Chinese 3D printer manufacturer Zhuhai CTC was a frequent presence in the news last year, with the announcement of a forthcoming inkjet 3D printer, a Kickstarter launch of a 4-in-1 3D printer, and more. Despite some delays, the Formaker 4-in-1 printer finally came to fruition, with rewards being shipped to US backers just a couple of weeks ago. Zhuhai CTC seems to be fully invested in the development of never-before-seen 3D printing technology; their innovative twists on 3D printers make them a consistently interesting company to watch.
Today Zhuhai CTC has expanded beyond their desktop offerings with their first-ever industrial 3D printer. While it may come as a surprise to desktop 3D printer enthusiasts, industrial printers actually contributed to 70% of 3D printing market sales in 2015, according to a recent study by market research firm IDC. Granted, industrial 3D printers are more expensive than desktop printers, so they’re going to contribute more capital per purchase, but they’re still a very significant part of the 3D printing industry, and Zhuhai CTC has taken notice. The Riverbase 500 is an industrial SLA 3D printer with laser galvanometer scanning technology, and it operates with Zhuhai CTC’s proprietary operating system RiverOS.
“Stereolithography 3D printing is one of the most wildly used materials deposition-based 3D printing technologies for industrial applications,” the company states in a press release. “According to preliminary statistics, over 50 percent of industrial 3D printers installed across the world are stereolithography ones. In China, stereolithography 3D printers account for 60 percent of those in use of in the process of installation for industrial applications, most of which are imported devices. Riverbase 500 is China’s first Gcode-format 3D printer equipped with software operating on CTC’s proprietary operation system RiverOS.”
The Riverbase 500 combines the capabilities of an industrial printer with the user-friendliness of a desktop printer. It’s big – 1.75 x 1.10 x 1.95 m, with a print area of 500 x 400 x 300 mm, and a print volume of 100.0L. It’s designed to be very stable and promises reliable, even coatings thanks to a negative pressure-and-adsorption-based system. It’s a highly automated printer, too. Processing is nice and fast with automated optimization of software-designed scanning paths, and liquid levels are also automatically controlled for precise processing. Finally, control of the print process is fully automated as well – you can leave the printer alone for 24 hours and it’ll keep going.
Let’s check out some more specifications, shall we? Here’s the Riverbase 500 at a glance:
LASER & RESIN
- Type of laser: Laser ND:YVO4
- Wave length: 355nm
- Power: 300MW-500MW
- Materials: photosensitive resin
LASER SCAN SYSTEM
- Valid spot diameter: 0.10-0.16mm
- Scanning galvanometer: F-THETA-LEN system
- Parts scanning speed: 6.0-12m/s
- Volume: 100.0L
- XYZ: 500 × 400 x 300 mm
- Operating system: Windows 7, Windows XP
- 3D software: Riverside OS
- Data format: Gcode
- CAD interface: 3D design software, STL file format
The Riverbase 500 is currently priced at RMB530,000 in China ($86,000). Discuss this new technology in the Riverbase 500 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.