Entries in resin (31)
by General Fabb
The world's first USD$100 3D printer's launch campaign has closed, with the Peachy Printer project raising over USD$650,000 on their Kickstarter page.
This amount may be somewhat less than other notable crowdfunding launches, such as Formlab's, which raised USD$3M, but there's a difference: the Peachy Printer costs only USD$100, while previous printers were much more expensive. The Form 1, for example, cost over 20x as much. This means that the Peachy Printer has likely been purchased by many more people than any other 3D printer launch. Our count of printer buyers on their page is 4,107. That's a lot of 3D printer owners.
Did you miss out? Don't fret because you can still buy a Peachy Printer on their Indiegogo page, which remains open until October 24th. The company is also opening an online store to sell units.
If you happen to have a Form 1 resin-based 3D printer, you'll likely to have purchased resin from Formlabs, its manufacturer. Formlabs provides resin tuned specifically for their machine, but as of now it comes in only two colors: grey and clear.
That's changing because MadeSolid has launched a new series of resins that just happen to be compatible with the Form 1 - and they come in Black, White, Pink, and Blue. As you can see in the image above, they'll likely be announcing clear sometime soon, too.
Aside from multiple colors, the advantages of this resin are:
- High Definition
- Low to No Odor
- Reasonable Pricing
- Easy to Clean (No More Isopropyl Alcohol)
The last point is very interesting, indicating that MadeSolid's resins are quite a bit different from Formlabs'.
What about "reasonable pricing"? It's always hard to judge such matters on crowdfunding offers, as they are typically lower than prices offered in the future. It's like a "sale". That said, MadeSolid offers 1L of resin for USD$70-75, with discounts for bulk purchases (NOTE: Resins all have a shelf life, be careful how much you purchase). This is around half the price of Formlab's resins.
How will Formlabs react? We suspect they will release additional color resins on a much faster schedule. They may also consider a proprietary mechanism on future 3D printers to ensure only Formlabs material can be used, but time will tell on that.
The makers of the revolutionary USD$100 resin-based Peachy 3D printer, which has raised a launch amount exceeding USD$600K, have issued a video update of their project's progress.
In the video, co-founder James Cooper explains some of the difficulties controlling the laser that they've recently overcome. It appears that their team is working through a number of issues in the unique audio-feed approach used by the Peachy to significantly reduce costs. We've also learned that the Peachy team is using OpenSCAD 3D design software to develop the device.
We're quite hopeful that their new approach succeeds. If it does, it could very significantly change the landscape in personal 3D printing by massively reducing costs while providing high quality prints, a combination not yet achieved by anyone.
Only days after the launch of the first USD$100 3D printer, another very similar, but not quite as inexpensive, resin-based 3D printer launched: the LumiFold.
Like the Peachy, the LumiFold uses photo-curable resin as its printing process. Also unlike the Peachy, the LumiFold uses a DLP projector as the source for its photo-curing light, whereas the Peachy uses a laser. The DLP projector is an external unit that must be supplied separately.
Curiously, the project now offers an optional laser "overhead unit" to "quickly scan the area with an UV curing laser" that would presumably replace the need for an external DLP projector. at half the cost.
A very interesting feature is the LumiFold's portable design: it can actually fold up for easy transportation. Note the carrying handle at the top. They even offer a travel bag for USD$39.
Another interesting feature is used for external DLP projector calibration. Apparently DLPs emit different levels of UV light, which is the specific frequency that solidifies the resin. The LumiFold includes a way to automatically calibrate the system for a given projector.
Placement of the projector (or laser unit) is over the resin reservoir, and the designers have ensured you can use almost any kind of container for a reservoir. They even used a coffee cup during testing, which obviously reduces the volume of resin in action.
The project has already surpassed its strangely modest fundraising goal of USD$1,500.
