Full Upgrade Options for 3D Printing – The Sustainable Solution

One of the more under-appreciated benefits of FELIXprinters systems, however, is the upgradeability of each and every 3D printer produced by The Netherlands-based company.

Investment in a FELIXprinters 3D printing system comes with a host of benefits for industrial users, notably the price performance ratio, with high levels of precision, accuracy and reliability at accessible and very competitive prices. One of the more under-appreciated benefits of FELIXprinters systems, however, is the upgradeability of each and every 3D printer produced by The Netherlands-based company.

Technology advances are a fact of life - new developments and capability improvements for any hardware systems can make previous iterations seem slow and ineffective compared with the latest generation. This is as true for 3D printers as it is for other hardware, whether that is your mobile phone, computer or any other digital manufacturing platforms.

Even a cursory exploration of the history of 3D printers since the late 1980s can be used to back up this point and illustrate the increasingly fast evolution of 3D printing hardware, particularly over the last decade since the advent of desktop 3D printers. Thus today, new 3D printers can quickly become redundant as the technology develops. As a result, it is not uncommon for 3D printing hardware to lapse into minimal or non-use as their functionality deteriorates by comparison or does not meet the increasing demands put on them.

Within a business setting, numerous questions can arise when this phenomenon is identified.

For users that have already invested in 3D printing technology, questions posed can include:

• Do we need to invest in better hardware to meet our needs?
• What do we do with the existing hardware?

There are numerous options to this latter question of course, including disposal. Or, the seemingly most common resolution — leave it to gather dust in a corner of the workshop or laboratory.

From the former question, other questions can arise, such as: is it even wise to buy a new printer that can meet our needs? A replacement next generation 3D printer will likely be x times more expensive, and how long will it last if the technology continues to improve?

For users looking at investing in 3D printer hardware for the first time, the questions are different, but nonetheless come with associated risk:

Is it worth investing in hardware that will quickly become redundant?
When is the right time to invest, IF we do go ahead?

These questions can often be significant factors in organisations delaying or putting off altogether any investment into in-house 3D printers, and the benefits that they CAN bring to their business. This is because they identify that the risk is too great and there are no good options that mitigate the risk.

There is one clear option that offers a complete solution to all of these questions for organisations that do utilise (or want to utilise) 3D printing to benefit their business operations. This is to invest in truly upgradable systems that will continue to meet their evolving demands and requirements, without having to invest large amounts of capital in completely new 3D printing systems as the technology progresses.

The ability to upgrade has been at the heart of the FELIXprinters' ethos since the company's inception.

Indeed, a significant USP of FELIXprinters is the precise design and engineering that has gone into the development of the full FELIX 3D printer range. From the earliest concept of FELIXprinters, the intent was — and still is — to create products that are fit for purpose and that are upgradable. To this end, every single FELIX 3D printer undergoes precise and extensive engineering to ensure that not a single bolt, screw or tube is unnecessary. Every single component in a FELIX 3D printer has a specific purpose and each system is developed to ensure that investment in a FELIX system brings longevity for the user. This is achieved through the ability to upgrade and extend the life-cycle of the 3D printer itself without compromising on quality, reliability or productivity.

This approach has multiple positive advantages, including providing true value for customers of FELIXprinters who can rest assured that their 3D printer(s) will never become obsolete and can always be quickly and easily upgraded to the latest specifications with minimal further investment. Moreover, FELIXprinters actively advocates this approach within its own business model in terms of its sustainability as well as providing more sustainable options for its clients.

FELIXprinters offers a wide variety of upgrades for the entire range of its 3D printers. From individual components that can improve the original system in line with the users' specific requirements through to full platform upgrades provided as a service.

So for FELIXprinters users that invested in a first generation 3D printer from 2011, the company has ensured that it is as easy for them to upgrade to any subsequent generation of 3D printer, in line with their needs, as it is for new customers with the latest generation of 3D printer.

This means that FELIXprinters users can upgrade any particular new features of advanced generations to their original system, including, but not limited to the dual head extruder, the heated, self-calibrating build plate, the touchscreen and built-in webcam etc. This modular approach means that FELIXprinters users can control the levels of functionality of their 3D printers in line with their own specific requirements — and, pertinently, their budgets.

More pertinently, FELIXprinters also offers a full upgrade service that enables customers to benefit from the most recent full system upgrades with a no-nonsense business approach to ensure full customer satisfaction.

For example, FELIXprinters customers operating any of the TEC systems or FELIX Pro 1 or 2+ 3D printers can quickly and cost-effectively upgrade to the latest version. In this way, customers can gain all the advantages of the latest system at a fraction of the cost of investing in a new 3D printer, including, but not limited to increased performance, improved print quality and detailing, faster dual head printing, more reliable bed levelling, improved reliability and overall easier maintenance.

The Pro 3 upgrade is fully inclusive and includes full replacement of the following sub-assemblies:

• Extruder assembly, including new blowers and hot-ends.
• Y-stage, including new levelling system
• Bed assembly, including new flexplate and optimized bed heater and kapton sticker
• New filament roll holder including accessory
• Updated firmware
• Bearings and belts if applicable
• X-axis idler pulley
• New style bed cable assembly.

The full upgrade service by FELIXprinters also includes the 3D printer being completely checked with a maintenance overhaul, followed by a full 24-hour test print.

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