Potterbot Super 9 is a great printer for all those who wish to get good quality 3D printed parts and functional prototypes pottery products that are made up of real clay.
- The cooling of the printer won't be much of a problem.
- Post-processing of parts and functional prototypes will be easier.
- Because of open design, temperature generation is a big issue.
- Print time is more than that taken by a printer with an enclosed design.
This printer can be said to fall in the mid-range of 3D printers offered by Potterbot, the company which specializes in manufacturing 3D ceramic printers.
Ceramics are inorganic non-metallic solid that can be made up of either metal or non-metal compounds shaped and hence hardened by heating to high temperatures.
In appearance, they are hard, corrosion-resistant, and brittle. The word ‘Ceramic’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘pottery’.
We all are familiar with clay-based domestic wares, art objects, and building products, but pottery is not something that ceramic is all about it is just a part of the whole.
In today’s world, the term ‘ceramic’ has a more expansive meaning which includes materials like glass, advanced ceramics, as well as some cement systems as well.
In this article, we are going to review 3D Potterbot Super 9, which is one of the nine specialized ceramic 3D printers offered by Potterbot.
This version of the 3D printer was manufactured by Potterbot after having manufactured Potterbot 9 and Potterbot.
So, it has all the benefits that any printer should after a company has experimented with two more similar printers before creating the third one.
In that sense, you will also get to see some of the features that are common in 9, and 9 Pro and the printer that we are currently reviewing.
3D Potterbot is a company that not only manufactures printers that produce ceramic parts and functional prototypes but also, extruders optional add-ons, factory prepared clay, continuous flow high volume pumps, and used equipment.
So, anything that you need regarding this unique type of 3D printing process or 3D printers, you will get from 3D Potterbot’s website itself.
However, in addition to the list, is the Larger Cly Extruder feature which you are not going to get in the former ones.
This is added especially taking into consideration those customers who want uninterrupted printing while printing large parts or functional prototypes.
And in case they are printing smaller volumes of objects, they want to print them speedier than other printers.
Anodized Aluminum rails are something that you will find, in both, Potterbot 9 as well as Potterbot 9 Pro.
The point to note here is the unique feature that differentiates between Potterbot 9 and Potterbot 9 Pro i.e. hybrid closed loop stepper motor on the clay extruder as well as on the Z-axis is also present in this printer.
Larger Clay Extruder
The clay extruder that is a part of this 3D printer can carry 3600 ml of clay in it while the 3D printing process. With such a high volume capacity, the company claims that you can 3D print larger objects without having to change the extruder.
Or, in case if you are 3D printing smaller objects, you can do that simultaneously without having to change the extruder after every print.
Because of such a feature, this 3D printer can be used for mass production in case the part or functional prototype that you are manufacturing has a small volume.
Also, because of the large area of the extruder, you can get a faster printing speed. The same goes for the Direct Extrusion system and full web interface.
Anodized Aluminum Rails
This part of the printer lets you smoothly transport one part from one place to the other.
Because these rails are made up of Aluminum, they are strong enough to withstand the temperature of materials with which you plan to 3D print your part or a functional prototype.
The company’s website claims how these rails are not only robust but they have a smooth surface which ensures there is minimum friction between the objects that are in touch which these rails.
The other thing to note is, that because these rails are made up of Aluminum they can withstand high temperatures.
Since the company primarily targets these printers to universities and institutions, it is able to cope up with the surrounding atmospheric conditions.
Above this, the company also claims that this printer is able to withstand industrial environments.
The easy movement of parts is necessary during the print process.
Especially if you know that you have to continuously manufacture some or the other part for hours, which is in the case of mass production.
So, transferring parts related that are made from ceramic materials will not be an issue and the design of this printer has one feature to ensure so.
The company claims to directly extrude clay and not use a compressed air system printing slip as other company’s do.
Now, if you are seeing any company use the latter one, you need to check out whether the company guarantees you use real clay or the clay that can be watered down or is alcohol diluted one.
With the latter one, there isn’t a possibility of 3D printing full-body clay parts or functional prototypes.
In addition to this, if you are using a direct extrusion system, you can also print with paste-like materials. This is also something that is not easily possible with the compressed air system printing slip.
Potterbot is the company that also manufactures clay, so do you have to do the research of the company that will then supply you with real clay. You can buy that from Potterbot itself.
So, take the real clay that is made by Potterbot, use it in this printer, and get the direct extrusion system to print parts and functional prototypes accordingly.
Full web interface
Potterbot is a company that keeps on improving its 3D systems. By doing so, it has landed on this amazing feature that allows you to control a complete printer over Wi-fi. So, you do not necessarily need to be near the printer or on the desk where you have placed it to control it.
