Ilios 3D has an interesting story. Based on the tiny Mediterranean island of Cyprus, the 3D printer manufacturer never intended to become a 3D printer manufacturer at all. RC enthusiast Demetris Ruslan Zavorotnitsienko founded Gizmo For You Ltd in 2008 as a forum for his open source and commercial projects. One of those projects, the Open Source Remote Control, needed some 3D printed parts, but no available printer met Zavorotnitsienko’s requirements and was within his budget – so he decided to develop his own. His intention was to raise enough money to build a few printers for internal use and perhaps sell a few through an Indiegogo campaign, but the Ilios HD SLA 3D printer was such a hit that it snowballed into a side business. Three years later, Ilios is a successful company offering not only the HD but three other printers that have since been developed, plus an array of accessories and materials.
The newest of those 3D printers is the just-unveiled Ilios Beam, which the company describes as the smaller and more affordable version of their Ilios Ray multi-color SLA printer, which was introduced at the end of 2014. The Beam utilizes the same electronics, software and “Laser Draw” technology as the Ray, but it’s far less expensive. The Ray is scarcely affordable for the average home user, but the Beam carries a price tag of only €1,989.
“Since we now can control laser light in any way we need through our software and UI interface, it is much easier to create an affordable platform to utilize the result needed without reverting to complex parts and construction,” the company explains. “Although the final resolution of the build is not as high as Ilios Ray, it is still much higher than an FDM based system and even a projector based solution since the laser is still drawing at a very dense array.”
The Beam comes pre-assembled and equipped with the latest versions of the company’s Ilios Control Unit and Ilios User Interface. Both WiFi and USB capabilities are included, plus a color touch screen and remote monitoring capabilities – you can even monitor and control your print jobs from your smart watch, should you own one. Unlike the Ray, the Ilios Beam does not have an automated material delivery system, but it’s easy to add resin to the printer’s multiple cartridges.
One of the coolest features of the Ilios Beam, in my opinion, is that you can fold it up and carry it with you. It’s compact, extremely light, and “not larger than an attaché case when folded,” says Zavorotnitsienko. It even comes with a handle so that you can easily carry it, like said attaché case. A few more specifications include:
- Printer dimensions: 30 x 38 x 15 cm (when folded)
- Build volume: 200 x 290 x 200 mm
- Layer thickness: 24-50 microns
- Feature size: 50-90 microns
- Repeat accuracy: Less than 20 microns
Ilios is currently taking pre-orders for the Beam, with shipment estimated to begin around mid-July. The company is being a bit mysterious, not releasing any photos of the printer until closer to the shipping date, so you’ll have to use your imagination until then. Discuss in the Beam 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.