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Exclusive First Look: Phrozen Arco Revealed

Peyton Shelton

Peyton Shelton

Marketing and Brand Manager

Introduction

This is Arco, the new FDM 3D printer from Phrozen. Arco features a massive 300x300x300 build volume. open source Klipper firmware and impressive print movement speeds. On top of the printer, we have what Phrozen calls the Chroma Kit. This enables multi-color and multi-material 3D printing. Phrozen is known worldwide for its resin 3D printers and they've served over 100, 000 customers in the U. S., Europe, South Korea, Japan, and beyond. We are excited here at Slice to announce a new partnership with Phrozen for 2024 that's going to bring our GammaMaster Nozzle to Arco stick to the end to find out how you can be one of the very first to get this nozzle for free.

Rigid Frame

I'm currently at the Phrozen office in Taiwan and I had the opportunity to use these Arco printers over the last couple of days I'm super excited to give you a tour of the Arco printer. My first impression of the Arco when I arrived here in Taiwan was that it looked really heavy and honestly, it is. It comes in right about 50 pounds here with this empty version without the pentashield and the chroma kit upgrade, but I don't think that's a bad thing. It is bottom-heavy, which reduces the movement. It acts in the way that a lot of people you'll see when they have a printer, they'll put it on top of a concrete slab to lower the center of gravity. So the printer itself isn't shaking and the table isn't shaking. So this is a rigid printer. It has a very heavy construction that's all metal and it feels incredibly sturdy and stable.

Print Speed

It makes me believe the claims where they say that it can get the 600 millimeters per second print speed and the 30,000 millimeters per second squared accelerations. Because when this printhead is moving and I've been printing with the last couple of days. It moves really fast.

Hardware Walkthrough

The printer itself doesn't move. If we move over to the printer and look at the hardware that Phrozen has to offer, you have linear rails on the X and Y axis, and then four lead screws on the Z axis on all four corners then also on the front right corner, you have a camera that's fixed to that axis, onto that corner. And so it's going to actually stay with the nozzle as it moves up. And so you'll have your camera tracking your print all the way.

Touch Screen Display

If we move to the front of the printer, you'll see a really large touch screen here. I assume they're pulling that from there are other printers that have really large and prominent displays. It has good UI, from everything that I can see, but I don't have a lot of experience with it. They've said that they have been focusing primarily on the hardware side of the printer. So they have not had time to devote to the actual touchscreen yet to get it completely across the finish line. But from first impressions, it does look nice And it's a very large touchscreen display. I do appreciate that it is a touchscreen. There are a lot of printers that are still coming out today that are new, that don't have touchscreens. And I think. Any printer coming out today should have a touchscreen display. Next to that, you have a port where you can put in a USB. If you want to just print directly on the printer. And if you move around to the back, we have your power cable where you can turn on the printer with the on and off switch, and then also a port where you could plug in the optional chroma kit.

Filament Path

Now for the part that we are most excited to talk about here at Slice and that's the printhead because printheads are what we do. Now. It's not a mosquito on this printer, but they have their technology in here called dual extrusion path or DEP, and what they have done is they have shortened the filament path between the extruder gears and their hot end. So that way there is just very minimal distance between the gears and the hot end. So it makes it easier to print, flexible, or difficult to print filaments. What we have integrated on this printer is the GammaMaster Nozzle which I'm super excited to talk about just a little bit later as well. This printer uses long nozzles. You might have heard of, volcano-style nozzles, typically 14 millimeter thread length. So it's going to have a longer melt zone on the hot end. It has a dual-gear drive extruder system with two 18-millimeter gears that feed the material through the extruder. And we're just running the material through. Down with a Bowden tube from the top. 

Temperature

Now the hot end on this printer is rated to 300 degrees Celsius. That means you're going to be able to get up into the materials like your Pet-G's and your Nylons, but you're not going to be able to go beyond that.

Their bed is rated to 120 Celsius. The chamber is not actively heated if you get the Penta shield, but the Penta shield does close heat. They have some documentation on their Facebook group that shows how well the chamber encloses and holds heat and it does a pretty good job. So if you want to print some difficult-to-print filaments that print under that 300 C limit, it will prevent them from warping and keep the temperature stable.

Pentashield Enclosure

While we are looking at the printer with the Penta shield, it has three fixed sides. Two side panels and a back panel the left and right panels are clear so you can see right through and the back panel is that solid metal black the top panel is removable but it doesn't have a hinge so it just comes right off completely giving you full access to the printer all the way around and then the front panel has a hinge on the left side opening up it opens quite a bit giving you access into the printer. The hinge can't be moved over to the other side but Phrozen Has indicated that they are open to evaluating people's feedback on that for future versions of Arco.

