While the up-down, top-down debate regarding 3D printing is one that enthusiasts often enjoy engaging in, as well as experimenting with, we’re seeing more and more of this technology come along to offer high quality prints—and accelerated speeds.
This is definitely a promise with the new Octave Light R1. Well aware that the competition is stacked up against them with bottom up 3D printers, the Octave team sees numerous benefits with their top-down approach, like eliminating issues such as destruction of prints through too much force while peeling, and high failure rate. The Octave team presents this new machine as one of the most accurate and dependable you will find—while priced affordably—with pre-orders commencing March 13 on Indiegogo, and orders actually being delivered as soon as the end of May.
“It forms solid plastic on the surface of air. Yes, air!” states Charles Lo, the energetic creator of this powerful, energy efficient new machine.
With the inspiration of heroes such as Nikola Tesla, Henry Ford, and Steve Jobs behind him, Lo has worked to create a top-quality 3D printer—fulfilling an interest that began in late 2014, with the goal to see every family on the planet having their own printer.
“In July 2015, the Octave Light Ltd. company took over a mainland China machine shop, with the purpose of transforming the machine shop into a world class 3D printer factory,” says Lo.
Currently on their fourth iteration of the Octave, which is seen in the video below, the team of 11 has now finalized its outer appearance which is indeed quite aesthetically pleasing and as Lo mentions as well, ‘futuristic’ looking.
While the founder of Octave sees many of today’s top-down resin printers as having issues with Z axis direction inaccuracies, the R1 has fully resolved that with regards to the varying location of the resin surface—along with problems keeping the projected image in focus.
“The varying location of the resin surface is because when you put objects inside and under the resin, the resin surface rises; and when you take objects out of the resin, the resin surface lowers,” states Lo.
Due to the laser measurement sensor, combined with the printhead’s vertical movements, the optical engine is always in sharp focus. This new top-down printer also features a recoater. With this feature, each layer is promised to remain completely flat, and allows for superior speed and performance.
“Unlike most top down stereolithography machines that require you to fill the resin tank full to function, the Octave Light R1 can print normally with any amount of resin you have in the tank between the minimum mark and the maximum mark. The more resin you have in the tank, the taller the objects you can print; the less resin you have in the tank, the lower is your resin level, and the shorter in height the objects you can print,” states Lo. “This means our users can save on resin, because they only need to keep the resin level just high enough to print the objects they want to print.”
The R1 is also one of the first high quality, affordable 3D printers of its kind that actually turns off the LED in between exposures, according to Lo. It offers a 365 nm light source, generally only seen featured by industrial SLA machines.
“When we when we say industrial grade, we are serious,” states Lo.
Seeking to create an energy-efficient 3D printer, the Octave team sought to move away from the typical projector light bulbs used, which are short-lived and run very hot. Being designed from an industrial stance, the R1 offers optical components specifically engineered to precisely transmit ultraviolet light—and each 3D printer arrives calibrated with nine digital microscopes simultaneously, ensuring precision.
The Octave team was also diligent in going above and beyond the consumer grade, entertainment-level projectors found so commonly today, which they found to be highly inaccurate for the level of quality found with the R1.
“The majority of DLP 3D printers today use optics that are not engineered and were not originally intended for 3D printing, resulting in their distorted images and distorted prints,” states Lo.
“The Octave Light R1 rejects all compromises. There are no mirrors, no glass or plastic windows, no vat (resin tray) bottom, and nothing is blocking the optical path of our optical engine. The precision lens of the optical engine of the R1 throw its UV light directly onto the top surface of resin. That’s why our optics are of the highest precision in the whole desktop 3D printer market.”
“I am using a ‘digital micro mirror array’ so advanced that it has been available on the market only since Q4 2015,” states Lo.
Also of benefit is that while many bottom-up 3D printers require frequent replacement of consumable parts, the R1 has none, meaning much greater ease for the user.
“With the Octave Light R1, you can just print, print, and print, without interruption,” states Lo.
“If you are a jewelry maker, you can 3D print your casting patterns. If you are an engineer or an interior designer, you can print your CAD drawings into functional prototypes with the Octave Light R1–and if you are a 3D artist, you can turn your digital art into real objects.”
There are numerous other benefits also, as follows:
- Better Z-axis screws
- Larger motors, in the form of the size 23 Nema stepper motor
- Preloaded angular contact bearings for both the printhead Z axis and the build platform W axis
“All you need to do is load your 3D Model into your computer and press the print button,” says Lo. “This is not science fiction; this is the Octave Light R1.”
Discuss in the Octave Light R1 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.