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The S2 is an Industrial Grade 3D Printer designed for the Education, Manufacturing, and Professional Markets
The S2 is an Industrial Grade 3D Printer designed for the Education, Manufacturing, and Professional Markets
64 backers pledged $238,386 to help bring this project to life.

About

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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

Aa573012305403c62c23c76730582b29 original

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

For all the latest information on our live campaign, please click on the updates tab above!

Our Story

In 2015, the incredible support from this Kickstarter community helped launch STACKER and enabled us to produce a new kind of 3D printer. Because of our backers, we were able to ship our rewards, renovate an empty warehouse into a high tech manufacturing facility, hire staff, and begin developing our next generation printers.

Over the past two years, we have learned a lot about building 3D printers. We took what we learned and redesigned our printer. Today, we have returned to Kickstarter with a new look and an improved design of our affordable industrial grade 3D printer.  And, we need your help.

Launching a new product is a challenge for any company. With your help, we can make this new printer available sooner. We know that backing a company on Kickstarter can make a real difference -- we are here because of our backers. We really appreciate your support and that is a big reason why we have returned to Kickstarter to launch the S2.

The S2 Industrial Grade 3D printer
The S2 Industrial Grade 3D printer

Introducing the S2

The S2 is a two head industrial grade printer specifically designed for the education, manufacturing, and design professional markets. These markets are currently served by either hobby grade printers or very expensive industrial grade printers. This is about to change with the introduction of the S2, by bringing an industrial grade printer to the market at an affordable price.

The printing required in these markets is often too demanding for hobby printers. Most users want a printer with more reliability and less maintenance. They want more from their printer: bigger capacity, faster printing, and of course finer quality prints. Having a printer that can be easily moved from one room to the next is also a must have for busy work groups, schools, and large companies.

The S2 fits comfortably into any work environment
The S2 fits comfortably into any work environment

The S2 fills a void in the market by providing a true industrial grade 3D printer that is not only affordable to purchase but affordable to operate. The S2 requires no service contract and exceeds the print quality of printers costing thousands of dollars more. For users currently printing with hobby grade printers, the S2 is a huge upgrade in performance and reliability, with pricing well within their budgets.

Dual Print Heads

The S2 is a two head printer with three print modes

  • Copy Mode
  • Dual Color/Material Mode
  • Single Head Mode

Copy Mode

You can print two identical objects at the same time for two times the print speed. As you can see in the photos and video below, you can position and lock the second head along the X-axis. Each printed object can be as big as 175mm (X-axis) by 315mm (Y-axis) by 525mm (Z-axis).

Print two identical objects at the same time for 2X print speeds.
Print two identical objects at the same time for 2X print speeds.

 

Mix and match colors and filament types
Mix and match colors and filament types

 

Parts printing by Jerry LePore on his S2. PLA parts for investment casting.
Parts printing by Jerry LePore on his S2. PLA parts for investment casting.

 

Make incredible parts - faster! These were printed by colorFabb on their S2
Make incredible parts - faster! These were printed by colorFabb on their S2

 

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Dual Color/Material Mode

The innovative X axis gantry on the S2 allows you to split the heads for cleaner dual color and dual material prints. By splitting the heads, you keep the idle head away from your object while the active head is printing which reduces the amount of drooling on your prints. Using a wipe shield and a prime tower helps clean and prepare the nozzles as they take turns printing your object. Setup is quick and easy with our included copy of Simplify3D software. 

Some fun dual color and dual material prints!
Some fun dual color and dual material prints!

  

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Soluble Support

Here we have printed the Gyro by Virtox using dual heads in just over 17 hours. In this case, we used Scaffold PVA by E3D, but most other PVA filaments will work. 

Gyro using soluble support. 17 hour print on the S2. Will dissolve in an upcoming time laps video!
Gyro using soluble support. 17 hour print on the S2. Will dissolve in an upcoming time laps video!

 Single Head Mode

As you can see below, head number two slides easily right off the gantry to increase your total X/Y build area to 390mm (X-axis) by (315mm Y-axis). The optional storage bracket will be available sometime in May 2017.

Easily slide one head off the X-Rail to maximize build area.
Easily slide one head off the X-Rail to maximize build area.

 

Optional storage rail available May 2017.
Optional storage rail available May 2017.

 

This part was so big we had to remove the second head prior to printing.
This part was so big we had to remove the second head prior to printing.

 

For most parts you can just leaved the unused head on the rail, like shown here.
For most parts you can just leaved the unused head on the rail, like shown here.

Works with Most Filaments

Many 3D printers lock you into their own expensive branded filament and limit you to only one or two material types, not STACKER. The S2 is an industrial grade printer that works with a wide array of filament material types.    

