The current market is over flowing with 3D printers. Every fortnight there is a new printer on the block with new promises and new features and 3D fairs, conferences and Kickstarter have become the ideal place to start for any manufacturer. This year in the CES International, there has been an outburst in the number of desktops that were launched and most of them are using the SLA technology. The FFF technology which was the earlier the hot favorite of manufacturers has proved to be of no great profit and most manufacturers have already moved to the SLA technique.
In this article we shall be looking at one such SLA 3D printer manufactured by an Italian company named DWS Systems. The company develops technological solutions for prototyping and high speed production to reduce the time required to manufacture industrial products such as jewelry, fashion, dental and various other designs.
The company introduced a new 3D printer named XFab Laser 3D printer at CES International 2014. The company had also presented this 3D printer in the Maker Faire Rome, 2013. The most unique feature about this printer is that unlike most of the printers that are currently floating in the market, this printer is aiming towards expanding the material portfolio. It is all set to break the notion of 3D printers being able to print materials that are hard by being able to print on rubber as well!
The printer has been manufactured with a lot of precautions and the assembling of the parts has been of high concern for the manufacturers. Maurizio Costabeber, founder of DWS System said, “Assembling laser equipment is our own key feature: This is the most delicate component in our machines. We do that strictly inside our labs to prevent someone from stealing our know-how”.
The specifications of the printer are mentioned below:
- Printing method: Laser Stereolithography
- Print area: 180 x 180mm
- Laser source: Solid State BlueEdge BE- 1300X
- Slice Thickness: 10- 100 microns
- Minimum feature size: 80 microns
- Scanning method: Galvanometer
- Software: XFAB Controller, Nauta XFAB Edition
- Input file format: .STL, .SLC
- Machine Size: 420 x 638 x 590 mm
- Operating Temperature and Humidity: 22 °C – 25°C/ 60%
- Power Supply: AC 230/ 115V/ 50-60 Hz
- Materials: Acrylate resin, ABS, polypropylene, rigid opaque, transparent, rubber and ceramic
The printer is true sense is quite intelligent as it uses an intelligent cartridge system which makes the changing of cartridge a simple task. In the past there have been quite a few complaints about printers that leak and have high tray consumption charges, but with this printer there will be no leakages and no tray consumption costs. The price of these cartridges is somewhere between $200- $400.
The product is expected to hit the market in the spring of this year and the price is expected to be somewhere around $5000. For all those people who feel that the price is too much the company has also planned to introduce a mini version of the XFab 3D printer and the price is expected be to $2500.