The LumiFold promises excellent part quality, as is possible with the resin approach. If you'd like to get one, you still can at their Indiegogo site, where you'll be able to pre-order one at a price of USD$390 for a parts kits or USD$429 for an assembled unit. We suspect you might also spring for an optional "Holodeck" that shows layer by layer progress reports, a protective UV box and the travel bag, so you probably will spend more than USD$400 on this item.
We wrote earlier this week on the launch Peachy, a new 3D printer with some very revolutionary features. It, like many new ventures, used crowdfunding to get started.
With a Kickstarter goal of USD$50,000, it was inevitable that they'd hit it. They did the first day. But what happened next?
So far they've raised over USD$400,000 on Kickstarter, far above their target. But wait, it gets better: Peachy is also available on Indiegogo, where they've raised another USD$22,000. Both campaigns have weeks yet to run, so we're expecting the Saskatoon-based operation to have a rather healthy bank account when the smoke clears.
The large sums of cash do not ensure a successful product, but they do greatly increase the odds of that happening. This level of funding should be more than sufficient for the project to proceed and have a good shot at making their concepts real.
We're wondering where the fundraising will finish. At this rate, they could land some USD$2.5M and be able to join the ranks of the major personal 3D printer manufacturers.
One more thing: Their Kickstarter campaign ends on October 20th, but their Indiegogo campaign ends on October 24th. Those that miss out on the Kickstarter window will get a few more days to buy one of these unusual 3D printers.
There is so much to say about this incredible design we're not quite sure where to start. Yes, this is, for real, a USD$100 3D printer. But how its price became so low is revolutionary.
Made by Rylan Graston of Rinnovated Design based in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, the Peachy employs not just one but several startling simplifications to the process of 3D printing that significantly reduce its price.
You must understand how this device works. First, it's a resin-based 3D printer, where a laser fuses liquid resin into solid form. That part is not new; many resin 3D printers exist, such as those from 3D Systems and Formlabs. But the mechanical and electronics process used by the Peachy are very different.
The laser is aimed by a movable mirror, controlled by basic electrical circuits. This eliminates the need for (relatively) expensive stepper motors and associated electronics.
But the Peachy goes further. It doesn't employ standard electronic protocols to control the mirror. Instead, and almost unbelievably, it uses an analog tone sequence generated by your PC's audio port, which is heard by a circuit that moves the mirror as the tune proceeds.
There's more. To eliminate virtually all of the movement mechanisms found in almost all other 3d printers, the Peachy leverages plain old gravity. A layer of resin floats on top of salt water in a tank. Above the unit a full reservoir of salt water drips slowly into the lower tank, gradually raising the level of salt water - and consequently the layer of floating resin. Due to gravity, the resin remains perfectly flat, eliminating the need for any leveling procedures. Incredible. You must check the video to see this in action.
The Peachy is not yet available, but it is being offered on a Kickstarter project where you can purchase one of these units for as little as USD$100 - but probably by the time this post publishes, they'll be all gone. You may have to settle for one of the more expensive options, but they're still quite affordable. They've already blown far past their original target of USD$50,000. There's no telling where this raise will end.
Even better, the Peachy adheres to open source policies, meaning you'll likely be able to use similar techniques in your own designs.
The Peachy just changed many things, not the least of which is the price point of 3D printing.
Most personal 3D printers are filament-fueled extrusion machines, but there are a number of resin-based machines, such as the Form 1, the Nautilus, the mUVe 1, the B9 Creator and others. There's also several open source plans for resin-based machines.
But there could be a problem. Resins used by some of these machines can exhibit a number of less-desirable properties:
- Low polymerization speed
- Bad accuracy
- Significant shrinkage
- Medium mechanical properties
- Low shelf-life
- High viscosity
- Limited color range
And they cost too much, too.
Polymer consultant Jemmel Belkacem hopes to solve these issues by developing "affordable high-resolution photo-polymer for 3D printers".
Hold on a sec. Is this Belkacem fellow qualified to do this work? It sounds like it, based on his LinkedIn profile:
I am a polymer consultant with a Master of science, expert in organic chemistry and polymer materials, over 10 years research experience, such as organic synthesis, liquid crystal, photo-polymer formulation, thermoset, bio-materials, coating, 3D printing and materials characterizations. I have a strong background in polymer formulation and organic synthesis.
