Dual-extrusion FDM solutions for printing PLA/PVA with the ability to use carbon fiber composites tend to be rather pricey. Although there are a handful of decent analogs of such benchmarks as, for example, the Raise3D Pro 2, they usually imply a compromise between quality and price. Yet, the situation seems to have changed.
This is Top 3D Shop, and in this article, we are going to review the QIDI Tech i-Fast — an affordable high-performance device capable of printing manifold materials.
The QIDI Tech i-Fast is a dual-extrusion FDM 3D printer that can print with refractory materials. The machine sports a heated print bed, enclosed chamber, and a large build volume of 330 x 250 x 320 mm. Other features include:
Read on to learn more about the machine.
The printer comes in a cardboard box with protective elements and the following set of items:
The QIDI Tech i-Fast comes fully assembled. The body of the printer is made of metal paneled with a plastic casing. The transparent door on the front ensures a clear view of the build chamber; above is a 3.5-inch touchscreen with a power button on the right. Oddly enough, the USB connector is located just next to the door handle, which is not very comfortable. The lateral sides of the machine contain carrying handles. As filament spool holders, the device uses three retractable rods on the backside. A transparent acrylic lid for convenient access to the kinematics is attached by four magnets.
At the bottom of the back side, there is a built-in power supply, power switch, and LAN port.
The printer was engineered with a classic kinematic scheme with one motor per axis, linear rail guides, and a trapezoidal lead screw. The structure features a solid-milled aluminum X-axis gantry and a dual-extrusion printing unit allowing you to print soluble supports and multicolor models — or produce two identical objects in one go. The active nozzle is switched mechanically.
This print head is low-temperature and is intended primarily for printing with PLA + PVA and other common filaments. If something more is required, the user has to replace it with a high-temperature single extruder, which can heat up to 300 degrees. Apart from that, the extruder is compatible with a ruby nozzle for printing with composite materials based on carbon fiber.
The detachable print surface is held in place by thirty magnets; the heated platform is made of aluminum alloy. To ensure high-quality printing with ABS plastic or polycarbonate, the device is equipped with a heated chamber as well, with an air duct located on the back wall.
The touchscreen displays an intuitive interface with all the necessary functions, including filament settings, preheating, calibration, webcam, and so on. It is worth noting that now the user can set the chamber temperature in the settings menu. Also, the printer supports Wi-Fi connection.
The i-Fast uses the proprietary QIDI software designed to make the preparation of a model easy and efficient. Besides, the device is compatible with third-party slicers such as Cura and Simplify3D.
It is time to check out a couple of models printed with the QIDI Tech i-Fast.
The first object is a spiral tower made of ABS from Rec3D. It was printed with a single extruder with the nozzle heated up to 245 °C. Layer height: 0.2 mm; print speed: 80 mm/s; infill: 20%.
The next model was printed with two hotends (the second extruder using PVA). It is a part of a quadcopter with complex geometry. The blue E-Sun PLA 1.75 was used as the main material, and the classic E-Sun PVA was used for supports as the object has overhanging elements with a 90-degree angle. After printing, the quadcopter was put in warm water for 60 minutes to remove PVA.
As is seen from the photos, the printer did a good job, the quality of the models is definitely satisfying.
Available at a reasonable price, the QIDI Tech i-Fast boasts a plethora of useful features to make the device a great solution in its segment. A large number of solid-milled aluminum parts testifies to a serious approach to development and production. Numerous up-to-date functions optimize the printing process and ensure quality outputs. The proprietary QIDI software makes slicing extremely comfortable; besides, the printer supports third-party software. The i-Fast is ready to use “out of the box” and allows you to achieve good print quality with a wide range of materials.