We took a look at the new bq Witbox – and it’s a real find. Chiefly because it offers innovations you wouldn’t expect from a company that has recently moved into the world of 3D printing after building a reputation as a maker of smartphones, e-readers and tablets.
The first thing you’ll notice about the bq Witbox is its design: it’s a fully enclosed printer, meaning it prevents heat leakage and optimises air flow – while maintaining a consistent temperature. All of this adds up to more stable printing. The bq Witbox also produces a minimal amount of noise, which is a very useful quality for a home printer. It can print for hours without disturbing anyone.
Its front door is particularly thoughtful, with a locking system that prevents accidental opening during printing. This guarantees safe operation in areas where children may be present – a major plus point for those wishing to educated young people about 3D printing’s potential. And if the design of the printer speaks for itself, then so does its production process: the Witbox is made by bq at a dedicated plant in Navarra, Spain.
One of the most innovative features of the bq Witbox is that it lets you create a networked array of printers, by stacking devices one on top of the other. This is possible thanks to its reinforced chassis and specially designed power-supply system, located inside the printer. Additionally, the bq Witbox incorporates a novel printing system inspired by the Fibonacci spiral, using a PTFE tube through which the PLA filament passes. This system, which the company has patented, reduces filament friction and makes it possible to bring the power-supply system inside the printer.
Another advantage offered by the bq Witbox is its DIN A4 print area: at 29.7 x 21 x 20 cm, it’s larger than any other home printer on the market. This allows you to print objects of up to 20 cm, or various objects at the same time. Plus, the bq Witbox does at all this at a resolution and quality that is truly breathtaking. The size of its print layer is just 100 microns, meaning printed objects have a smooth, polished surface, even without post-production.
bq has declared its support for free software on many occasions, and the company has applied this philosophy to its first 3D printer. The bq Witbox can be used with a variety of open-source programs such as Slic3r, Cura, Pronterface and Repetier.
During the unveiling of the Witbox, bq Vice President Antonio Quirós remarked that the company had brought to the world of 3D printing the same philosophy that had made it a leader in the world of multimedia devices: namely, offering products that deliver the latest technology at unbeatable prices. This has been proven with the bq Witbox, which has a price tag of just 1,690 euros.
The history of bq is genuinely fascinating. Just seven years ago, its six directors were telecommunications students who repaired computers in their spare time. Today, bq is a top-selling tablet, e-reader and smartphone brand within Spain. The company has now turned its attention to the global market of 3D printing and looks to be off to an impressive start, having recruited leading professionals from Spain’s printing and robotics sectors. We’ll see how this move goes, but looking at its history and the strong start the company has made, it looks like bq is here to stay.
We’re fascinated by Uformit. From the fantastic software right through to the portrait project with Joshua Harker (‘Harkerize Me’ – the results of which were worn by the 3D Printshow band at 3D Printshow London and Paris 2014), their comprehensive approach to design options for 3D printing continue to inspire... View Article
Competitions are a fantastic way to gain experience and perhaps even get noticed by some top industry professionals. There’s always something to enter, and although it can sometimes feel like a challenge in itself to find the time, the benefits go beyond the competition prizes. In a (still relatively new)... View Article
After a few weeks of planning, copy writing and image selecting, 3D Printshow is more than pleased to present our new, fresh website. We’ve turned our backs on the heavy black site design that grabbed so many people’s attention two years ago – and instead, we’ve chosen a lighter format... View Article