Throughout our R&D over the past years, we have experimented with a massive array of concepts and technologies both hardware and software. The result of this R&D; The Elevator includes parts and electronics which we feel either improves the printing experience or reduces overall cost and ease of assembly without negatively affecting print quality.
For example, as with our previous 3D Printer designs, we have maintained the use of a Delrin rail system (albeit a unique rail system with The Elevator). We could have used a more expensive Hi-win sliding block style rail system, however we feel the added weight of this type of gantry and rail system reduces the overall print quality to speed ratio while increasing the product cost. While this type of system adds negligible weight to a small printer, the increase in weight in such a large printer makes the use of this for of rail system disproportionate to the negligible (if any) improvement print quality.
Another example is the use of genuine Slice Engineering Mosquito Hotends and Bondtech BMG extruders. Despite the significant cost to include these high end components, we feel they present excellent value for money, greatly improving print quality and reliability over other extruder/hotend combinations.
Designing a 3D Printer Kit of this scale and print volume presents many other challenges not experienced with the design of smaller printers. This printer is big. Its standard build volume is ~1000x660x500mm. The cost of shipping an assembled printer of this build volume can often outweigh the cost of parts. By flat packing the printer and shipping it unassembled, this shipping and total product cost is greatly reduced.
Smart, cost effective design often comes down to what we exclude. Freighting a large, heavy, fragile build platform adds considerably to the cost of a 3D printer of this scale. Our printer was designed with this in mind. For these reasons, we have decided not to include a build platform as part of the Elevator kit. Suitable build platforms can easily be sourced cheaply and cut to size locally, saving our customers considerable $ and gives the end user the ability to choose a platform material suitable to their budget and printing requirements. In most cases, we recommend the use of 6mm Aluminium sheet.
The “Naked” Version of The Elevator takes this concept further, significantly reducing shipping volume and parts costs. This allows us to provide the largest build platform possible while further reducing shipping volume and cost. An easily overlooked, yet significant feature of The Elevator design is the lack of protrusions from the external frame. This means retrofitting a suitable enclosure is as easy as cutting the rectangular panels and screwing them directly to the frame.