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Modix3D Large Scale 3D Printers: Print Parts Up to 1.8 Meters

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Hello! This article will cover 3D printer manufacturer Modix and its professional large-scale 3D printers. The review will include the history of the brand, its products, their functions and possible applications.

About Modix

Founded in 2014 by Shachar Gafni, Modix (Modix Modular Technologies LTD) has set itself on a mission to significantly lower the barriers to entry into large-scale 3D printing. For example, the German manufacturer BigRep offers their entry-level BigRep One 3D printer (build volume: 1,005 x 1,005 x 1,005 mm) at a starting price of $39,000. In contrast, Modix offers their Modix Big-Meter 3D Printing Kit (1,010 x 1,010 x 1,010 mm) at a starting price of $11,500.

It all started with a small desktop 3D printer named Agam — it’s still widely used in its home country by various centers and institutions as well as hobbyists.

But today the company offers large scale 3D printers that can print up to 1.8 m. Its first foray into this niche was a prototype named Modix Tango. It was presented in 2016 and marked rearranging production resources of the company into large-sized devices. The features included independent dual extruders and a print bed with the size of 400 x 400 x 400 mm. The prototype was never commercially available but it paved the way for current devices: Big-60, Big-120X, Big-120Z, Big-180X, Big-Meter and Big-40.

The headquarters are located in Tel Aviv, Israel, but the brand’s main markets are Europe and North America. The clients include many famous brands across various fields: aerospace (Airbus Helicopters, Boeing, NASA, SpaceX) and automotive (Kawasaki, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Volvo, Yamaha) industries, as well as defense (General Atomics, U.S. Air Force), manufacturing (Amazon, Intel, Philips, NVidia, Samsung) and education sector (UCLA, University of Alberta).

Products and Technology

All Modix 3D printers are based on the Modix BIG-60 V3.0 and share the same design (electronics, the motion system, print head, etc.). Components have been meticulously selected and include: E3D print head (made in the UK), DUET3D Controller (made in the UK), Trinamic motor drivers (made in Germany), IGUS shielded signal and power wires (made in Germany), Alcoa Mic-6 cast Aluminum plate (Made in USA), Meanwell Power Supply (Made in Taiwan).

Almost every component in the large format 3D printers affects the print quality and reliability, therefore best components are selected even for the smallest parts, i.e. aviation grade power adapters, robust casters, fiberglass reinforced belts, etc.

To provide the users of Habr with the full details, please see the below:

Chassis & Enclosure

  • Solid 40X40 T-slot aluminum profiles

  • Powder coated laser cut aluminum brackets and joints

  • Enclosure – Closed enclosure made of 3mm black Aluminum Composite Panels (ACP). Enclosure is an optional add-on for BIG-60 & BIG-120X and a default option for the rest of the models.

3D Printer Controller

  • Duet 2 WiFi, a powerful 3D Printer controller made in the UK 

  • Powerful 32 Bit Processor

  • Dedicated Wifi module with external antenna

  • Super quiet TMC2660 stepper drivers, up to 256 microstepping.

  • High speed uSD card and support for a second external SD card if required.

  • Dual extruders on the main board, up to 5 more extruders on the expansion board.

  • High Power rating: Each stepper driver is capable of 2.8A motor current, currently limited in software to 2.4A.

  • Connect via PC, tablet or smartphone on the same network to the on board web interface.

  • Set up your printer and update the firmware through the web interface.

Interface

  • 7-inch Duet 3D touch screen – integrated with the controller

  • WiFi web access for remote control from either mobile or PC allowing users to upload print files directly from their workstation

  • SD card slot and USB

Motion System

  • Hiwin MGW9H linear guide rails

  • Four Z ball screws for Z axis 12mm diameter, 4mm pitch

  • 9 mm width Gates GT2 timing belt, reinforced with fiberglass

  • Axis Motors: Motech Nema 17 60mm length MT-1705HS200A

  • | Holding Torque: 114oz.in (8.2kg.cm) | Current / Phase: 2.00A |

  • Position accuracy: X-10 Micron, Y-10 Micron,  Z-0.5 Micron

  • Print speed – Normal quality 60 mm/sec, Draft 100 mm/sec, Calculated for 0.4 nozzle. Larger nozzles normally print slower but provide parts much faster due to a reduced number of layers (thicker layer = lower resolution = faster results).

Print Bed

  • 6.35mm thick, Alcoa Mic6 milled cast aluminum plate, made in the USA.

  • AC powered bed heater 1370 Watt. Requires additional independent 15A AC source.

  • Dual heating zones. Inner 200X200mm size for small objects and lower power consumption.

  • Max temperature – 120oc

  • Print surface – PEI film with 3M high temp adhesive sheet.

Auto Bed Leveling

  • BL touch probe as standard.

