Airwolf 3D is founder Erick Wolf’s Costa Mesa-based effort — as he describes it — “to solve the issues that users have in operating desktop 3D printers.” A noble ambition, to be sure, and one that the 2015 release of the Axiom aims to achieve with its latest improvement on the original RepRap-style aluminum extrusion design. Empowered with automated leveling, “easy feed” filament system, enclosed build area, and end-user replaceable cassette system (ERC) for ease in changing or upgrading extruders; the Axiom is meant to provide welcome relief for the frequent disappointments of mainstream 3D printers.
But for the Axiom to avoid becoming yet another of Airwolf’s sacrificial children to pay the Pied Piper, Airwolf had better find a way to deal with its rodent problem. Within mere months of its entry into the market, the Axiom was already burdened with a number of complaints about “mouse-bites” causing one after another failed print for experienced and novice makers alike. Compounding the problem is Airwolf customer service’s claim that mouse-bites result from using non-proprietary software and/or filaments, rather than from any design flaw in the printer itself. Objections to reportedly substandard 3D-printed plastic parts have also fallen on deaf ears, adding to Airwolf’s growing PR problem.
If the experience of Duplicator i3 V2 maker Wanhao is any indication, the key to realizing the Axiom’s potential could be as simple as overhauling Airwolf’s approach to customer service and technical support, although the Chinese manufacturer’s low sticker price and thriving open source community arguably give it more of an edge. However, with incensed Airwolf users recommending alternatives like the Ultimaker 2+ and Flashforge Creator Pro for better reliability and higher print quality; Airwolf can hardly expect the Axiom’s sleek appearance, impressive speed, and roomy build area to be sufficient to fend off detractors — especially when more user-friendly options can be had for significantly less cash outlay.
The 3D printing community can be pretty forgiving, so there’s still hope for the Axiom, as long as Airwolf can learn from its mistakes and take heed of customer feedback. There’s no more powerful antidote to 3D printing’s rodent infestations and other gremlins than calling on the collective wisdom of the maker community to build a better mousetrap.
Airwolf 3D AXIOM's enclosed print chamber provides a thermally stable environment which minimizes warpage while providing optimal print quality, especially to large 3D prints.
The Airwolf 3D AXIOM can automatically calibrate its print bed to ensure an optimal bed leveling.
The AXIOM is designed to be a professional-grade machine with all of the modern features that make a 3D printer easy to use.
The conceptualization, design and testing took us almost two years to get perfect and we could not be more pleased with the results.
Nice and flashy, great build volume and wide variety of materials. Lots of connectivity options and fairly fast at building parts/objects.