Flexible

The S2 filament drive has been optimized to run semi-flexible filaments like nGen FLEX by colorFabb.

Dual material print using Green PLA/PHA and Black nGen FLEX.
Dual material print using Green PLA/PHA and Black nGen FLEX.

 

nGen FLEX flange gasket. Great for making custom o-rings too.
nGen FLEX flange gasket. Great for making custom o-rings too.

Copolyesters

Copolyesters offer many advantages over traditional filaments. This family of filaments offers high strength and low odor printing. ColorFabb offers an excellent lineup of copolyesters including nGen, colorFabb_XT, and colorFabb_HT.  

The S2's hot ends temperatures can approach 300°C, so the S2 will print special grades of filament that require high temps. That said, most filaments require temps well under 275°C. 

We stretched this castle in the Z direction and printed in nGen black to give it an incredible look.
We stretched this castle in the Z direction and printed in nGen black to give it an incredible look.

PLA

PLA is the go to filament for easy printing, great results, and accuracy, and that's why we test every printer at STACKER using colorFabb PLA/PHA.  

Prototype PLA part next to the finished metal part
Prototype PLA part next to the finished metal part

 PLA is also used for making investment cast parts. The printed parts are coated with a ceramic slurry, the PLA is melted away leaving a ceramic mold, and then molten metal is poured into the mold to create metal parts. 

Natural PLA filament burns out of the casting mold cleanly and makes perfect casting parts.
Natural PLA filament burns out of the casting mold cleanly and makes perfect casting parts.

Specialty Composite Filaments

Our stainless steel nozzles are intentionally designed to maximize printing results from specialty composite filaments like brass, copper, steel, carbon fiber, and bronze.    

Gayer-Anderson Cat with BronzeFill filament from colorFabb
Gayer-Anderson Cat with BronzeFill filament from colorFabb

The S2 also works great when printing with wood and bamboo filaments because of the powerful filament drive.

Models printed in colorFabb BambooFILL filament.
Models printed in colorFabb BambooFILL filament.

The stainless steel nozzles on the S2 have been tested to run highly abrasive materials like carbon fiber.   

Our stainless steel nozzles provide excellent performance even with abrasive filaments like carbon fiber.
Our stainless steel nozzles provide excellent performance even with abrasive filaments like carbon fiber.

The universal filament rail on the S2 can accommodate most 1.75mm diameter spooled filament on the market. It can even hold larger 2.2kg spools like colorFabb's economy PLA.    

Our Universal Filament Rail work with any spooled filament, even large 2.2kg spools.
Our Universal Filament Rail work with any spooled filament, even large 2.2kg spools.

We Started with Clear Design Goals

Develop a true industrial grade printer for the education, manufacturing, and design professional markets, and tailor the printing performance to what these markets demand:

  • Be affordable relative to existing commercial grade printers

  • Exceed the print quality of all other FDM and FFF type printers

  • Be equipped with dual print heads for Copy Mode and Dual Material Modes.

  • Be compatible with all filaments, like high-end filaments offered by colorFabb

  • Be reliable enough for continuous printing duty, even in harsh and abusive environments (like schools and shop floors at manufacturing plants)

  • Be manufactured in the USA

What Does Industrial Grade Mean?

For STACKER the term “industrial grade” is not a hollow marketing term. Industrial Grade means the S2 was designed for extra long service life, extremely low maintenance and that the printer will maintain its positional accuracy throughout its life. The way we of achieve Industrial Grade begins with superior engineering and high-quality components, and ends with an our innovative assembly and testing methods.

Superior Engineering

Simplicity was the goal as we refined every part on our printer to the very essence of what was needed, nothing more and nothing less. This required a clean sheet design and not bloating the printer with unnecessary features.

  • Reduced weight on the gantry to improve print quality and travel speeds

  • “Level-Once” technology for one-time bed leveling and faster print startups

  • Exclusive frame design reduced weight and increased rigidity, and this allowed us to increase the build volume without degrading print quality 

  • Fully supported Z rails and solid print bed mounting (no springs) eliminated all bed deflection and bounce

  • Single suspended Z-axis lead screw design eliminated backlash/deflection and holds the print bed in tension for increased lead accuracy

  • Direct drive X and Y axis motors for the ultimate in positional accuracy

Our prints beds are solid mounted with no springs.  Only minor periodic readjustment is necessary to maintain a level bed.
Our prints beds are solid mounted with no springs. Only minor periodic readjustment is necessary to maintain a level bed.

 

Our lead screw design places the high accuracy lead screw in tension to eliminate back lash and flexing.
Our lead screw design places the high accuracy lead screw in tension to eliminate back lash and flexing.

