A type of 3D printer we’ve seen hitting the market more and more frequently is the jewelry printer, which often doubles as a dental printer. The two applications share similar requirements – a printer that is capable of printing tiny, high-resolution objects with a great deal of detail. For this reason, most jewelry and dental printers we’re seeing right now are of the DLP (digital light processing) variety, which uses light-cured resin for sharp detail in even the smallest prints. DLP printers tend to be on the expensive side, but a Chinese manufacturer is about to release a jewelry/dentistry 3D printer qualified with extreme high resolution and outstanding output for a fraction for a fraction of the cost of similar printers.
MakeX Technology launched their first 3D printer, the M-One, on Kickstarter in 2014, and now Makex returns with M-Jewelry printer via Kickstarter on October 17. While the final price has not yet been revealed, the printer will be sold at anywhere from one-half to one-quarter of the cost of a typical jewelry printer – as, according to MakeX, the price through Kickstarter will be highly attractive, available at nearly half of its retail price to backers, starting at lower than $2,000 USD.
MakeX has already proven that they know how to build a high-resolution printer with the M-One, which was introduced back in 2014. Also introduced through Kickstarter, the M-One campaign surpassed its funding goal of $100,000, bringing in a total of $180,481. A previous Kickstarter success always bodes well for a future Kickstarter success, so I expect the M-Jewelry will do well. It has a lot to offer – and is especially designed for jewelers and dentists with the ultra-high precision as fine as 32 microns in XY and 1 micron in Z axis. Such a high precision is designed to perfectly meet the needs of casting requirements for jewelers. It also is the most important advantage of M-Jewelry.
The M-Jewelry also boasts several features that make it a user-friendly, low-stress investment. Its UV LED light source should last for over 50,000 hours of printing, and a 3.5-inch touchscreen control interface makes it easy to operate. It also offers wireless printing capabilities for synchronous control of multiple machines at a time. MakeX set these advanced technologies in place to design the M-Jewelry as an investment for any jewelry or dentistry user.
The M-Jewelry actually comes in two versions – the 50 micron resolution option for jewelry production, and a dentistry-optimized version with a resolution of 32 microns. It’s a little guy, with a maximum build volume of 64 x 40 x 130 mm, but when you’re printing jewelry pieces or dental guides, you don’t need much space. On the contrary, the small size makes it conveniently lightweight and portable, at 7 kg (about 15 pounds) and a total size of 270 x 250 x 380 mm.
MakeX is also launching a jewelry printing service that allows users to design their own jewelry and order it printed through Makex. The My Jewelry site gives users several options for customizing their own ring design (right now it looks like it’s just rings, though more options may be coming soon), such as size, shape, and material; the user can also choose to have letters or words printed on the ring in several choices of fonts. The option to have the design professionally printed will be available shortly; right now, users can get a free STL file of their design generated by the site.
MakeX is also planning to expand the My Jewelry site into a professional service bureau, and they’re looking to work with not only jewelers but other companies and research institutes to produce custom metal items. If you’re interested in collaborating, you can contact MakeX here.
Many companies, both established corporations and Kickstarter-launched startups, have been designing quality 3D printers for an affordable cost, but it’s not often that you see a Kickstarter that offers a machine so specialized and typically expensive for a low price. Makex has come up with a very attractive product – particularly because many jewelers, especially those just starting out, are unable to afford a typical jewelry 3D printer. With the M-Jewelry printer, MakeX is likely to draw a very interested, and loyal, customer base. Discuss in the M-Jewelry forum at 3DPB.com.