Raise3D Pro 2 Plus vs BCN3D Epsilon W50: A Comparison
How do you differentiate two 3D printers that seem very similar? That’s the question we face with Raise3D Pro 2 Plus and BCN3D Epsilon W50. The Raise3D Pro 2 Plus in an award-winning large format printer, aimed primarily at manufacturing …
How do you differentiate two 3D printers that seem very similar? That’s the question we face with Raise3D Pro 2 Plus and BCN3D Epsilon W50.
The Raise3D Pro 2 Plus in an award-winning large format printer, aimed primarily at manufacturing and rapid prototyping. It boasts impressive production speed and accuracy at a surprisingly affordable price.
The BCN3D Epsilon W50 also carries design awards with pride. This machine is purpose-built to produce large-scale parts in industrial-grade materials through innovative technical solutions.
So, we have to large printers using the same technology, each recognized by the industry and manufacturers. Let’s review the Raise3D Pro 2 Plus and BCN3D Epsilon W50 and find out where the differences hide.
|Raise3D Pro 2 Plus||BCN3D Epsilon W50|
|Technology||Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)||Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)|
|Ease of Use||7” colour touchscreen; Wi-Fi/Ethernet/USB 2.0 connectivity||5” colour touchscreen; Wi-Fi/Ethernet/SD card connectivity|
|Print Volume||Single extruder: 305 × 305 × 605 mm Dual extruder: 280 × 305 × 605 mm||420 x 300 x 400 mm|
|Minimum Layer Height||10 microns||50 microns|
|Materials||PLA, ABS, HIPS, PC, TPU, TPE, PETG, ASA, PP, PVA, Nylon, Glass Fibre Infused, Carbon Fibre Infused, Metal Fill, Wood Fill||PLA, Tough PLA, PETG, TPU 98A, PVA, BVOH, ABS, PP, PA|
With Hotend X addon: PP GF30, PAHT CF15
|Special Features||Dual extruder, heated aluminium build plate with magnetic holding, pre-calibrated levelling, live camera, HEPA air filter, resume function, open filament system||Dual extruder, passive heated chamber, multiple printing modes, open platform, HEPA and carbon air filter, open filament system, safety pause function, Hotend X addon|
|Software||ideaMaker, RaiseCloud||BCN3D Stratos, BCN3D Cloud|
Raise3D Pro 2 Plus and BCN3D Epsilon W50 Comparison
The Raise3D Pro 2 Plus and BCN3D Epsilon W50 both use fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology, also known as fused deposition modelling (FDM). It’s currently the most common 3D printing technology, thanks to its popularity among hobbyists. But make no mistake, FFF is still a commercially viable technology, particularly in the areas of rapid prototyping and medical engineering.
FFF printer is an extrusion-based additive manufacturing method. The materials come as filaments, which the printers melt and extrude through a nozzle.
Since both the Pro 2 Plus and Epsilon W50 use FFF, they share its pros and cons. They can reach respectable printing speeds and create decent detail, although FFF prints will inevitably have visible layering due to the technology’s limitations. To get perfectly smooth surfaced, you’ll have to sand your prints in post-processing.
FFF filaments are generally cheaper than resins or powders used in other printers, so both can provide good value for your money. Both the Raise3D Pro 2 Plus and BCN3D Epsilon W50 also have dual extruders, which allow them to print simultaneously with two different materials. You can, for example, use a separate soluble material for supports.
The Pro 2 Plus can print with fibre infused filaments as is, but the Epsilon W50 will require the Hotend X addon to process these materials. As such, the Pro 2 Plus has a slight advantage when it comes to its printing technology.
Ease of use
Both the Raise3D Pro 2 Plus and BCN3D Epsilon W50 have big colour touchscreens, but the Pro 2 Plus pulls ahead with its larger display. The difference isn’t a deal breaker, but a bigger screen is always easier to read and use.
Both printers offer Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, as any modern printer should. They also have offline connectivity options, but the Pro 2 Plus again has a slight edge over the Epsilon W50.
The Pro 2 Plus supports USB, while the Epsilon W50 opts for an SD card slot. We’ll hand an extra point to former, just because USB is a more common technology.
