Reviews

The BCN3D Sigma D25! – Tom’s 3D printing guides and reviews

The BCN3D Sigma D25 delivers what no other 3D printer can – but is it actually good?

I love it when companies are doing something that is different, something that nobody else is doing, and carve out their little niche where if you have a specific set of requirements, then this is it, this is the best solution to that. And the BCN3D Sigma D25 that we’re going to review today is exactly that – it’s a large printer from a reputable company, and it’s got dual extrusion with two independent toolheads that each runs on its own X-Axis. Oh, and did I mention how frigging large this printer and its build volume is? Here’s a Prusa Mini for comparison! Look at that!

But as with all niche products, there are some tradeoffs you’re going to have to make. Thankfully, with the Sigma, they’re not that severe. Well, most of them.

Let’s start with the disclosure: BCN3D sent me this printer for this review, I do not get to keep it, and no money changed hands. And as always, BCN3D did not get any influence in this review whatsoever.


BCN3D and their IDEX Printers

Who are BCN3D and what is the Sigma D25? BCN3D is a company from Spain whose whole thing is making what they call IDEX printers – independent dual extruder machines. That means unlike, say, on an Ultimaker, where you’re carrying around two hotends on a shared toolhead, on an IDEX printer, usually you’re only ever moving one over your print space and the other one is parked off to the side. The main advantage is that you mostly don’t need to worry about the idle hotend dribbling out little bits of molten filament over your print after the printer has switched from one to the other. And of course, dual extrusion then lets you do either multi-color prints, or multi-material prints where you, for example, print a flexible hinge into an otherwise rigid part, or you can stick with a single material for your part and then use the second extruder to print a support material that is either easy to peel off or can be dissolved away after the print has finished. 

But because the Sigma has those two completely independent extruders, it can also run in duplication or mirror mode, where one toolhead follows the movements of the other and you simultaneously print the same part twice, either as a symmetrical pair or as a copy. I don’t think that’s what you specifically buy a Sigma for, but it’s a nice bonus feature that you basically get for free because of the way the printer works.

The Sigma D25 is basically BCN3D’s lowest-end model, but they’re using a shared platform for their entire lineup. Above the Sigma, you got a bunch of different versions of the Epsilon, which add things like an enclosure, filament storage, or a longer Z-axis.


Basic Components: Toolheads, Hotends, Extruders

The basic components all seem to be the same.

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