  • Probing of bed shape is kept in controller memory and activated before each print.

  • Probing mesh: Big60 – 100 points, 120X – 200 points.

* The photo on the right shows the interface of the calibration process. This results shows that a slight move upwards of the rear left bed mount is needed.

Software

  • Open source Duet RepRap firmware. The leading firmware for 3D printing allows numerous configurations and easy customization using the macro system.

  • One can choose from any available slicer and 3D printer controller including: PrusaSlicer, Cura, and Simplify3d.

Extruder

  • E3D Aero extruder for both primary and secondary extruders.

  • Configuration: Main – direct drive, secondary – direct drive.

  • Extruder drive gear ratio 3:1 for power and accuracy.

  • Nema17 40mm for high power extrusion.

  • Adjustable tension idler.

Dual Print Head

  • Secondary print head allows printing complex models that require easy support removal. i.e. models with internal geometry. For such printing jobs, it would be better to use a secondary print head that can print with soluble filaments that would be later removed by water.

Hot End

  • E3D V6 Volcano high-flow heat block – standard.

  • Optional E3D V6 for very small items with high details or Super Volcano for high-speed high flow prints, and for printing bulky objects (shown at the photo on the right).

  • The 1.75 mm filament diameter is the default, but the end-customer can change it to 3mm filament.

  • 0.4, 0.6 & 0.8 mm brass Volcano nozzles.

  • Smaller nozzle diameters are available for the standard V6

  • Heater cartridge is 24V 40W, max temperature is 285 C by default.

  • Can be converted to a higher temperature of up to 500 C by the end-customer by changing the thermistor, if needed.

  • Part cooling fan – 5015 blower fan

Filament

  • The printing head supports almost any existing filament including PLA, ABS, PETG, PHA, PVA, HIPS, Nylon, TPE & TPU (flexible), Co-Polyester and such composites as Carbon fiber, Wood, Copper, Brass. 

  • Open Filament  – Any filament from any vendor can be used.

  • Filament Run-Out Sensor – The filament run-out detection sensor will pause the print job when the filament has been used up.

Below we’ll provide you with an overview of the main specs for each 3D printer as well as case studies on where these 3D printers have been applied.

Modix Big-60 V3 

Specifications

  • Technology: FFF

  • Build volume: 600x600x660 mm

  • Heated bed: yes

  • Max. print head temperature: 285 °C (can be improved to 500 °C)

  • Print speed: up to 100 mm/s

  • Layer resolution from: 50 μm

Modix Big-60 V3 is Modix’s flagship model, a newer version of the Modix Big60 V2. At current price of $4,100, it meets the middle ground between such subpar kits as the Creality CR-10 S5 and more expensive equipment manufacturers such as BigRep.

On average, it can be assembled in 16 to 30 hours. 

Credit: @akson_zed / Instagram
Credit: @akson_zed / Instagram

If calibrated well, the machine is capable of producing not only quality large-scale prints, but also very fine detailed parts. For example, see this 11.5 mm bolt: 

Modix Big-120x v3

Specifications

  • Technology: FFF

  • Build volume: 1200x600x660 mm

  • Heated bed: yes

  • Max. print head temperature: 285 °C (can be improved to 500 °C)

  • Print speed: up to 100 mm/s

  • Layer resolution from: 50 μm

The Modix Big-120x is a larger version of a Big-60. All of the high-quality components that made the latter a great device are included. Thanks to the 1200mm on the X axis, the model is popular among automakers and manufacturers in the aerospace industry.

Modix Big-120Z

Specifications

  • Technology: FFF

  • Build volume: 600 x 600 x 1,200 mm

  • Heated bed: yes

  • Max. print head temperature: 285 °C (can be improved to 500 °C)

  • Print speed: up to 100 mm/s

  • Layer resolution from: 50 μm

Modix Big-120Z is a professional modular large-sized 3D printer. It’s very similar to the Big-120X but boasts more vertical space. 

The main thing about the Modix Big-120Z is that it’s extra tall. That allows the machine to produce impressive vertical prints in one piece. 

The machine can be used for various purposes in multiple fields. Thanks to its impressive vertical size, it can be a useful solution for the arts, engineering and entertainment industry. Interior designers and fashion artists can also find a use for this unique device.

Dual E3D Volcano hotends that can reach a maximum temperature of 280 °C by default make multi-color and multi-material printing achievable. With modding they can heat up to 500 °C. The print bed (that features automatic leveling) can heat up to 120 °C and a consistent temperature is provided by a PID controller. The machine’s design allows it to handle high temperatures. It’s achieved by powerful blower fans, impressively rigid construction and enclosed print chambers. This widens the range of supported materials to 3D printing, so the device can make use of even highly demanding and exotic ones.