And he's done this type of work for 3D Systems, Kevvox and Huntsman. Also:
I was the main inventor of a patented resin formulation for the stereolithography in 2010 (Europe Patent #10186358.7 - 1253 / EP2436510). This invention relates to a system and a resin for rapid prototyping and manufacturing of 3D objects (Araldite Digitalis® project).
Ok then! Belkacem has launched a Kickstarter project to raise funds for this project. He requires the necessary equipment to formulate and produce the resin. He has detailed plans to resolve each of the issues mentioned above and hopes to ship resin product in November.
You'll be able to receive kilograms of resin in a "range of colors" for as little as €85 (USD$112) per kg, depending on how much you order.
If you have a resin-based 3D printer, or hope to have one in the future, we recommend you support this project. With patents expiring, we expect to see more resin 3D printers in the near future, and they'll all need high-quality, inexpensive resin.
But really, it's ok! Formlabs has finally announced the availability of grey resin. This means your Form 1 3D printer can now punch out grey objects. Previously they had only offered "clear" resin. Now you have a choice of two colors. They say:
Similar to Clear, our newest material has properties engineered for fine detail and functional prototyping. Grey’s tensile strength and Young’s Modulus are similar to that of ABS plastic when post cured. The neutral color, on the other hand, allows you to carefully inspect fine details. This attractive matte finish is suitable for immediate presentation or to serve as a base for painting. That means that you can make durable, professional quality parts to suit your project needs.
Formlabs has been showing grey models printed in the new resin at trade shows for some time now. We've been wondering when they would release it - and now they have.
Discussions with Formlabs suggests they may be offering additional colors and resins in the future, making the Form 1 an even more capable machine.
Meanwhile, you can pick up a 1L tub of Grey for USD$149 at Formlabs' online shop.
A fundraising campaign has launched for the Nautilus 3D printer. It's a resin-based DLP printer, using a process similar to that used by Formlabs and 3D Systems. The Nautilus uses a DLP projection system to fuse each layer of photo-curable resin.
The Nautilus was developed by a team of four from Beijing who were fascinated with 3D printing and decided to do something about it, focusing on cost. They hope to raise funds to start serious manufacturing of this very low-cost device.
The device as pictured above is said to be able to produce up to 6 layers per minute at a minimum layer size of "less than 0.1mm" each. We like the resolution, which is among the best we've heard of. The speed of the Nautilus seems pretty good: six layers per minute means 17 minutes per cm or 42 minutes per inch. We're not sure what software drives this machine, but we can say the build volume is 102x77x1200mm at 0.1mm resolution and half that when printing at 0.05mm resolution.
One interesting feature is a selection of different resins. They provide a standard resin that apparently is comparable to other manufacturers, plus a high-strength resin capable of making machine-usable parts. The resins are said to cost a fraction of other resins.
Their focus on low-cost is pretty clear: the Indiegogo campaign lists the least expensive kit (which to be clear, does not include the DLP projector) is a mere USD$387, far lower than any other resin 3D printer we've seen. They also offer a "whole printer", which may or may not be assembled, for only USD$1099.
This could be the start of a big thing.
Via Indiegogo (Hat tip to konkit)
Researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and C-MET have developed a specialized resin that is suitable for 3D printing electronics at a microscopic scale.
The goal was to develop a material usable to create micro-sized electrodes. Apparently a "carbonization" stage is required to create electrical conductivity, but current materials could not withstand that process. Deformation during carbonization defeated the builds.
The new material is able to withstand carbonization and is also available as a liquid resin. This means conventional resin-based 3D printing approaches could print this material. The researchers tested this with an ultraviolet light curable print and a laser curing process. Both appear to work.
This development could open up many new applications for 3D printing. For example, the researchers suggest building very small coils that could be used for heating, or electrical interfaces to the human brain.