Anybody keeping score over the past few years can see that it’s getting lonely at the $3K mark. But you are certainly getting what you pay for when it comes to the N2. The display coupled with the slick proprietary software, dual extrusion, and massive build volume keep this machine atop the competition.
Quiet enough for the office, handsome enough for the conference room. The full enclosure will protect it in a dusty environment as well as cut down on the variables that things like AC units or open windows can introduce. The touchscreen interface was the best one at the event for me: The display is large and the menus were easy to navigate. The N2 is definitely not for someone into open source alternatives, hacking, or customizing, but that does allow you to spend less time tuning and more time designing.
The bed could be improved — it’s a pain to level. The company website states that it comes pre-calibrated from the factory, however ours was not. The build area is large, but watch out for the binder clips holding the bed in place, something I think could be better handled with another solution, especially at this price range.
There is something to be said about integrated software and hardware. The N2 software is proprietary, but that is a major factor in why it is so good out of the box. It really does just work. I had no connection issues, no software issues. Get your bed flat, be careful where you place that binder clip. That’s it.
Even a week after the shootout I was still blown away by how far the display and ideaMaker slicing software set this machine apart from the rest. Custom slicers appear to be a trend now and Raise3D has been doing it for a while, making them a safe bet. If you’ve been considering buying the N2, you might want to spend the extra money and get the N2 Plus instead for the foot extra build height. You deserve it.
|Price as Tested:||$2,999|
|Build Volume:||305×305×305mm (single and dual extrusion)|
|Bed Style:||Heated glass with BuildTak|
|Temp Control:||Yes, extruder (300°C max); bed (110°C max)|
|Print Untethered:||Yes, Wi-Fi, LAN, USB, and SD card. Has print resume for power outage protection.|
|Onboard Controls:||Yes, 7" touchscreen|
|Host/Slicer Software:||ideaMaker custom slicer|
|OS:||Mac, Windows, Linux|