Modix Big-40

Specifications

  • Technology: FFF

  • Build volume: 400 x 400 x 800 mm

  • Heated bed: yes

  • Max. print head temperature: 285 °C (can be improved to 500 °C)

  • Print speed: up to 100 mm/s

  • Layer resolution from: 50 μm

Modix BIG-40 is a professional 3D printer. It’s the most compact device in the Modix BIG series of large-format industrial-grade 3D printers. It still boasts a sizable build volume of 400 x 400 x 800 mm, as well as includes various useful features: an ability to be modified with another print head, automatic bed leveling, a filament runout sensor.

Having a smaller footprint, it may pass through doors and fit smaller workshops and studios.

It is a great choice for rapid prototyping and batch production of tall but otherwise compact parts such as prosthetic limbs.

Modix Big-180X

Specifications

  • Technology: FFF

  • Build volume: 1800x600x660 mm

  • Heated bed: yes

  • Max. print head temperature: 285 °C (can be improved to 500 °C)

  • Print speed: up to 100 mm/s

  • Layer resolution from: 50 μm

Modix BIG-180X is primarily targeted at the automotive industry where the build volume of 1800 x 600 x 600 mm would allow printing full car body parts, including fenders, hoods and bumpers. 

The great advantage of this is printing large 3D objects as one part makes them stronger than printing multiple small parts in pieces, then glueing them together. But most importantly, printing models as one part also saves time on post processing. There is no need to match smaller parts to each other and later hide the seam.

Modix Big-Meter

Specifications

  • Technology: FFF

  • Build volume: 1010 x 1010 x 1010 mm

  • Heated bed: yes

  • Max. print head temperature: 285 °C (can be improved to 500 °C)

  • Print speed: up to 100 mm/s

  • Layer resolution from: 50 μm

Modix BIG-Meter is a professional large-format FDM/FFF 3D printer by Modix.  Boasting a build volume of 1,010 x 1,010 x 1,010 mm, the printer also offers various the same set of great features as other models: 100-point automatic bed leveling, dual-zone silicone heater, PEI print surface for better adhesion. It’s a highly accurate machine, producing prints with 40 microns of minimum layer height. 

As is the case with other devices in the Modix Big series, the Big-Meter is made with reliability in mind, featuring a highly rigid frame made of T-slot aluminum profiles.

For example, it was used to sequentially print 64 pieces of the air filter adapter:

The print job took 67 hours.

Smooth operation is achieved with Hiwin MGW rails, while the Trinamic TMC2660 stepper motor drivers provide a low level of noise. The design is modular and various add-ons are available as with other Modix machines. 

It can be useful for various purposes, such as rapid prototyping of parts in the automotive and aerospace, large-scale props, furniture models and other applications that require a truly large build volume. 

Use cases

Tires printed with Modix Big-60 V3

Titan International is a wheel and tire manufacturer based in the USA. They primarily work with agricultural and off-road vehicles.

Zach Pope, the company’s tire design engineer was pleased with the Modix Big60 V3’s performance:

“The printer has been doing well. We have at least 72+ days of print time on our machine and it’s still doing great. We’ve printed with PLA 100% of the time and only yesterday successfully printed a grommet for the factory using some flexible TPU filament.”

 

3D printed cast models for bronze sculptures

Turkish company Efes Bronze excels in working with bronze sculpting. Their art can be presented in various places all over the world. To produce bigger models, they work with Modix Big60. Large build volume of the device makes it possible to build the models of various sizes. The prints are forms that are later filled with metal to cast

Serdar Eraol, the head of the company, describes their workflow: ”We print with PLA and use PrintinZ bed sticker instead of PEI. The bed temperature is 55c. The print layer is 0.3mm in the base, body parts 0.2mm, and face 0.1mm. We use 0.4mm nozzle and 7-8% infill. After 100-150 layers we change infill to 2-3% only. Some parts are 3 perimeters and some just 2″.

3D printed tools for shoemaking

A + A Schoenmakers is a Dutch brand that works with Modix products to make 10 mm-wide shoe lasts. They also 3D print variously sized prototypes and different jigs for their machines. 

Prosthetic covers printed with Modix Big60

A Reddit user Pedro shared the results of his work done with Modix Big60 3D printer. He was pleased with the machine:

“The printer is pretty much awesome all around. The automatic bed leveling works like a charm!… The instructions are pretty good.”

Conclusion

We recommend Modix offerings to those interested in making large-sized prints for various purposes. The number of possible applications is big and can be utilized across various fields. The devices consistently produce accurate and high-quality results and offer a good range of useful features, so the Modix Big series of 3D printers is a great choice for people working with larger sized prints. 

One can purchase large-scale Modix 3D printers at Top 3D Shop. These impressive machines come with a 1-year manufacturer warranty. In addition, our team will make sure to provide the best service possible, just like we always do.

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