Mutoh Engineering to Release Personal 3D Printer

Dec 4, 2013
Chikara Nakayama, Nikkei Monozukuri
The "Value 3D MagiX MF-1000" 3D printer
The "Value 3D MagiX MF-1000" 3D printer
[Click to enlarge image]
An object being formed with the printer
An object being formed with the printer
[Click to enlarge image]
Two cooling fans attached to its head
Two cooling fans attached to its head
[Click to enlarge image]

Mutoh Engineering Inc will release its own 3D printer designed for personal use.

The price of the printer, "Value 3D MagiX MF-1000," is ¥200,000 (approx US$1,954, excluding tax). Mutoh Engineering, which is based in Tokyo, improved shaping accuracy by using its know-how to manufacture large-size professional printers. Also, it prepared a Japanese graphical user interface and manual to respond to Japanese customers' needs.

The company has already started to accept orders, planning to start to ship the printer Jan 6, 2014.

To enhance shaping accuracy, Mutoh Engineering improved the rigidity of the printer's casing and employed a method that supports the shaping table at two sides. As a result, the relative positional accuracy of the shaping table to the print head was improved, realizing the minimum laminate thickness of 100μm (maximum laminate thickness: 500μm). The maximum printable size is 200 (D) x 200 (W) x 170mm (H).

The shaping method employed for the 3D printer is "fused deposition modeling (FDM)," which melts and ejects plastic from a moving head incorporating a heater. It is used for many other personal 3D printers.

The shaping table of the MF-1000 is equipped with a heater to prevent contraction and warpage caused by rapid temperature change of plastic. The moving head has two cooling fans so that a formed object can be quickly cooled. And the casing is covered with an acrylic cover to prevent ununiform cooling caused by ambient wind.

With those improvements, shaping accuracy was enhanced, and the possibility that a bridge or overhang can be formed without a supporting part increased.

As materials (filaments) used with the printer, Mutoh Engineering offers ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic and PLA (polylactic acid). The diameters of the filaments are 3mm. But it is possible to use a 1.75mm-diameter filament by replacing the print head. A filament reel is installed in the upper part of the casing.

A reel of filament (material weight: 1kg) costs ¥5,000 (excluding tax). At first, the company will sell white, red, black, blue, fluorescent green, fluorescent orange and semitransparent filaments. But it plans to increase the number of colors after releasing the printer.

Mutoh Engineering used Pronterface as control software and Slic3r and open-sourced software as slicer software. The printer comes with a Japanese manual, and its software supports Japanese. The company also offers a support system using a Japanese website and dedicated customer service center.

The dimensions and mass of the printer are 500 (D) x 550 (W) x 530 (H) and 17kg, respectively. The company will also sell a polyimide tape and heater head as replacements for prices of ¥6,000 and 10,000 (excluding tax), respectively.