KautzCraft Dimensional Print is about to embark on a new 3D printing journey. Staying with Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), we have just ordered the new Snapmaker J1 IDEX printer. (SJ1)

Presently it is a pre-order purchase status. Its been in development for at least two years that I can determine. Originally a Kickstarter startup called the Jadelabo by some folks that left Snapmaker to create an IDEX printer. They then realized they really needed some “big brother” design and especially marketing help and returned to Snapmaker, renaming the design the J1. (The J probably from the original name.)

Enough of the history lesson.

I have wanted an IDEX type printer for quite some time. I also wanted my first enclosed case printer.  There are other IDEX printer examples that fit these desires. But when I read the specifications of the SJ1, it touched a lot of my other hot buttons.

The solid die cast aluminum top, bottom and z platform base caught my attention first. Then all the other top shelf features seem to shout, “This is too good to be true!” The price is beyond my usual comfort zone at $1100.00 (pre-sale) but totally looking like a bargain for all the features.

No sales pitch here from me. Link to the website to view all the product details. I saw what I like but everyone has their own desires.

Dual nozzle tandem (single head) printers have existed since near the beginning of hobby class 3D printing. IDEX dual nozzles run as separate print heads and so offer additional versatility but increased  complexity to single head dual nozzle printers. 

Let me clearly state: No multi-filament printer is a good first time choice for the neophyte. Start simple. If 3D printing becomes “your thing”, there are many more printers in your future.  There is no “one printer does all”.

The SJ1 is enclosed. Desirable for printing higher temperature material than PLA. This is my FIRST enclosed printer, so being closed has NOT been a high priority for the literally thousand prints I have made with higher temp materials. It’s just time to give it a try and work perhaps more accurately with the more difficult materials. 

The IDEX will print two identical or mirror (left/right) prints side by side. The same with different shapes on each side. Each side must match or mirror the other, but one side can be made up of several different items. For printing multiples, the print time is cut in half.

The SJ1 is being promoted as “high speed”. That is NOT why I choose any printer. I believe ALL printers dubbed “high speed” sacrifice smoothness and accuracy for top speed. Especially very higher than industry norm. 

High Speed tells me it ought to be excellent print quality when run at “proper” speeds. What this says, is many prints do not need to be high quality show pieces. A concept print needs to be fast so many variations can be produced for comparison or perhaps fitting a design. The final print can be slower and have a beautiful surface.

Printing fast, even if a printer is capable, is very hard and wearing on the hardware and working life of the machine. Run fast when needed, but slow down for quality and conservation for wear on the printer’s moving parts.

Any printing may be six weeks away. Perhaps into year 2023. I have created a new category section named “IDEX” here in this Blog. Look for more posts there about Dual Independent EXtruder topic and prints.