LittleRP: Open Source SLA 3D Printer With Unique Tilt Option Set to Hit Kickstarter

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littlerp-dlpBack in May, we reported on a 3D Printer called the LittleDLPer, which was an open source DLP SLA 3D Printer which had plans to launch a campaign on Kickstarter. After a few name changes (going from LittleDLPer to LittleSLA, and now LittleRP), and some more progress, they are just about ready to launch their crowdfunding campaign.

LittleRP’s founder Brad Hill tells 3DPrint.com that LittleRP stands for LittleR(esin)P(rinter). Via the soon to launch Kickstarter campaign, this SLA DLP 3D printer will be available in kit form, with several different packages to choose from. The “Complete” kit will include everything you need to begin 3D printing, including a 1024×768 projecter. The “Complete HD” kit will be the same, but come with a high definition 1920×1080 projector. The most affordable option will be the Projectorless kit, which comes with the hardware, minus the projector. This option will allow backers to purchase their own projector and install that themselves.

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Standalone projectors typically cost between $300 and $600, depending on the resolution desired. However, Hill told us that he purchased a used Dell projector for only $99 that he used for their first LittleRP printer.  Used projectors frequently sell for under $100 on eBay, so that is another option for those looking to save some pennies.

“The main projector choice of the LittleRP is the Acer x1240,”  explained Hill. “Keep an eye out on the pricing as it can often be had for as cheap as $315. For those looking for increased resolution or for a projector solution that doesn’t require user modification, we will be supporting the Acer P1500, a 1080p projector. This projector is often on sale for $600, so if you know this is the route you want to go definitely keep an eye out.

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The LittleRP features a unique Tilt option (an additional $149 via Kickstarter) which will allow users to get an increased print size.

“All LittleRP kits will now be upgrade ready to a tilt option which will be available when kits ship,” Hill told us. “The tilt option will increase the surface area of prints to the full build platform and allow more flexibility with resin. Even though the LittleRP has a 60x40x100mm (even wider for 1080p version) build volume, you can look at it more like available area to space out your models. If the cross section volume of a print is greater than say 25% of the xy build area, then the forces needed will start to cause problems.”

Thus, the tilting allows you to break the sticking / suction forces. Different resin based 3D printers on the market today utilize different ways of doing this. For example the Form 1 uses a tilting vat that tilts downward, while the Titan 1 uses a flexible print surface so that certain parts of the print pull away from the vat surface before other parts. LittleRP uses a unique method:

“It sounds a little weird, but if you tilt the vat up, while at the same time raising the build plate, you end up with the same thing,” Hill told us. “One of the benefits of this method is that by altering the ratio of arm lift with vat tilt you can move the effective fulcrum location around.”

You can see an example of LittleRPs unique tilt feature below:

LittleRP has been working with resin producers to offer a large selection of colored and performance options to meet everyone’s needs.

Check out the timelapse video of the LittleRP in action below:

So what is the LittleRP capable of? Quite a lot. Here are some of its specifications:

  • Stepper resolution of .005mm ( .020mm prints have been tested)
  • 25/50/100micron recommended layer heights
  • 60micron x/y resolution with Acer x1240
  • 40micron x/y resolution with Acer P1500
  • 60x40x100mm available build area (Acer x1240)
  • 72x40x100mm available build area (Acer P1500)
  • Tested with MakerJuice and MadeSolid resins
  • Ideal layer times 1000ms-5000ms

While Hill and his team have not yet officially decided on the final backer level options quite yet, so far they plan on offering a limited quantity of early bird LittleRP kits for $475. These will include a complete projectorless kit. Later backers will be able to get that same kit for $499. If you wish to order a kit that includes a projector, the kit that includes the 1024×780 projector will be priced around $999, while the 1920×1080 version will be $1,249.

The LittleRP Kits will include:

  • Lasercut Acrylic UV Shield Panels
  • Lasercut Melamine Bonded MDF Panels
  • 2020 T-Slot Frame Material
  • Printed PLA Parts
  • All Required Fasteners
  • Modification Spacers for Acer x1240
  • Pre-Assembled Build Plate and Knob
  • Circular Pre-Coated Vat
  • First Surface Mirror
  • HiWin Linear Rail
  • Sparkfun Redboard pre-loaded with GRBL firmware
  • Custom LittleRP Arduino Shield w/ Stepper Driver
  • High Quality DC Power Supply
  • Integrated Leadscrew Stepper and Nut
  • 100ml MakerJuice SubSF
  • Modified 1024×768 DLP Projector (Complete Kit Only)
  • 1920×1080 DLP Projector (Complete HD Kit Only)

The LittleRP has already been produced in limited quantities for their beta participants, and the company feels that all of the design hurdles have been solved. No further testing needs to be done, and the design is proven and ready to go into full scale production at the conclusion of the Kickstarter campaign.

What do you think? Will you be backing the LittleRP? Discuss in the LittleRP forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out some more videos showing what this 3D printer is capable of below:

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