When you’re excited about a newly introduced 3D printer, waiting for its official release can feel interminable, particularly if you’re planning to order one. When it finally begins shipping, it’s like Christmas – well, the day it arrives is probably more like Christmas, but still, it’s exciting when a long-anticipated 3D printer finally hits the market. In April, Ilios 3D introduced their new Ilios Beam 3D printer, and at first they were being pretty secretive about it, not even releasing photos until it was set to begin shipping. Regardless, it’s already become quite popular.
According to Demetris Ruslan Zavorotnitsienko, CEO and Lead Developer of Ilios 3D, the Beam is now shipping and the company is already scrambling to keep up with orders. At a price of only €2486, it’s significantly less expensive than the Ilios Ray, on which it was based. The Beam is essentially just a smaller version of the Ray, a unique multicolor SLA 3D printer introduced in 2014. It’s about the closest thing I’ve seen to a “laptop” 3D printer, and it even folds up so that it can be carried like a briefcase. When folded, its dimensions are only 34 x 48 x 11 cm.
The specifications of the printer have changed a bit since it was originally announced, as is common with printers in development. There’s not much difference, though – the build volume, at 170 x 275 x 184 mm, is slightly smaller than the initial 200 x 290 x 200 mm, but that’s not too much of a change. Minimum layer thickness has definitely gotten lower, at 6-12 microns as opposed to 24-50.
“Since we are drawing each layer with an X-Y based laser system, there is no worry about deformation of the projected layer as it would be with a DLP 3D printer and the build area can be as large as needed without compromising Laser Dot shape,” Ilios 3D states. “Due to the low price, we did not implement any automated material delivery system on Ilios Beam, however adding the resin is very simple as it is an open construction and very accessible.”
I would argue that the open resin system is one of the Beam’s most attractive features, as you can use any brand of resin you desire. With four resin cartridges, each capable of printing in a different color, that gives you a lot of freedom – particularly as you can mix resins and experiment with new shades. It’s the painter’s 3D printer, you might say.
The aluminum Ilios Beam comes pre-assembled, with the newest versions of the Ilios Control Unit and the Ilios UI. The Ilios 3D Suite software has also been recently upgraded. You can print directly from your PC or via USB drive or SD card, but it also offers remote monitoring and control via Web interface.
To learn more and order the Ilios Beam, go here. Below you can see a video of the Beam in action – you may notice that there’s no resin, but according to Zavorotnitsienko, the company has already had to ship out all of their demo units, as well as the prototype, due to the high demand for the printer. My initial comment that the printer is already “quite popular” may have been an understatement. Still, you can get a look at the mechanics of it below. Discuss further in the Ilios Beam 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.