With the ability to fabricate whatever you design or scan, 3D printing can make a maker out of anyone. But even with a top of the line 3D printer it can take hours to create even the smallest objects. Radiant Fabrication believes it can fix this problem with its new Lionhead 3D printer, which can print up to eight times faster than those currently on the market. Hydra might have been a more fitting name for the Lionhead, because this printer has four to eight printing heads that all work together to print at (relative) lightning speed.
With four to eight heads rather than the maximum two we’ve seen on other 3D printers like the Replicator 2 and the ProDesk3D, the Lionhead can print faster just by extruding more filament at the same time. Basically each block of heads is arranged in a tight line that allows the printer to extrude a new layer of filament top of another one just as it cools and set. Each of these printing heads can also be fitted with different colored filament or even other types of material to make your projects really interesting.
Multiple heads isn’t the Lionhead’s only trick though; it’s also a 3D scanner called the Radiant Li. After opening its printer bay doors, you can place an object on the printer bed to have it scanned. Inside there’s a pair of LEDs and a laser that scans physical objects into modeling editor. The whole scanning process only takes about a minute, as demonstrated in the video below.
The Lionhead 3D printer has a lot going for it as an FDM printer with an innovative multi-head set up and a built-in 3D scanner. It may not be the best 3D printer and scanner you can get, but as a speedy all in one package, it’s not bad—especially when one considers that the whole thing costs less than a MakerBot Replicator 2.
As of this writing you can pick up your own four-head printer with the scanner and modeling software for as little as $1,649. But act fast because Radiant Fabrication only has a two of these left. The eight-headed version, meanwhile, will run you $2,099.
Images © Radiant Fabrication