First Ever Full-Color Palette Desktop 3D Printer Under $500

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M3D today launches its all-new Crane Quad 3D printer, the world’s first full-color palette desktop 3D printer under $500.

Crane Quad can 3D print more than 50,000 colors and includes an all-new, first-of-its-kind, four-color print head and a new controller board, developed in partnership with Duet3D, that features a 120 MHz Atmel/Microchip ARM processor and five-axis motion control with unprecedented 256 microstep resolution.

See the press release below

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M3D Launches Crane Quad 3D Printer, the World’s First Full-Color Palette Desktop 3D Printer Under $500

With more than 50,000 colors possible, the first-of-its-kind 3D printer cements M3D’s leadership position in the consumer market

FULTON, Md. – April 23, 2018 – M3D, LLC, the top U.S. manufacturer of 3D printers, begins a new era of color 3D printing today with the launch of its Crane QuadTM 3D printer. Designed for enthusiasts, Crane Quad is the industry’s first multi-material desktop 3D printer that can produce true multi-colored objects. Building on M3D’s legacy of innovation in creating affordable and easy-to-use technology products that inspire consumers to make and create things, pricing for Crane Quad starts at $399.

“Our new Crane Quad desktop 3D color printer is a real breakthrough in 3D printing capability and affordability,” said Michael Armani, co-founder and CEO of M3D. “Its ability to print multiple colors and multiple materials simultaneously is a first, and it takes us one step closer to 3D printers being able to produce real-world objects that outperform traditional manufacturing, both in cost and performance.”

Historically, filament-based 3D printers have been limited to extruding with only one material at a time, which requires users to make complex hardware modifications or to manually guide different materials between layers to get even a few colors in a print. Thus, full-color prints are typically outsourced to services that lease expensive, industrial 3D color printers.

Through Crane Quad’s innovative technology, users can now print more than 50,000 colors by mixing up to four colors of standard 1.75 mm filament. From common base colors, users can create numerous color palettes covering most of the color spectrum. The base colors needed are CMYK: cyan, magenta and yellow with black, white or transparent as keys. In addition, Crane Quad allows users to print objects in any single color without the cost of owning dozens of traditional filament spools, and allows the physical characteristics of different materials to be fused into a single object with new properties.

“Just as M3D started the home 3D printing revolution in 2014, today we continue to drive the evolution of consumer color 3D printing with the introduction of Crane Quad,” said Armani. “For M3D, this launch is not just about introducing groundbreaking innovation – it represents our company’s commitment to the full-color 3D printing movement, and our dedication to providing consumers with the tools to get closer to the widespread on-demand use of 3D printed products that we know is the future.”

According to research by 3D Printing Industry, the total number of desktop 3D printers sold has nearly tripled over the past three years, with more than 500,000 units sold in 2017. Annual sales are projected to pass one million units by 2020, and surpass more than 100 million units by 2030. In addition, the research indicates that this growth is generally attributed to the availability of sub-$500 3D printer models, an overall improvement in quality, and the rapid increase in quality 3D printable content.

Crane Quad features an all-new QuadFusionTM 3D Print Head, which enables the printer to print and blend four filament colors. A first-of-its-kind, this direct-drive extruder can mix both colors and material type of most 1.75 mm filaments. The head is equipped with four motors, three fans, and a 0.35 mm mixing nozzle.

Crane Quad also includes a new open-source controller board, called the Duet 2 Maestro, which was co-designed and made in partnership with Duet3D. The board features five-axis motion control with unprecedented 256 microstep resolution, 120 MHz Atmel/Microchip ARM processor, and micro USB and micro SD card ports. Its Ethernet connectivity enables a user-friendly webhost interface, which works natively on any web-enabled device.

In addition to Crane Quad, M3D is also launching two other Crane configurations: Crane DualTM and Crane BowdenTM. All Crane series printers are equipped with the Duet 2 Maestro control board. Crane Dual’s configuration is direct-drive and includes a compound mixing nozzle, which enables mixed filament colors or mixed materials as well as independent printing of materials within a mode (i.e. different support vs. wall material). Crane Bowden is the foundational base model of the Crane 3D printer series and it has the same set of features and specifications as Crane Dual and Crane Quad, with the exception of the Bowden-style, single filament extruder.

Pricing for the Crane 3D printer series begins at $199 through the pre-order campaign. The first batch of orders is expected to ship in August.

Every Crane 3D color printer is tested for quality and reliability, shipped fully assembled, backed by a six-month warranty and supported by a U.S.-based team.

M3D Crane Quad Technical Specifications

  • Cartesian-style 3D printer
  • Build volume: 214 x 214 x 230 mm
  • 214 x 214 mm heated bed (capable of reaching up to 100°C)
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.35 mm
  • Nozzle temperature: 100-270 degrees Celsius
  • Nema 17 motors for X, Y, Z
  • Print speed: 80 mm/second
  • Material diameter: 1.75 mm
  • LCD screen display
  • Untethered printing via 512 MB SD card
  • Ethernet webhost interface (Dual and Quad only)
  • Bed level sensor (Dual and Quad only)
  • File format: G-code, AML, OBJ, STL
  • 48w cartridge heater for faster printing
  • 2020 and 2040 aluminum extrusions, coated steel V rollers
  • Host computer software: Cura
  • Compatible with 3D printing filaments: PLA, ABS, ABS-R, ABS-R3, Carbon Fiber, Tough, Tough 115A, ASA, POM, PVA, PVB, TPU, PETG
  • 24v DC Meanwell power supply
  • Fully assembled
  • Product weight: 8.5 kg
  • Package weight: 10.5 kg
  • Product size: 380 x 480 x 430 mm (15 x 19 x 17 in)
  • Package size: 450 x 550 x 500 mm (18 x 22 x 20 in)

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