January 17, 2017 Leave a comment
By Matt Stultz
There’s a lot to love about the N2 Plus starting with its size. The N2 Plus is big. While still technically a desktop 3D printer, you are going to be just as happy running this machine on the floor. Built-in casters make it easy to move around. It boasts a print size of 12″×12″×24″ (305mm×305mm×610mm), making it one of the tallest commercially available machines on the market. The machine itself takes up whopping 24.3″×23.2″×43.8″ of space.
The N2 Plus packs that large frame with numerous features. Single or optional dual nozzles are directly driven and can handle high temperatures, making them great for any filament you may want to throw at it. The entire machine is run by a built-in tablet with a touchscreen interface. The tablet also brings the ability to print from internal storage, USB, or SD card, giving users a great choice of how to store their prints. Files can be loaded onto the machine’s internal storage over the network (Wi-Fi or Ethernet) or USB. Print jobs can even be started over the network without physically interacting with the machine (although we only recommend you do this if you know your machine is ready for a print job).
The N2 Plus is fully enclosed, with a removable top lid (they suggest removing it for PLA prints for better cooling) and has a heated build plate. This means printing with materials that like to warp — like ABS — is a breeze with the N2 Plus. The included Buildtak surface ensures your prints stick right where you want them. Raise3D has opted out of any kind of auto leveling feature and instead sends your machine pre-calibrated with a bed that is tightly fixed in place; so in theory, no bed calibration is needed.
The prints on the N2 Plus were top notch. Prints came out clean and smooth, and the ability to load all our test files onto the machine at once via Wi-Fi and then just go over to the touch screen to kick them off made the process easy.
Of course, nothing is perfect, and the N2 Plus does have a few hiccups. As I mentioned earlier, the bed comes pre-calibrated and is fixed into place. I had no problems printing small objects, like our test files, in the center of the bed. However when I went to print a full plate, I discovered that it wasn’t quite level. You can adjust this yourself, but it’s not as simple of a process as it is with machines that are really meant to be adjusted. My other issue was that I found the touch screen could be unresponsive at times. This, as it turns out, is because it is a capacitive touch screen and can have a hard time registering your taps unless you are grounded. The simple solution is to touch a metal portion of the machine and then tap the screen, which works like a charm.
While the N2 Plus’s price tag and footprint might scare off those who are new to 3D printing, this machine is a veteran’s dream. The huge build volume makes so many more designs printable, and the dual high temp extruders allow us to print those big designs in any material we want (including support material). If you are ready for your second, third, or nth machine, the Raise3D N2 Plus is what you need.