 

No jack shafts and short belts here - only direct drive. Motors, belts, and pulleys all made to our specs in the USA.
No jack shafts and short belts here - only direct drive. Motors, belts, and pulleys all made to our specs in the USA.

High Quality Components

  • Linear motion components are name brand and premium grade, not cheap offshore imitations.  

  • The chassis is made from high strength steel, expertly formed and powder coated

  • The 1000-watt power supply is industrial duty and the quietest on the market

  • Stepper motors are made in the USA (from global components)

  • The frame, hot ends, belts, wiring harness, pulleys, couplers, and filament drives are made in the USA to our specs and/or design

  • The S2 printer went through two pilot manufacturing runs to get it right

  • Some units were sent to beta testers for real world testing

  • Production units meet all relevant CE requirements 

The S2 uses heavy duty high precision linear motion rails and blocks designed for long life, no offshore copycats here.
The S2 uses heavy duty high precision linear motion rails and blocks designed for long life, no offshore copycats here.

 

Our frames are high strength steel and formed on next generation electric driven CNC press brakes.
Our frames are high strength steel and formed on next generation electric driven CNC press brakes.

 

The S2 only uses industrial duty power supplies.
The S2 only uses industrial duty power supplies.

The S2 is made right here in the United States. This was the only way to ensure quality we could back up with a 2-year warranty. Our typical customer uses their printer everyday, so a 2-year warranty is a big deal, and it demonstrates just how confident we are in our quality.

Innovative Assembly Methods

Knowing exactly how you are going to manufacture your product is just as important as what you are manufacturing. Too often we see startups create amazing products, and then fail to deliver because the manufacturing was too difficult, too time-consuming, too costly or all of the above. The question of “how” we were going to manufacture the new S2 was engineered right into the product design from day one. It is part of the printer’s DNA.

  • All S2 printers are assembled using our own unique “moving assembly cell” (MAC) process. MAC uses a team of highly trained personnel to assemble the printer from start to finish, moving with the printer down the assembly line. This speeds up the process and dramatically increases the build quality

  • Early on in development, we partnered with key sub manufacturers and suppliers to help build certain sub-assemblies on our printer, and keep them available for immediate shipment to our final assembly plant. 

  • The printer’s chassis is built on a custom all metal building jig CNC machined from solid aluminum. This building jig ensures the chassis geometry remains square and plumb.

  • We performed two pilot runs. Building a prototype is not good enough to gauge manufacturability. You need to also send some units down the assembly line. We did this twice until we got it just right.

    Moving Assembly Cell MFG (MAC MFG)
    Moving Assembly Cell MFG (MAC MFG)

     

    Frames are built on our custom assembly jig to ensure accuracy
    Frames are built on our custom assembly jig to ensure accuracy

     

About Our Estimated Delivery Dates

Obviously, designing a great product is just half of the equation. Knowing how to build it in production quantities is the other half.  We have put a lot of emphasis on the engineering and the building process of your S2. We are very confident in delivering the S2 on-time for the following reasons.

  • The S2 shares the same engineering and many of the same components as its bigger sibling, the model S4, which we have been shipping to customers since August of 2016. In other words, the S2 is already a proven design. 

  • The S2 is built on the same assembly line as the S4, using parallel methods (MAC MFG). The good news is that the build process for the S2 is nearly identical to the S4. In fact, we are able to use the same QC protocols.

  • Lastly, we are able to leverage the vendor and supply chain relationships already established with the model S4, especially since many components are exactly the same. 

Made in the USA with a 2-Year Warranty

The S2 is made in the United States. This was the only way to ensure quality we could back up with a 2-year warranty. In our market printers get used everyday, so a 2-year warranty is a big deal, and it demonstrates just how confident we are in our quality.

Hot Ends

Our high temp hot ends allow you to extrude filaments at temperatures approaching 300°C, and the quick change nozzles are already available in wide a variety of sizes on our website from 0.25mm to 1.00mm.  Why settle for one nozzle size when nozzles can be changed quickly and easily?  

Changing nozzles is a breeze.
Changing nozzles is a breeze.

Our custom stainless steel nozzles are specially designed to work with abrasive composite filaments like copper, brass, steel, and carbon fiber filaments. The S2 can print almost any 1.75mm diameter filament on the market -- including flexible filament.

High Strength All Steel Chassis

The key to high performance 3D printing is having a chassis that is beyond rigid while also absorbing unwanted vibrations. This is where design and engineering cross paths. Our chassis is formed with special AC Servo driven presses that are unmatched in precision repeatability, as well as maintaining the integrity of the steel during the bending process. Most parts are formed on the most advanced and modern CNC presses by Trumpf. All parts are powder coated, not painted. Powder coating is much more environmentally friendly, and much more durable

Precision Movement

Within our rugged steel chassis we use precision linear rails and an acme screw to provide highly accurate and reliable movements. Our industrial grade stepper motors provide quiet and reliable performance for continuous use. 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 all day, everyday.    

