The Nexa3D NXE400 is a fast 3D printer for additive manufacturing. But does it really deliver as promised? Here is a comprehensive Nexa3D NXE400 review compiled by our team.
The Nexa3D NXE400 was first unveiled to the 3D printing world in 2018. This next-gen 3D printer is fast, affordable, and a quality machine.
One of the special features of the Nexa3D NXE400 is its technology known as Lubricant Sublayer Photo-curing (LSPc). The machine also has a patented structured light matrix that increases printing speeds up to 1Z centimeter per minute. With this printer, you can easily create dental parts as well as prototypes using resin in just a matter of minutes.
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The Nexa3D NXE400 is a formidable 3D printer for designers and engineers in the manufacturing world. The printer makes it easy to print parts with fine details reminiscent of SLA prints.
Read on to find out the technical specs of the printer, how it works, and the quality of print.
Nexa3D NXE400 Specs
|Printing technology||Continuous LSPc|
|Light source||Structured Light Matrix40|
|Build volume||280 x 165 x 400 mm (11 in x 6.5 in x 15.74 in)|
|Z-layer resolution||50/100/200 microns|
|XY resolution||75 microns|
|UI||Predictive and prescriptive|
|Connectivity||USB cable/USB drive/Ethernet/WiFi|
|Build platform leveling||System is designed to not require bed leveling|
|Materials||Nexa3D materials, including xABS-HT-Orange, xGPP-Translucent, xGPP-Gray, xGPP- Blue|
|File types||.stl, .3ws, .3wn, .step|
Weight and Dimension
|Dimensions||990 x 990 x 1905 mm (39 x 39 x 75 in)|
Overview of the Features
The Nexa3D NXE400 uses LSPc technology to print large resin parts at 6X faster than what other industrial 3D printers are currently capable of. However, despite the fast speeds, the quality of the parts printed is not compromised.
The NXE400 is more than just another DLP machine. The printer stands out against the competition for its faster speed, better resolution and larger print size. The usual challenges associated with resin printing, such as edge-to-edge uniformity, have been eliminated by the printer.
The NXE400 is not only fast but also prints solid cross-sections and produces resin prints that are as strong as manufactured thermoplastics. With the printers, you can print spare parts on demand for customers at your workshop. The printer is also useful in the aerospace and automotive industries, where firms may want to upgrade their speed, capacity, and performance.
The Nexa3D NXE400 has a 16-litre build volume measuring 280 x 165 x 400mm. The machine also features a flexible membrane and an advanced light engine that uses LCD technology and powerful LED lights.
The NXE400 has proprietary UV light array that stays beams uniformly on the whole build area. The light engine projects 3D slices up into the resin vat where the membrane is.
The membrane is self-lubricated and ensures that the resin vat and the printed part do not stick. This helps to improve the printing speeds.
Another reason why the printer is capable of produce parts fast is the automated resin replenishment process. When the resin is exhausted during a job, the printer will automatically deliver fresh resin through the whole print platform when needed.
The machine’s powerful LEDs and high transmission LCD ensure there is enough power to cure the resin at fast speeds.
There is no doubt that the Nexa3D NXE400 is indeed a game-changer in the rapid prototype and parts printing sector. However, there are three main features that make the printer stand out. These are:
- Its large uniform print volume
- Fast printing speeds
- Ability to print resins with the mechanical properties of manufactured thermoplastics.
Large Print Volume
The NXE40 can handle bigger prints. Its print volume of 270 x 160 x 400 mm is nearly 2.5X larger than what other comparable printers on the market have.
Fast Printing Speed
The printer is 6X times faster than comparable printers on the market. Therefore, it shortens the time needed to print prototypes and production parts from hours to just minutes. The printer is capable of printing 16 liters of parts at 1Z centimeter per minute.
Capable of Printing Functional Parts
Unlike other resin printers, the NXE400 can actually print functional parts. The printed parts have comparable mechanical strength and tolerance to manufactured thermoplastics.
The ability to print functional parts is helpful in prototyping or replacement of one-off parts that are difficult to find in local hardware stores. With this printer, you can quickly print functional parts for customers.
Players in the automotive and aerospace industries will especially find the printer helpful for prototyping or scaling production of parts.
Nexa3D NXE400 Software
The NXE400 runs on the Nexa X software, which features a very simple interface. On the menu, there is an option to import and save files, send a job to the printer, or cancel a job.
On the right-hand side of the menu, there are options for setting the number of base layers, base cure time, top cure time, and amount of resin that is being used.
The Nexa X is very simplified to make the work of designers and engineers easier. The software does not have a lot of complicated settings, like is the case with some of the popular slicer software on the market.
How to Print a Job
To begin a print job, you first need to import the NXA file, which is Nexa3D’s version of an STL file. The file has to be prepared using Materialise Magic software, which integrates will with Nexa. When you import the file, its isometric preview will appear on the center of the screen. You can then rotate and scale the model as you wish.
However, while the software is easy to use, preparing the print instruction code can be quite time-consuming. Therefore, you have to be a little bit patient.
When the file is ready, you can select the Nexa3D printer where to send it to for printing (that’s if you have a network of printers). You can name the printers as you wish to easily differentiate them.
After selecting the printer, the file is sent over through Wi-Fi and immediately, the on-board camera inside the printer’s build chamber is activated to allow you to monitor the print process.
