OpenCube SCOOVO C170
As a product made exclusively for Japanese markets, the OpenCube SCOOVO C170 is an efficient, environmentally responsible and capable 3D printer that is built with pride in Japan. It has a modest amount of features that stand out, but was also built to fit into any environment. While its printing abilities are not as fine as others we have seen, the C170 still makes a great mark in the 3D printing world.
The CEO of SCOOVO, Mr. Nobuki Sakaguchi, is proud to bring a 3D printer to Japanese buyers that is designed and hand-made in Japan. It is designed to be environmentally-friendly as well, to accommodate mass availability in that restricted market. A small build size and hot exterior looks keep it from looking out of place at home or in a more professional setting, perfect for the Japanese buyer who looks to save space while maintaining a sense of style. The instruction booklet and the software that controls the C170 are provided only in Japanese. Proudly, SCOOVO warrants their Japanese product for one year and releases it to a Japanese market that is yet unknown, but full of disposable income and interest in 3D printing.
The C170’s exterior is designed with the eye in mind. A nicely shaped, brushed aluminum body with an LED-lit glass enclosure allows the printer to fit into most environments. The 2mm aluminum covering is as tough as it is handsome. Inside, a sturdy “Smart Slide Rail” system guides printing and keeps with the minimalist yet functional styling. The rigid body system is constructed of 1.2mm chromium-free steel. The printer’s 16x15x13in exterior size means the printer is easy to tote and not incapable of being stored easily. Inside such a small package lies a build envelope that was not built for curing the need to construct large items. Smaller than 7x6x6in, the build area’s base is a print bed that is not heated, and as a result, is touted by the manufacturer as safe to use for most age groups.
The C170 comes with its own software, called SCOOVO Studio, which is customizable by your expertise level. An easy level of SCOOVO’s control software is compared to loading paper into an inkjet printer. Most print options are pre-selected by the program in easy mode, which makes the system user-friendly, but limits the full functionality of the unit. In advanced settings, you can control aspects like speed and layer thickness, and have free reign over design elements. This allows advanced users the ability to fully customize their build and user experience. Since the program is totally in Japanese, there might be some difficulty using this particular software package if English is your primary language.
Designed to be environmentally friendly, the C170 offers features that make it a responsible choice. Body materials are designed for easy recycling. The power consumption is designed to be low, which in all truth, is the main reason for the non-heated bed. Efficiency and warranty both hinge on the use of authentic PLA filament, according to the product’s webpage. The PLA filament is derived from plant sources and breaks down into CO2 and water after decomposition. Also, PLA does not produce a terrible smell when used in manufacturing processes, which makes it excellent for use in the home environment. The manufacturer maintains the stance that any other filament material will obstruct the print head and void the warranty. SCOOVO also claims that they have engineered a print head that is less susceptible to clogging, and is easier to disassemble and clean if the need arises.
Although the C170 is not made to produce super accurate and smooth images, it does hold its own with up to 0.1mm layer thickness and customizable accuracy via software control. Also, the print nozzle temperature is customizable inside what is imagined to be a very fun to use software suite. From a distance, printed objects look flawless and maintain functionality. Up close, small print lines and inaccuracies can be seen. However, this printer is not marketed as a super accurate machine like what is available in the US and EU. It is very capable, however, and for a first step into the Japanese market, it accomplishes its goal.
When it comes to design, versatility, energy efficiency and speed, the OpenCube SCOOVO C170 makes our list of iReviews 2014 best 3D printers under $2,000.
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