Promising to "raise the standard of 3D printing," Raise3D began in earnest as so many small, upstart startup 3D printing companies do: via the crowdfunding platform known as Kickstarter. Indeed the Raise3D team's campaign, which ended up raising almost 1000% of its $50,000 goal, backed its bold assertion up with one of the more detailed and ambitious plans seen to date in Kickstarted 3D printer companies. They set out to create an entire line of printers from scratch, the "N" series, which, in Raise3D's campaign information, they compared to the latest models from big name players like Makerbot and Ultimaker. Here, we will compare the bold promises made by the Raise3D team in the early days to one of their final products: this, the N1.
The N1, compared in Raise3D's infographics to the Zortrax M200 and the Afinia H800, among others, comes shipped with many features not seen in these competitors, including the ability to resume a print in the case of power failure, a seven inch touch screen interface, the ability to print over ethernet or WiFi, and an optional dual extruder. At eight inches cubed, the N1 is the smallest in the N series, but still a bit bigger than your average "mini" printer. It also boasts an impressively low 10-micron print resolution, which, if accurate, would be nine times finer than the popular M200.
Alas, the company's relative youth and sky-high ambitions proved as hard to square as it has for almost all who came before them. When it works as advertised, the N1 is a fantastic, if a bit expensive, product; the problem, as so many nascent 3D printing companies in particular have found out, is that these machines never operate as advertised with any consistency. Complaints include failed prints, poorly assembled units, and frequent clogs in the extruder. Though this may be disappointing to some, take heart: this is, post-Kickstarter, still a young team, clearly invested in their products, who will no doubt only improve upon these issues as time goes by.
I've got no regrets about this purchase, which is useful, well designed and delivers optimal performance with good print quality.