter campaign, and begin placing production orders immediately, based on the number of printers we need to ship. To supplement this process, we have already ordered many of the longer lead time components, as well as many others.
We expect to have all necessary components delivered to our Minnesota assembly facility before April 20th, 2015. We will then assemble and ship our first production run of printers by the middle to end of May, 2015. This process will continue in the same way for our second and third production runs. All final assembly is done by STACKER to ensure it's done right.
All STACKER 3D printers will ship in flat pack boxes. This makes it possible to ship our printers to many places throughout the world, and reduce shipping damage and delays. Some basic assembly is required. Assembly of the printer usually takes less than an hour. Final calibration and setup will take considerably longer unless you are already familiar with 3D printing.
Our video guys at TTP were AWESOME! Let's face it, they didn't have a lot of "talent" to work with, so I think they did a great job! Give them a call if you want pro work done, they are worth every penny it's going to cost you.
Random Hex Vase by Chopmeister (awesome design!!), quadcopter parts were printed for my personal drone project, design by Hovership MHQ2 (a really cool quad, check them out at hovership.com), sabertooth fossil by cirriculum (get on thingiverse.com)
Risks and challenges
STACKER is ready to proceed with full-scale manufacturing of our new printers before the end of this Kickstarter campaign, but like any complex piece of machinery, there still may be some last minute assembly hiccups. There is also the possibilities of delays caused by vendor shortages of raw materials and other essential components.
To reduce the possibilities of delays and ensure top shelf quality, we have carefully selected our manufacturing partners and have made every effort to only use local and United States manufacturers. In fact, over 90 percent of our printer, based on cost of components, comes from United States companies, most of which based in Minnesota.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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