Worth the Investment
MeccatroniCore, an Italian company built around its Michelangelo desktop CNC system, goes one step further for its first FFF 3D printer: the Leonardo 3D will include a complete touch screen computer, allowing for direct operation of every aspect of a print job.The newer 3D desktop FFF 3D printers, from the Replicator 5th Gen all the way to the Cube Pro and Sharebot’s Q have integrated full color, sometimes even touch, displays.
The only 3D printers that have this level of technology now are the large industrial systems from the likes of EOS, Stratasys or 3D Systems. MeccatroniCore will implement it for its 30x30x30 cm build platform and for future models (currently the company is set on developing a 40x40x40 cm system as well as a really small, high precision one), which offers high quality 3D printing, a double extruder, and the possibility to use both PLA and ABS (although the plate, at this point, is not heated it can be easily upgraded).
The machine is not cheap, but, it is probably worth the investment, especially because of all the support that is possible through the connected on-board, Windows-based computer. The machine uses a custom version of the open source Repetier software, giving users the possibility to remotely (and locally) control the status of each print job. Through the computer MeccatroniCore can also connect directly to any of its machines throughout the world for updates and quick analysis in case of malfunctions or other issues.
In a world where literally hundreds of new 3D printers are battling to stand out, the MeccatroniCore Leonardo 3D does it in the most apparent and obvious way, by using consumer technology to bridge the gap between personal and industrial 3D printing.