Large Aluminum Build Plate

In 3D printing, having a perfect first layer is critical to success. If your bed isn't flat, it will make every print a challenge. That is why the S2 incorporates a precision ground aluminum bed. Upon this perfectly flat bed, we affix our own custom designed sheet of BuildTak™. We have found nothing better than BuildTak for most 3D printed materials. If you choose to print one of a handful of filaments that don't work with BuildTak, we will also offer a glass bed option through our website. We will also be introducing our BuildTak Flexplate system for the S2 by May. 

Precision built print beds
Precision built print beds

Slicing Software/Simplify3D

With every S2 printer, we provide a free download license of Simplify3D because we have found it to be the best slicing software on the market. You also get a copy of StackerRUN, our custom version of Repetier Host. Every STACKER printer can also be upgraded to work with Repetier SERVER software, highly recommended for enterprise and work group operations.    

Technical Specifications

  • Model: Stacker S2 (2 head 3D printer)
  • Machine Type: Cartesian X/Y Belt Drive, lead screw Z Axis
  • Build Volume Metric: 390mm (X), 315mm (Y), 525mm (Z)
  • Build Volume: 15.35" (X), 12.4" (Y), 20.5" (Z)
  • Print Speed: 1-150mm/secX/Y 
  • Positional Movement Speed: 0 to 250mm/sec
  • Positional Accuracy X/Y: 6 microns
  • Positional Accuracy Z: 4 microns
  • Layer Resolution: 0.05mm (50 microns) to 1.00mm (1000 microns)
  • Number of Extruders: 2 (this model only accepts two extruders)
  • Extruder Temperature: Up to 300°C
  • Heated Bed Temperature: Up to 110°C
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.40mm STANDARD
  • Optional Nozzle Diameters: 0.25mm, 0.50mm, 0.60mm, 0.80mm, 1.00mm
  • Filament Size: 1.75mm (does NOT work with 2.85mm)
  • Printed Materials: Filaments which extrude at temperatures below 300°C
  • Power Requirements: 100-240VAC 9 AMPS
  • Power Supply: 1000 Watt Fan Cooled
  • Internal Voltage: 24VDC/5VDC
  • Recommended UPS Size: 1500VA or greater
  • Software Licenses Included: Simplify3D and StackerRUN
  • Weight: 165 lbs (75 kg) excluding filament
  • Printer Dimensions Metric: Width 615mm, Depth 780mm, Height 1190mm
  • Printer Dimensions: Width 24″, Depth 31″, Height 47″

Shipping

All S2 printers ship fully assembled in a custom ISPM-15 wooden crate from our facility in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Shipping costs will be collected after the campaign has ended when your printer is ready to ship. Anticipated freight costs for North American backers is $399. 

Shipping charges outside North America are expected to run between $699 and $999 depending upon your region of the world. 

Final delivery of all European rewards will be handled by colorFabb and shipped through their location in The Netherlands. Expected shipping costs from STACKER to colorFabb is $499. Colorfabb will collect the final shipping costs to get your printer from their facility in the The Netherlands to your location in Europe.  

STACKER will arrange shipping but is not responsible for any taxes, customs duties, or other import fees associated with the delivery of your printer. 

Customers who wish to utilize their own shipping method will still be charged a $199 handling fee to crate their printer.  

Refund Policy

By funding our project, you are supporting the launch of the new S2 Industrial Grade 3D Printer. Your funds will be used to purchase the parts necessary to build your printer.  Therefore, we cannot provide any refunds once the Kickstarter campaign is complete.  If you feel more comfortable purchasing the S2 directly from our company, please visit our website.  

Credits

We want to send a special thanks to our video production crew. These guys are easy to work with and real pros. The music used in our video comes from CustomMelody.     

Model Credits

Spice Rack by STACKER, Extrusion by STACKER, Hairy Lion (dual extrusion) thing:2050208, Dual Draudi thing:948577, Flex Bar by STACKER, 2-Color Octopus thing:67503, Gyro by Virtox (Stijn van der Linder), The T-Rex Skull thing:308335. 

 

 

Risks and challenges

There are always risks and challenges when launching a new product, but we are confident about our project and ambitious delivery schedule. We have already established relationships with vendors for every key component, and many of the parts for the S2 are identical to those already used in our S4 printer which has been in production for several months. We have established our warehouse, assembly cells, and staff to fulfill rewards. Our target ship dates are based upon anticipated vendor lead times, and although there is always the possibility of vendor shortages or delays, we feel comfortable about our delivery schedule.

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Funding period

- (30 days)