Chinese company QIDI never ceases to amaze us, and its new model I-Fast already claims to be one of the best 3D printers this year. Let’s see how well-founded this claim is.
In terms of exterior design, the QIDI Tech I-Fast looks quite a bit like the QIDI Tech I-Mate S, which we also wrote about. The soft rounded lines of the device, the colorless transparent glass of the print chamber, the small details like the logo on the case and the model name on the print chamber door. Everything seems the same, but not quite. First, the interesting color scheme in the form of white sides makes a more futuristic device out of the I-Fast, and second, it’s hard not to notice the elephant in the room. The I-Fast is much larger. The dimensions of the device are 710x510x670 mm. The touchscreen is now located on top. Also the printer has a rigid metal frame in the body. On the whole the design is pleasant without any sharp angles which is important for those who want to use the printer at home. Too loud details are minimal here, which is also great – healthy minimalism is always in fashion.
Let’s not leave the good stuff for later and talk about the things that make the I-Fast stand out from other printers.
QIDI Tech I-Fast comes standard with an extruder with two nozzles already installed, allowing for two-color printing or using PLA-PVA and ABS-Hips to create soluble supports. The I-Fast uses “Direct” extrusion, which means the print material is pushed directly into the nozzle, allowing for better extrusion and faster retracts.
Another version of the printer is equipped with an additional extruder with a maximum nozzle temperature of 300 degrees, which means that, in addition to printing with the usual PLA and ABS, the additional extruder allows the use of materials such as PETG, varieties of TPU, as well as Nylon, PC, Carbon fibre and other construction materials. The nozzle on the auxiliary extruder is ruby, so it easily withstands high temperatures and is not afraid of abrasion.
The high-temperature extruder allows printing with high-temperature engineering materials, and since it heats up to 300 degrees, it does not have a Teflon tube, which is usually installed for better sliding, and does not tolerate prolonged heating over 250 degrees.
The build area in the case of the dual extruder is 330×250×320 mm. The model with a single extruder has a slightly larger build area – 360×250×320 mm. The closed printing chamber provides excellent thermal regulation, with an opening in the upper part of the chamber, the temperature rises and falls evenly. The work table is at the top at the beginning of printing and then, during the printing process, is lowered down. At the same time, the printing chamber is also heated from top to bottom, so you don’t have to wait for the entire chamber to warm up.
This heating of the chamber ensures stable printing, without damage to the model. The maximum temperature of the print chamber is 100°C.
In addition to the printing chamber, the printing platform is also heated up to 120°C.
Apparently, left unsatisfied with their work (which, in our opinion, already looked great), engineers from QIDI have made a number of changes to the familiar mechanics scheme. The I-Fast uses new guides. Thanks to these guides, the necessary smoothness of movement is maintained, while the printing speed can vary from 30 to 150 mm/sec.
The I-Fast also uses new optical limit switches which, as well as offering better positioning accuracy than mechanical limit switches, also work noiselessly!
The electronics of QIDI Tech i-Fast match the technical capabilities of the printer. The power supply is 700 watts. Files can be downloaded either through the USB port or by connecting to a WIFi network or local network.
It seems that something is missing. Still, the title “the most interesting printer of 2021” sounds too loud for such specifications. Is there something else? There is! The thing is that no other 3D printer in the price range of up to 450 thousand rubles has such technical features, and QIDI Tech I-Fast costs less than 200 thousand! Of course, you can find printers with the same or even better characteristics, but they will be much more expensive than the I-Fast.
It is worth noting that the QIDI Tech I-Fast 3D printer has great potential for modernization. We immediately noticed that the side body panels can be easily removed and strengthen the body insulation material to reduce temperature losses in the chamber during printing.
Included with the printer is a manual, an extra magnetic pad for the printing platform, a USB stick, a glue stick and an extra high temperature extruder, then 3 screwdrivers, a power cable, a spatula, a LAN cable, filament spools and a spool mount, and a set of small tools like a wrench, clips, screwdriver, hex keys, spare fuses.
Dual extruder and optional extruder with high-temperature ruby nozzle.
Enclosed print chamber with excellent temperature control and heated print platform. The printing chamber has a special duct that delivers hot air to the top of the printing chamber.
Newly designed guide rails, the main advantage of which is accuracy, i.e., minimal deviations in printing width, height and parallelism. In contrast to cylindrical shafts, they guide and hold the extruder in exactly the right position.
The optical stops provide better axis positioning and work quietly.
The filament spool shafts have bearings which stabilize the rotation of the spools, since the spool rotates not just by sliding on the rods, but already at the expense of the bearings.
Excellent technical characteristics inherent in devices in the price segment of 450 thousand rubles, in the I-Fast is implemented at a cost of only 200 thousand rubles.
The QIDI Tech I-Fast has two nozzles as standard, allowing it to print in two colors. In dual-nozzle mode, the extruders can be easily and quickly calibrated. This allows for exceptional accuracy when printing complex models. During Dual-Color printing, the nozzles work alternately: while one is doing its job, the other is raised and doesn’t interfere with printing. When the extruders reach their extreme point, they change their position. In turn, printing with an additional high-temperature extruder with a ruby nozzle makes it possible to use a huge variety of materials for printing.
Nylon plastic LIDER-3D Premium:
PC plastic LIDER-3D Premium:
ABS Plus plastic LIDER-3D Premium:
QIDI Tech I-Fast is definitely worth your attention. The combination of technical characteristics, modern design and user-friendly controls make I-Fast probably the best printer of 2021, but with one proviso – “the best in the price range up to 450 thousand rubles”. I-Fast is great for use not only in production or training purposes, but also at home.
QIDI Tech I-Fast can help you implement many ideas, such as printing large parts, due to the large printing chamber, prototyping or printing final products from ABS, PC and other materials, due to the additional high-temperature extruder. Even printing small parts, like gears from Nylon and other thermoplastics with a high shrinkage coefficient is no problem for the I-Fast thanks to the enclosed heated print chamber. Of course, don’t forget about home use, whether you’re printing collector models or household fittings, the I-Fast can handle it, rest assured!