In this Picaso Designer X Pro review, we look at the features, specs, quality of print and price of the 3D printer by Russian manufacturer PICASO 3D.
The Designer X Pro is a high performance dual extruder 3D printer built to meet the challenges of increased complexity. Read on to learn about the configuration, technical features and areas of application of the 3D printer.
Picaso Designer X Pro Review
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The Designer X Pro comes in a box measuring 500 x 540 x 700mm. Inside the box, you will find the printer, two boxes with plastic, two boxes with accessories, and a booklet with a brief instruction on preparing the device for use.
Since Designer X Pro has a dual extruder, the manufacturer offers two spools for test printing. The materials are Picaso 3D PLA 750g and Esun PVA 500g.
PLA and PVA have a similar melting point. The melting point ensures good adhesion of the two materials. Therefore, the base filament kit can print a model with soluble supports.
In a smaller box, there is a 1.8m power cord and a 250ml bottle of glue. You should apply the glue to the printbed before each new print to prevent the model from coming off the surface.
The second box contains a warranty card and a tool case. In the box pocket, there are two spare nozzles with a diameter of 0.3 mm and a 16GB USB stick.
The Designer X Pro measures 492 x 430 x 390 mm, and weighs 16kg. The body is made of black composite aluminum, and the door is made of translucent heat-resistant plastic.
The electronics are located at the base of the printer under the bottom panel. Like other Picaso X series printers, the X Pro is powered by the reliable Mean Well 350W/24V power supply.
The Designer X Pro uses a proprietary control board based on a 32-bit ARM CORTEX M4 processor. This board is powerful enough to ensure the printer functions properly as well as support software extensions of new firmware versions.
The Designer X Pro supports high operating temperatures. Therefore, a powerful 100mm turbine-type cooler is used to blow the control board.
All wires are neatly tucked in.
The printer’s kinematics are based on the CoreXY system. This system uses two belts on two motors.
With the system, the X-axis movement of the print head occurs when both motors rotate in the same direction. When the motors rotate in different directions, the head moves only along the Y axis. And when only one motor rotates, the head moves diagonally.
This system allows printing at high speeds due to its lightweight design. There is also no motor on the X-axis.
The Designer X Pro is shipped from the factory with a sufficiently tight tension belt. Therefore, it does not have tensioners for additional belt adjustment.
However, the printer’s CoreXY system has been modified from the standard one. With the printer, the XY axis outline is not fixed on the printer body, but on a separate steel frame. The printer also uses steel rails instead of cylindrical shafts as guides and on X, and Y axes.
The modified system improves positioning accuracy and speed of the extruder. Also, the use of the rail increases the life of the XY contour.
There are no limit switches on the XY axes. Instead, the extruder bounces at the corners, gets feedback from the drivers, and in turn, the printer determines the coordinates.
The Designer X Pro has a dual extruder with patented JetSwitch technology. The peculiarity of this technology lies in the fact that 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.
Moreover, 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. Thus, JetSwitch allows you to print with two materials at high speeds without loss of quality.
Both extruders are equipped with 400 heating blocks with all-metal thermal barriers that reach temperatures of 410°C. Therefore, Designer X Pro can print with two extruders not only with common materials like ABS, PLA, PVA, HIPS and others, but also with super-melting engineering plastics such as SBS, AEROTEX, ULTRAN and PEEK.
The Designer X Pro build build area is 200 x 200 x 210 mm. The printbed platform is moved along the Z axis by a 12mm screw and two 12mm cylindrical shafts. The table also corresponds to the modes of operation with engineering plastics, and can heat up to 150°C.
The closed printer case limits the ability to separate the model from the table, which is especially important when working with large models. To address this problem, Designer X Pro uses a magnetic mount on the glass plate of the printbed. The glass plate allows you to remove the printed model along with the plate, and then separate them.
Also, this method of fastening makes it easier to apply glue to the plate before printing. It is not advisable to apply the adhesive through a spray bottle when the printbed is inside the printer.
The side panels of the printer have filament holder doors that also use magnetic mounts.
The dimensions of the table allow you to freely fit in the case for 2kg coils of plastic.
The Designer X Pro has a monochrome display with an encoder. The printer menu has familiar tabs: printing, filament loading/unloading, table and nozzle heating, calibration, and other settings.
Other functions found on the menu include separation of settings into two extruders, automatic printhead cleaning, drying the filament spool on the printbed, night mode printing, among others. There are also visual animations for most of the functions.
There is also “Nozzle cleaner” mode menu in the firmware and soft rubber washers in the corners of the printer’s steel frame. In this mode, the nozzle is calibrated against the hole in the washer. From there, depending on how the filament passes through the washer, the degree of cleaning of the nozzle is controlled.
However, looking at the performance of the washer holders, we wonder why they were printed with ABS plastic. While the Designer X Pro features high-quality all-metal case, the use of ABS parts instead of casting is a let down.
Slicer Polygon X
PICASO 3D printers work with the proprietary Polygon X slicer, which comes in the accompanying USB stick.
Polygon X has a simple design and is divided into 3 conditional tabs: “New Job”, “View Job” and “Monitoring”.
In the “New Job” tab, you can place, rotate and scale the model using the toolbar on the right.
After installing the model, click on “Job settings”. When you do so, a menu with 3 settings modes will appear. The modes are “Basic”, “Advanced” and “Professional”. These modes are aimed at users with different skill levels.
The Basic mode has tips and a minimal set of functions. On the other hand, Advanced and Professional modes have a more advanced settings.
Each printer model has its own predefined profiles. In this case, the Designer X Pro has pre-configured profiles for dual-extruder printing, for example, a profile with soluble supports.
After confirming the slicing settings, the Job Preview window opens. In this window, the print settings are displayed and the model is displayed in layers. The slicer will offer to save the sliced model in .plgx format to a USB flash drive or add it to the Polygon X database. If you save it to the Polygon X database, you will be able to send the print job via a LAN connection.
The third tab is named “Monitoring”. This tab displays information about the status of the printer and print readiness.
The Polygon X ecosystem supports multiple network connections. This means that you can combine multiple PICASO 3D printers into a full-fledged industrial park and monitor them remotely.
Here are examples of models that we printed with the Designer X Pro 3D Printer.
The main advantage of the Picaso Designer X Pro 3D printer is its versatility that is made possible by the high operating temperatures. Most printers capable of handling material such as PEEK are priced 3-5 times that of Designer X. Therefore, the Designer X makes it more accessible to work with refractory engineering plastics.
Also, the twin extruder of the JetSwitch system allows you to print advanced engineering and artistic models using soluble PVA and HIPS supports. B
The only disadvantage of this printer is that some parts are made of ABS plastic of questionable quality.
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