Dec 19, 2013

Solidator large volume DLP 3d printer

Looks like the Form 1 is getting some (larger) DLP competition.

From Solidator Kickstarter page:

Size matters.
Solidator features a huge build area that is 3-4 times larger than that of most other commercial stereolithography printers and even a lot higher than those of the most FDM printers. No longer will you be limited to small prints - the 588cm² print area yields objects that are truly massive by comparison.

Speed sells.
Whether you're rapid prototyping or simply impatient by nature, speed is king. Using DLP-Stereolithography and specially formulated materials, Solidator hardens an entire 0.1 mm layer all at once, without the typical moving heads or lasers that do nothing except waste your precious time. This makes Solidator the fastest liquid plastic resin printer around, without sacrificing quality.
Resolution impresses.
Solidator can print features as small as 270 microns (0.0106 inches) and layer heights of 100 microns (0.0039 inches). This leads to impressive results. Just compare the object resolution with my fingerprint:

The Hardware

The patent-pending design is realized in laser-cut steel parts, precision-cut aluminum profiles, linear guides, motors, optics, electronics, acrylics, and a special liquid plastic resin container. All parts are sourced from the USA and Europe and will be assembled and tested here. The machine will be shipped preassembled to you with minimal final assembly required.
We've tried to take ease of use to a whole new level. Solidator supports Wireless LAN, Ethernet and USB keys so there is always a convenient way to get your 3D model onto the device no matter where you work. And with a built in 3.2” touch screen for user interaction, you can even print without a computer handy. As a light source we use a high power DLP projector that is calibrated and fully automated. There is no dangerous laser that requires you to wear safety glasses. The red protection cover helps to keep away sunlight from the liquid plastic and should be used whenever possible to extend the life of the material.
Technical Specifications
  • Build Volume: 280x210x200 mm (11.02"x 8,26"x7,87")
  • Z-Motor resolution: 10 microns (0.000393")
  • Typical layer height: 100 microns (0.00393")
  • Minimal layer height depends on the material used. 
  • The Z-Motor is able to go down to 10 microns layers. We will write an update on the actual value for each material. Expect this to be around 30 microns.
  • XY-resolution: 270 microns (0.01063")
  • Number of Voxels in Build Volume: More than 1.5 Billion Voxels
  • Speed: 10 seconds per 0.1 mm Layer
  • Footprint: 620x600x480 mm (24.4"x23.6"x18.7")
  • 3.2" Touch Screen supports standalone printing
  • Job transfer methods: Wireless LAN, Ethernet, USB
  • Software support: Windows XP/7/8, MAC OS X, Linux
The Software
The printer comes with Solidator Studio, our software solution for 3D rapid prototyping. You can open 3D models in “.STL”, “.OBJ” and “.3DS” format and place them into the scene to print. The software includes an industry leading GPU-accelerated slicer and automated support generation. Files can be transferred to the printer via WiFi, LAN or USB Stick. The software is tested on and available for Windows XP/7/8.x, Mac OSX and Linux Ubuntu.

The Materials
We have developed a special liquid plastic resin (similar to nail polish) with our resin providers. The prints in the pictures are printed with these resins that are specially designed for Solidator. Resin prices start at an industry leading $50 USD per liter (excluding shipping) and will be available from our partners. Compare that to some other stereolithographic printers that charge $150+/liter, and you'll see the advantage of Solidator.
The Solidator Resin we currently use is extremely hard, too. The hardness of the printed parts (at 0.1mm layer height) is 85D (shore hardness) - this is about the same value as PLA (about 85D) and more harder than ABS (about 75D) and certainly harder than POM (about 80D). The melting point of the printed parts is about 110°C (230 °F).