Large-format 3D printers are notoriously expensive, making it difficult for smaller labs and machine shops to justify the purchase. If you want 0.5-1.0 cubic meters of build volume, be prepared to spend $20,000-$40,000 for most devices and more than $50,000 for the higher end ones. Modix has an interesting solution to this challenge and has been selling their first large-format printer, the Modix Big 60, as a low-cost kit for over a year. In September 2018, they introduced the Modix 120X, doubling the build volume of their first offering.
Modix is got its start in 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel, a widely known hot-bed for 3D printing startups and innovation. CEO/founder Shachar Gafni embodies this reputation as he continues to lead development for the small team years later. His company announced their first big prototype in 2016, the Modix Tango, which featured two fully independent extruders that could print in tandem on a 400 x 400 x 400mm bed. It was an especially promising proof-of-concept but never made the leap to become commercially available. It did, however, set the compass for Modix’s future printers: a focus on high-quality components and a simple assembly that resemble supersized versions of typical desktop kits.
Now, a full year after transitioning from a local to a global manufacturer, the majority of Modix’s customers are in North America and Europe and include the R&D departments of Philips, Applied Materials, and General Electric.
The Modix 120X is available for $6,000 or as a modular upgrade to any existing Modix Big 60 V2 for $2,500. Let’s review the specs.
The Modix 120X ships in several boxes and requires an assembly that users report takes anywhere from 16-30 hours. The good news is, the basic design and assembly are similar to smaller desktop models that have been on the market for nearly a decade. It’s still no IKEA coffee table, but if you’ve ever attached timing belts to stepper motors, or have a basic understanding of 3D printer frames and mechanics, it shouldn’t pose a challenge. Plus, Modix offers manuals with 3D models of sub-assemblies, step-by-step video instructions, and free technical support.
One of the biggest selling points Modix cites for the printer is their decision to include only premium, name-brand 3D printing components in the kit. And given the target audience of the Extra Large 120X, these parts go a long way to assure users of the overall quality of the printer.
To start, this large-format machine is equipped with a 10mm width Polyurethane timing belt with steel cores, designed to increase both the overall print speed and acceleration. Other high-grade components include premium Hiwin motion rails and Igus Chainflex signal and encoder cable.
The manufacturer has also reworked its previous design to feature a new triple geared Z-axis setup, which consists of three stepper motors that each have their precision lead screw, allowing them to move the print bed at a 0.5 Micron layer height.
The bed itself also contains a better PID controller that is able to maintain a constant and accurate temperature. This consistency in temperature is also boosted by a 6mm thick dual-zone silicone foam insulation pad, which also helps to lower power consumption and provide a smoother print surface.
As for the Modix 120X’s capabilities, it has all the trappings of a typical desktop 3D printer, with some custom features to accommodate the printer’s massive size. It operates using Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), the most common thermoplastic extruding method across the industry, where thermoplastic filament is pulled through a heated extruder that melts and deposits it layer-by-layer. Users have the option to install a single or dual extruders and the option to install an acrylic enclosure for better ambient temperature control when printing with demanding materials. The bed is heated, enabling a sizable range of FFF (aka FDM) filament options like ABS, TPU, and PETG.
Clearly, the printer’s greatest appeal is the massive print volume, measuring 1200 x 600 x 600 mm, which comes out to .43 cubic meters. The printer ships with swappable nozzles (0.4, 0.6, 0.8, and 1.0 mm) and offers a resolution of 100 microns on the XY plane and 400 micron layer height on the Z. Despite its large volume, it still takes standard 1.75 mm filament and Modix recommends against (but still provides) the option to scale up to 2.88 mm filament. With Modix’s draft mode running at 180 mm/s and wide nozzle print modes available in all the compatible software, users prioritizing speed over surface quality should be able to get fast, large parts at decent resolutions and fidelity. The printer runs on popular open source firmware Marlin, with additional big printer settings like an extensive 100-point leveling system.
The Modix 120X is also available as an upgrade to v1 and v2 of the Modix Big 60. It would take a full disassembly to add an extra 60 mm to the frame’s X axis, but for users who have the skills to assemble one in the first place, they likely won’t be turned away by the challenge or the $2,500 price. All told, Modix’s unique positioning — low-cost kits for big, high quality printers — is a promising one. Gofni remains dedicated to the “Mod” he puts in “Modix,” commenting that he takes “pride in the three most important aspects of printers; modularity, reliability, and affordable pricing.
For any designers, engineers, or artists with the time to invest in building and tuning, the Modix 120X has serious appeal at $6,000.
For a deeper look at large-format 3D printers, check out our guide to The World’s Biggest and Most Expensive 3D Printers in 2018.
Here are the tech specs for the Modix 120X 3D printer:
You can request a quote for the Modix 120X directly from the manufacturer:
License: The text of "Modix 120X Large-Format 3D Printer – Review the Specs" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Subscribe to updates from All3DP
You are subscribed to updates from All3DP
You can’t subscribe to updates from All3DP. Learn more…