In print volume the Raise3D Pro 2 Plus and BNC Epsilon W50 are roughly on the same line. The former offers much more chamber height, while the latter has a wider chamber.
In total volume, the Pro 2 Plus pulls ahead. The difference isn’t huge, though, and if you run the printer in dual extrusion mode, it practically disappears.
Both printers have very large chambers that should accommodate every parts producer. Let’s call this one a draw.
Minimum Layer Height
No competition here. The Raise3D Pro 2 Plus provides much thinner layer heights, and as such finer detail, than the BCN3D Epsilon W50, with 10 microns against 50 microns.
The Pro 2 Plus can’t reach such great detail with every material, though, so the average print quality is roughly the same with both. But we have to give the points here to the Pro 2 Plus.
The Raise3D Pro 2 Plus and BCN3D Epsilon W50 both have huge material libraries available to them. If you look at the specs table, you’ll see that they can use many of the same filaments. Both are also open filament printers, meaning you can use materials from any manufacturer.
However, as we already mentioned, the Pro 2 Plus prints reinforced filaments without modifications, while the Epsilon W50 requires you to buy the Hotend X nozzle separately. It’s not a large expense, but an expense nonetheless. A point in the Pro 2 Plus’s favour.
The Special Features category is always where things get interesting. This Raise3D Pro 2 Plus and BCN3D Epsilon W50 review is no exception.
Both machines have heated build plates and chambers for improved performance. They also offer air filtration to keep your workshop free of potentially toxic fumes. However, here the Epsilon W50 creeps ahead — it offers both HEPA and carbon filtration, whereas the Pro 2 Plus only offers the former.
The Pro 2 Plus features a resume function, which lets you continue your print job if the power cuts out or you run out of filament. It also comes with a live camera for monitoring the print in real time.
The Epsilon W50 also has a filament runout sensor that will pause your print, but doesn’t offer power cut protection. However, it has a safety pause function, which will pause the print if you accidentally open the enclosure.
The Epsilon W50 does pull a final ace out of its sleeve — multiple print modes. The Soluble Supports and Multimaterial modes have their equivalents in the Pro 2 Plus. But the Duplication mode (printing identical models simultaneously) and Mirror mode (printing mirrored, symmetrical designs simultaneously) are unique, and give the printer an edge in production speed.
All in all, a tight race in special features, but the BCN3D Epsilon takes the lead just at the finish line.
Raise3D and BCN3D both supply their own slicing and print management software for their printers. The Pro 2 Plus used ideaMaker and RaiseCloud, and the Epsilon W50 relies on BCN3D Stratos and Cloud.
Raise3D’s ideaMaker is an easy-to-use slicer, with automated support generation and advanced optimisation tools. It even lets you modify your models with split, carve, and combine functions.
BCN3D Stratos doesn’t have the modification tools, but it does provide third-party software integration, so you can get the same functionality from other tool suites. It has a smooth workflow, and lets you get the most out of the Epsilon W50’s IDEX technology, including the different print modes.
Both software tools are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and support a wide variety of file formats. All in all, they’re both good and will get your print job started easily.
The Raise3D Pro 2 Plus beats the BCN3D Epsilon W50 in price. It’s some £2,000 cheaper, and you also have to account the price of the Hotend X nozzle if you want to print fibre reinforced materials with the Epsilon W50.
That said, the Epsilon W50 does offer the productivity-boosting print modes, which can make up for the price difference if you use them smartly. But as an up-front investment, the Pro 2 Plus is cheaper.
The Raise3D Pro 2 Plus and BCN3D Epsilon W50 are quite similar machines. They’re both large-volume, capable printers with massive material libraries that can tackle rapid prototyping with ease, and are more than enough for hobbyists.
The Pro 2 Plus won more categories, so it’d be tempting to say it’s the winner, but reality isn’t quite as clear cut. The Pro 2 Plus is a more accessible machine straight out of the box, but if you don’t mind putting a bit of extra time and money into customizing the Epsilon W50, you can get a lot of mileage out of its multiple print modes.
Here’s our final verdict. If you want to get to printing right away, pick the Pro 2 Plus. If you want to make a 3D printer truly your own, the Epsilon W50 is a good option.