If you have sent multiple models to be printed simultaneously, you can see the progress of all the jobs on the Overview tab. You can also send the same model to multiple printers at once to reduce the overall print job time. This capability will be handy when you need the same part multiple times.
Overall, we found the Nexa X software simple and intuitive. It does not have a lot of options like some other slicers on the market but just the necessary options to get the job done.
Nexa3D NXE400 Test Prints
The Nexa3D NXE400 can accept print jobs through Wi-Fi. This capability is great for designers and engineers in large companies. The designers can finish working on their print models in their departments and send the job to wherever the printer is located via Wi-Fi.
For the test prints, we’ll look at what the team at All3DP were able to achieve.
The team chose to print more than 100 electric harness strain relief sleeves designed for electric panels in a single print cycle.
The over 100 electric harness strain relief sleeves were perfect test prints because:
- The parts were many (about 125 of them)
- The parts covered the whole build plate, which would help to confirm whether the NXE400 is capable of edge-to-edge uniformity when it comes to print quality.
When the print model was sent over to the NXE400, all the 125 electric harness stress relief sleeves were printed in just 8 minutes! This is the fastest time we’ve seen for a print job achieved by a resin 3D printer.
The sleeves were printed with Nexa3D’s xGPP Blue DRAFT resin. This is the fastest material available from the company. However, we are not sure how long other materials from the company would have taken to print.
Despite the fast printing speed, the NXE400 did not compromise on the quality of the models.
Setting Up the NEXA3D NXE400
The NXE400 is quite easy to set up. The printer has a cabinet under the print chamber where the rein tank has to be mounted. Two tubes run from the resin tank to the print area, automatically refilling the resin during a print job in case it is running out.
After sending the 3D model to the printer, there isn’t much left to do. The printer will start and you can view the progress of your job on a touchscreen display that’s on top of it.
Compared with other DLP machines that we’ve tested in the past, the NXE400 is superfast. This machine was able to print over 100 parts in just minutes.
The NXE400 is an all-round 3D printer that can not only be used to print prototype parts but also functioning ones. The print resolution is high and the jobs are done fast.
Below are some samples of dental, automotive and novelty parts printed by the NXE400.
Nexa3D NXE400 Post Processing
After printing, the next stage is post-processing. For this stage, you will need the washing and curing station, which costs about $15000. (click here to inquire). Apart from the station, you’ll need the usual post-processing accessories, such as a pair of gloves, a tray, and a scraper.
The washing and curing station reduces the time-consuming post-processing stage. According to the company, the station can wash and cure a build plate full of parts in just 10 minutes.
The washing station automatically detects the part volume and decides how long the washing process should be. On the same note, the curing station detects the part geometry and allocation on the build plate to determine the right intensity and amount of light to distribute.
If you don’t have the Nexa3D washing and curing station, you can post-process your models the traditional way, i.e., by using isopropyl alcohol and natural sunlight. Of course, you will first need to remove the parts from the build plates.
The Nexa3D NXE400’s build plate is perforated, which makes it easy to remove your prints. We used a scraper to remove the prints and they popped off nicely. The prints also came off nicely when we removed them with our hands instead of the scraper.
The NXE400 products quality prints with comparable mechanical properties to manufactured parts.
Nexa3D NXE400 Materials
At the time of writing, Nexa3D has about 10 materials for consumers. These materials include ABS, general-purpose resins, and tough resins. Dental resins and more performance-grade resins are expected to be produced in the future.
The materials are specially formulated and fine-tuned to work with the NXE400. The printer can produce parts with thermoplastic properties since it is capable of handling high-temperature materials that can undergo a phase change.
More viscous materials that conventional resin 3D printers can’t typically handle are not a problem for the NXE400. To work with viscous materials, you simply have to increase the chamber temperature and put the materials in the controlled high-temperature environment. This is why the printer is capable of producing materials that have the same mechanical properties and performance characteristics like manufactured thermoplastics.
Below is an overview of the materials currently available from Nexa3D:
- xGPP-Blue-DRAFT. This is the fastest material by Nexa3D that can print fully functional prototypes. The material is designed for form, demonstration, topology optimization studies, fit and function analytics, and communication parts.
- xGPP-Gray. This resin material offers high detail and a great finish surface. Therefore, it is perfect for fixtures, gauges, topology optimization studies, fit and function analysis, form, and other industrial parts that require injection molding-like quality and durability.
- xGPP-Translucent. This translucent material has high-performance characteristics and does not shrink. The material can be used to print function end-use parts and rapid iteration for pasts such as fluid flow models and air ducts.
- xABS-HT-Orange. This material is ideal for printing fixtures, gauges, and injection molding molds. Like is the case with conventional ABS, the material is strong, durable, and does not shrink. Therefore, it can be used to make fully functional parts.
The Nexa3D NXE impresses with its performance, seamless workflow, intuitive software, easy removal of printed parts, and printing speed.
The most outstanding feature of the printer is the fast speed, not only in the printing but also the post-processing stage. The whole system is efficient and fast.
We also love the print quality that’s possible with the Nexa3D NXE400. The models come out realistic with no layering problems or blemishes.
The NXE400 also stands out for its impressive technology. The printer’s proprietary membrane and powerful light engine work together to make it more efficient than other DLP printers we have tested before.
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