You can be anywhere around where there is the Internet at the place and that’s it, control your printer remotely.
For more information regarding this feature the company has placed a YouTube video that gives you the information, you can have a look at that.
Controlling your files that are being transferred to the 3D printer even from multiple devices at the same time is possible with this new feature. In fact, the interface lets you get over every setting of the machine very easily.
Uniform Nozzle Design
The kind of the first layer that will be 3D printed on your part or functional prototype is determined by the nozzle.
So, the design of the nozzle should be kept according to the printing the 3D printer is going to be implied to do.
It is because that Potterbot has kept the nozzle design uniform, you’d be able to use this nozzle not only for this printer but also if you need it for some other 3D printer that is made by this company too.
This company allows you to interchange nozzles between all of the printers that are offered by the company starting from the Micro to the Scara V3 which is the latest offering by the company.
After having gone through the list of features, let’s see the specifications that Potterbot Super 9 has to cater to its customers.
Printing Envelope of 3D Potterbot Super 9 is 420mm in the X, 360mm in the Y-axis, and 510 mm in the Z-axis.
The overall dimension of this 3D printer is 736 mm in width, 812mm in length, and 914mm in height.
According to the claims by the company, you need 1194 mm space along the X-axis, 914 mm along the Y-axis, and 1955 mm along the Z-axis.
The printer’s bed diameter is 381 mm whereas its height to the top of the extruder when fully extended is 1955 mm.
The printer weighs 40 lbs and its average speed ranges from 55 to 130 mm per second according to the quality of a part or functional prototype needed to print.
The power supply Output is 24V 5-6 amps, whereas the power supply Input is 100-240V, 50-60 Hertz. Also, to note that there is no 220V power plug supplied for customers outside of the USA.
The power consumption of this printer is 24V ~3 amps, ~70 Watt, the main controller board of the printer runs with Duet3D with Arm SAM4E8E: 120MHz ARM Cortex-M4.
Now coming to the section that will concern all our readers who are thinking to buy a 3D printer in near future i.e. the budget section.
On the manufacturer’s website, Potterbot Super 9 is priced at $6100. Apart from the manufacturer’s website, you can also buy this 3D ceramic printer from shop3Duniverse as well as clay-king.
Let’s see in the next section, the kind of the first impression that this printer will create upon you by its design considerations in the next section.
Potterbots’ 3D printers and extruders are known for printing a high-quality scale of 3D prints up to 36 inches.
The primary reason given by the company to achieve such a high scale in 3D printing of ceramic parts and functional prototypes is because of thick clay.
And their ability to utilize large nozzles. Potterbot offers nozzle sizes from as small as an mm to as big as 16 mm.
Be it Potterbot 9, Potterbot 9 Pro, or Potterbot Super 9, the manufacturer has kept the overall design the same.
An open body that utilizes an X-shaped structure for keeping the object, the aluminum rails are placed vertically to this structure.
And connected to these rails is the nozzle holder that lifts the nozzle up from the down most it is while 3D printing the first layer.
The complete setup of this 3D printer can be learned from four photographs that are given on the company’s website.
The printing happens in the exact same way as metal 3D printing happens i.e. using FDM 3D printing technology.
But here the materials that will be used for printing parts and functional prototypes would be strictly ceramics.
The printing cost, because of the design of this printer is lower than other printers in the same range.
There is a section that is visible to you when you scroll down to the end of the webpage that says, 3D Potter Instagram which has a display of pictures about the parts that are printed by these printers.
Have a look at the parts to determine the quality of their print.
The company recommends Potterware for users who wish to have the entry-level experience, Fusion 360, and Simplify 3D to have entry-medium level experience.
The company takes accountability for the parts that are given to you by the maker, apart from that if there is any issue you can always contact the company, for doing which, there are multiple ways.
Parameters Influencing Buying Decision
A lot of factors count in when you are thinking of buying a 3D printer and here are some of them mentioned in brief.
3D Printer Cost: Above industry average for those who have not yet seen the quality of prints produced by Potterbot 9.
3D Print Quality: There’d be hardly a 3D printer that specifically working for ceramic 3D printing, produces such a print quality.
3D Print Speed: Depending on the infill that you require the range varies.
3D Printer Capability: Because of anodized aluminum rails even plastic-like materials can be 3D printed using the printer.
3D Printer Practicality: The company recommends this printer for universities as well as institutions.
3D Printer User Expectations: A good quality print in parts and functional prototypes can be expected with this 3D printer.
Overall, Potterbot Super 9 is a great printer for all those who wish to get good quality 3D printed parts and functional prototypes pottery products that are made up of real clay.
It’s also one of the rare 3D printers that focus especially on ceramic 3D printing. If you search the overall market, you would not find many printers doing the same or even close to what this 3D printer does.