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Today, Rob gives you a rundown of the brand new AON3D M2+ high temp printer at their booth at Rapid TCT 2021. AON3D is one of our favorite players in the world of high temp FDM printing and it's great to see them release a brand new version of this printer in the increasingly competitive market.
Now, the M2+ is the largest sub-$100k printer by build volume with a massive 640 x 450 x 450 mm (129600 cm³) heated chamber capable of 135ºC+ enabling full-scale additive manufacturing. That's significantly bigger than similarly specced offerings from Intamsys and Stratasys, while still offering high temperature 3d printing capabilities. Like its predecessors, the M2+ runs an open material system meaning you, the machine operator, have the choice, not only for what kind of thermoplastic but also the brand and blend. This is absolutely huge as it seems like every other week we see a brand new high performance filament hit the market.
As the name implies, the M2+ brings subtle changes and improvements over the preceding M2 printer. Think iPhone X versus XS. While that might not sound like the most exciting thing, I can assure you that when companies make these subtle reliability and usability improvements, it can take products and tools from good to great. Did AON hit the nail right on the head with these upgrades or is there a killer feature you’re still waiting on? Let’s check them out, and let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
Starting with the reliability changes, the M2+ introduces an improved hot end with a new design and a resistance temperature detector to improve reliability and make maintenance easier. New Y-axis-idlers have been introduced, increasing reliability and reducing maintenance intervals. On top of that, new insulation increases the chamber temp from 120C to 135C.
Moving onto the usability improvements, the M2+ improves the build chamber lighting with a brand new 1000 lux system designed to provide over 2000 hours of lighting under maximum system temperatures. Lighting in a machine this large is crucial in order to monitor not only the first layer, but the overall progress of a print, so it's great to see AON make this upgrade -- not something you’d usually think of, but good lighting helps a LOT!
Another noticeable “improvement” on the M2+ is the smaller front window. Now, this might seem like a bit of a drawback, but this small sacrifice pays off in print quality and speed. The new smaller window has a better seal inhibiting condensation from getting inside the glass panels, and combined with the better insulation, the AON M2+ will have faster heat up times.
It also gains a brand new vacuum plate print bed and swappable print surfaces -- much like you’d see on some Stratasys machines. The aluminum vacuum bed provides a more uniformly heated build surface that can be easily replaced, swapped or upgraded for a number of low and high temp thermoplastics. For example, using a cheap replaceable build surface can reduce maintenance times and costs while maximizing printer cycle times. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a compatible carbon fiber build plate option from us here at Vision Miner. Final testing underway.
Other changes include an improved Z-calibration procedure and a pause and resume function. The redesigned hot end also adds in ultra precise mesh bed leveling to ensure perfect bed adhesion across the entire build surface while reducing overall warping. Essentially, the M2+ can compensate for different thicknesses of build surfaces. Very handy for the aforementioned swap-able build plates.
If you’re looking to get your hands on it, get your order in soon, just visit our website or give us a call! We’re here to help you find and purchase the right high temp industrial additive manufacturing solution for you or your business, that’s all we do. If you’ve already got an AON, and are interested in an upgrade path, or need something NOW, but want the latest version -- we can help you out, just give us a call. If you guys like this content, please hit that like button -- it really makes us feel awesome -- and subscribe if you want more!