Is the Picaso 3D Designer XL Pro a worthy upgrade? Read our review to find out its features, performance, quality of print as well as price.
In 2018, PICASO 3D released the third model of the X-series, the Designer XL. This 3D printer was a large-sized version of the Designer X single-nozzle printer. Therefore, the release of the Designer X Pro dual-nozzle model in a new form factor was only a matter of time.
In 2019, the fourth Designer XL Pro series printer entered the market. In this review, we look at the printer and its capabilities.
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PICASO 3D Designer XL Pro 3D Printer Review
|Bed leveling||Fully automatic|
|Built in camera for monitoring||No|
|Closed print chamber||Yes|
|Connectivity||USB cable, Ethernet|
|Filameter diameter||1.75 mm|
|Max extruder temperature||410 °C|
|Max print speed||up to 100 cm3/h|
|Nozzle size, mm||0.5 mm / (0.2-0.8 mm optional)|
|Outer dimensions millimeters (xyz)||645 x 565 x 985 mm|
|Printable material(s)||ABS, PLA, HIPS, PVA, ULTRAN 630, ULTRAN 6130, ASA, ABS/PC, PET, PC, FRICTION, CAST, RELAX, ETERNAL, FLEX, RUBBER, SEALANT, PETG, AEROTEX, CERAMO, WAX, SBS, SBS PRO, PROTOTYPER SOFT, PRO-FLEX, TOTAL PRO, NYLON, PEEK, etc.|
|Slicing||PICASO 3D Polygon X™|
|Weight kg||75 kg|
|Build volume||360 х 360 х 610 mm|
|Min layer height||10 Microns|
The Designer XL Pro is shipped in a box measuring 760 x 680 x 1190 mm. Inside the box, you will get:
- The printer
- A branded pencil case with tools
- A 1.8m network cable
- A USB flash drive
- 2 spare nozzles
- A bottle of glue
The manufacturer recommends to apply the glue to the table surface before each print.
For test printing, the manufacturer offers two rolls of material: 2kg FormaX X-line (an engineering plastic based on ABS and carbon fiber) and PICASO 3D HIPS 750g.
The X-axis fixes the harnesses for safe transportation, and the components are placed in foam cradles.
Picaso 3D Designer XL Pro measures 650 x 590 x 1000mm and weighs 75kg. The body is made of composite aluminum and the doors are made of heat-resistant plastic. The first door is located on the cover for easy access to the XY portal, and two more on the front panel.
Designer XL Pro uses a standard X-series control board from PICASO 3D. The board is based on a 32-bit ARM CORTEX M4 processor. The processor is powerful enough to solve the problems of the current printer functionality, as well as for program extensions of the next firmware versions.
The Designer XL Pro uses CoreXY kinematics. This system uses two belts and two axial motors.
In the system, the print head moves along the X axis when both motors rotate in the same direction,. When the motors rotate in opposite directions, the head moves only along the Y axis. If only one motor rotates, the head moves diagonally.
We’ve previously written about CoreXY 3D printers.
CoreXY allows you to print at high speeds by eliminating a motor on the X-axis.
The Designer XL Pro comes with well-tensioned belts. Therefore, there are no belt tensioners in the printer body. Steel rail guides are installed on the XY axes, and this eliminates unnecessary vibrations when moving the head.
PICASO 3D engineers have made significant changes to the CoreXY kinematics. In particular, the XY gantry and Z axis are attached to a steel frame, and the printer body provides additional rigidity.
Considering the dimensions of Designer XL Pro, one Z-axis screw and two cylindrical rails are not enough to operate the printer table. This is why four ball screws are responsible for the platform movement. They ball screws are located in the corners of the frame. Each of the screws has its own stepper motor, cylindrical shaft and encoder for automatic calibration of the table.
The Designer XL Pro features a twin swing-type extruder with its own patented JetSwitch technology. With this technology, two nozzles are at an angle relative to each other. When one nozzle is selected, the second is retracted a few degrees upward. This eliminates the possibility of the inactive nozzle touching the model.
Unlike other rotary extruders, JetSwitch not only retracts the inactive nozzle, but also hides it in the housing slot. This function protects the model from drops and threads of plastic from the uncooled nozzle. Therefore, JetSwitch allows you to print with two materials at high speeds without loss of quality.
As standard, Designer XL Pro comes 0.5mm diameter nozzles. However, if necessary, the nozzles can be replaced with those of 0.2-0.8mm diameter.
Designer XL Pro uses hotends with 400 heating blocks that can heat up to 410°C. Thanks to this, the printer can print a wide range of plastics, from the common ABS, PLA, PVA, HIPS to super-refractory materials such as SBS, AEROTEX, FORMAX, ULTRAN and PEEK.
The construction area of Designer XL Pro is 360 x 360 x 610 mm. The table, as in previous models of the series, supports heating up to 150°C.
Magnets are used to attach the glass plate of the table. This makes it easy to remove the model and separate from the plate without the constraints of the printer body.
On the side panels, there are doors with coil holders, where magnetic clips are also used.
As with the previous model in the series, Designer XL Pro comes with trays to collect waste after cleaning the nozzles.
The rear of the printer has a power button, an Internet port, and a USB port.
The Picaso 3D Designer XL Pro has a monochrome display with an encoder. In addition to the standard menu tabs (print, filament loading/unloading, table and nozzle heating, calibration, etc.), there are unique functions from PICASO 3D. These are: encoder calibration, automatic print head cleaning mode, drying the filament spool on the table, and night mode print with slowing speed.
Slicer Polygon X
A proprietary slicer Polygon X was created for PICASO 3D printers. It can be downloaded from the USB stick that comes with the kit.
Polygon X has an intuitive design divided into 3 tabs: New Job, View Job, and Monitoring.
In the “New Job” tab, we can place, scale and position the model using the toolbar.
As soon as the model has been installed, click on “Job setup”. A menu with 3 settings modes will appear: “Basic”, “Advanced” and “Professional”. The presented modes are aimed at users with different skill levels.
“Basic mode” has a small number of controllers and is accompanied by prompts. On the other hand, “Advanced” and “Professional” modes have a flexible system of settings with many parameters.
Each printer model has its own predefined profiles. For example, Designer XL Pro has pre-configured profiles for dual-extruder printing, for example, a profile with soluble supports.
After preparing the job, the Job Preview window opens. Here, the print settings are displayed and the model is displayed broken down into layers. The program offers to save the sliced model in .plgx format to a USB flash drive or add it to the Polygon X database, from which you can send a print job via an Internet connection.
The Monitoring tab displays printer performance and print status. Polygon X supports parallel network connections. This allows you to combine multiple PICASO 3D printers into a full-fledged industrial park and remotely monitor their work.
Here are some examples of prints made using the Picaso 3D Designer XL Pro:
The PICASO 3D Designer XL Pro completes the X platform’s transition to large-scale printing. Refractory printing of complex art and engineering models is now available using soluble PVA and HIPS supports.
Today, the X-series model range includes 4 printers. Together with the Polygon X ecosystem, you can use the 3D printer to create an industrial park focused on solving production problems of varied profiles.
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