Bed Leveling & Klipper

Another thing worth noting about the Arco is it doesn't use locked-down firmware like some other options on the market. It uses open-source Klipper firmware. I spoke to Phrozen's CEO and asked why they decided to go that route, and he said they didn't want to remake the wheel and that there's already a great option out there with Klipper, he wanted to give people open-source access they wanted to be able to do with Arco what their projects demanded.

Phrozen has developed its patented bed leveling that uses 25 points. I wasn't able to get a whole lot of info about the way that their bed leveling works because it's patented, but it does work and it printed flawlessly every time that I saw it. Didn't have any first layer failures while I was here with the printer. So you're getting unique technology that is customized and designed specifically for Arco so you can get the best performance out of the printer but you also get open-source firmware that allows you to get into the machine and dial it in for your specific use case.

Chroma Kit

One really exciting thing about Arco is the chroma kit unit that we have here on top of the printer chroma kit enables multicolor and multi-material printing. I confirmed with the team here at Phrozen that you are going to be able to use third-party filaments. That's something that people were concerned about online and I wasn't sure why, but they did also tell me that it's not recommended to use cardboard spools. Over the last few days, I've had some awesome experiences with the chroma kit, but something that was a little bit of a concern to me was the large purge block when doing the multicolor printing. So I had the opportunity to interview a member of their team about the purge block and the direction they're looking to take that process over the future. Let's take a look at that. I'm joined now by someone from the Phrozen team.

This is Andrew. If you don't mind, I'd love for you to introduce yourself, and talk to me a little bit about this block is this something that people can expect on the final version of Arco when it's sent to backers later on?

"No problem. So I'm Andrew, I'm from the R& D team at Phrozen. So I've been involved in the development of the printer and I'm going to walk you through our current updates. The first approach is that we will be minimizing and reducing the size of the purge blocks physically. Currently, we have been able to reduce the size by over 40%. We are also turning part of the purge block into spaghetti-like strands. So we are going to free up a lot of the printing spaces here. The second solution that we are approaching is to optimize the slicer and improve our algorithm. More specifically, we are trying to optimize the timing of the color change. We can reduce the time that it has to change to make the entire process more fluid. Also, we are working on minimizing the lengths of the filaments that are being cut. So reducing the waste in that department as well. And our third approach is to optimize the printing orders. So we will start from the lighter color first, and then eventually work into the other darker filaments. And with that, we can minimize the color contamination and we can make the printing process more efficient. And the fourth solution we're working on is to incorporate some selected models into the purge blocks itself so we can make the purge block no longer a waste, but something that is useful and people might find it helpful during the prints." 

Do you have any ideas so far about what potential prints those could be?

"Yeah, there are a couple of examples. So, for example, like a penholder or a cup, or something that's structurally easy to put into the print bucket itself. Yeah, so people can go creative about it as well. That's something we've been working on, so we'll keep everybody posted on how it works."

Phrozen & Slice Collaboration

I talked a little bit about it at the beginning of the video, but we are super excited to announce a new collaboration with Phrozen that's going to bring our GammaMaster nozzle to Arco.

If you're not familiar, GammaMaster is an abrasion-resistant nozzle with excellent thermal performance and great anti-adhesive qualities. Now, why does that matter? GammaMaster is going to unlock the Arco and allow you to print great abrasive materials as well as all the other things that you were already able to do on the Arco, and it's going to just take it to the next level.

We're super excited to be partnering with Phrozen. And joining their Kickstarter collaboration with a stretch goal. Now, if they reach $1.8 million on their Kickstarter, then all backers who support the Kickstarter are going to receive a GammaMaster Nozzle that is custom-made and co-branded for the Arco for FREE.

So, if you support the ARCO Kickstarter before it ends on April 7th, you're going to be one of the first people to receive this custom nozzle for the Arco. We're super excited to partner with Phrozen, and we hope that you are excited about the Arco too. Now, if you want to learn more about the Arco or the GammaMaster collaboration, you can find out all the information you need about it on their Kickstarter page or their Facebook group.

They have a active community there and their entire team is involved in answering questions and showing off the printer and test prints all the time. I'm excited to see how this is going to continue to improve by the time it launches in a few months. If you're interested in learning more about Arco, We're going to include links to everything in the description below.

Thank you so much for watching. We've got some more exciting content coming out over the next couple of weeks. The campaign for Arco ends on April 7th.

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