3D printing has made makers out of a whole new generation of folks, allowing us the room to take our designs straight from our computer screens and fabricate them at home. But the process isn't without its limitations. 3D printing a single object can take hours and hours, and there's always the chance that a print could fail.
A new 3D printer, developed by Radiant Fabrication aims to solve both of these problems. It can print up to eight times as fast as a traditional 3D printer and comes complete with a built-in scanner for easier 3D modeling. It's called the Lionhead and it's funding on Kickstarter right now.
The Lionhead owes its speed to its unique multi-head design. There are four and eight-head models available and each can print from all of its heads at the same time. These print heads do not move independently of one another, which is key to sustaining a quality print. The fixed distance between the print heads allows for just-printed filament to dry before a new layer is built upon it. Each head is also capable of printing in its own color if that suits your fancy.
As well as a built-in scanner, the Lionhead 3D printer also comes equipped with easy-to-use modeling software. With this software, you'll be able to import models based on scanned objects, merge them with other designs and shapes and even build onto them bit by bit. As of this writing, there are still a few early-bird Lionhead 3D printers available via the Radiant Fabrication project page. There, you'll be able to pick up your own four-head printer, scanner and modeling software for as little as $1,649. The eight-headed version will run you a bit more, at $2,099, but if rapid 3D printing is your goal, then there isn't a better printer out there.
Check out the video below to see the Lionhead 3D printer in action.