It wasn’t long ago that resin-based desktop 3D printers were only a distant fantasy. DLP and SLA printers existed firmly in the industrial realm until just a few years ago, when Formlabs broke down the wall with the first-ever desktop stereolithography printer. Since then, desktop SLA and DLP technology has been spreading, with particular popularity in the dental and jewelry markets. Still, however, they’ve been on the expensive side so far – but, like more common FDM 3D printers, they’re beginning to go down in price, and a South Korean startup has made it their goal to make resin printing technology accessible to everyone.
Last year, Team Owl Works introduced the Morpheus 3D printer through a successful Kickstarter campaign. Several things made it stand out right away – its huge build volume, for instance, larger than any other desktop resin 3D printer on the market, according to Team Owl Works. In addition, the Morpheus used an entirely new type of resin technology, expanding consumers’ options beyond just SLA and DLP. Light Induced Planar Solidification (LIPS) uses an LCD photo mask and UV LED planar light source to control the solidification of the resin as it’s being printed. It offers numerous advantages over other resin printing technologies, including uniform light intensity, lack of distortion, and better scalability.
It’s also relatively affordable, but the original Morpheus is still out of the price range of most individual makers and hobbyists. Enter the Morpheus Delta, Team Owl Works’ new personal, delta-style version of the Morpheus.
“We think 3D printing is a real O2O (online-to-offline) technology that enables people to bring the digital data to the real physical world. We see some great 3D printers with new technologies are providing excellent performances but many individuals (like me) cannot afford those 3D printers yet because of the price & cost,” SJ Park of Team Owl Works told 3DPrint.com. “The only option for individuals (or personal users) is FDM technology. FDM is affordable but its performance is limited. We want to give another option for them with the resin-based 3D printer at FDM price.”
Obviously, that effort is appreciated – the recently launched Morpheus Delta Kickstarter has already exceeded its $50K funding goal by more than $125,000 with nearly three weeks left in the campaign. It’s incredibly inexpensive for a resin 3D printer – while the eventual retail price is expected to be around $1,000, Kickstarter backers can get it for as little as $579 (rewards actually started at $499, but those were quickly snapped up).
“The Morpheus delta is a resin 3D printer at an affordable price,” Park told us. “Its printing performance is far better than FDM 3D printers and similar to entry-level resin 3D printers (DLP and SLA) on the market now. We believe it will be a good option for those who are not able to buy expensive DLP and SLA 3D printers now, even they are feeling some limits on FDM 3D printers. The Morpheus delta is not the best performance resin 3D printer but it is the best Price-Performance 3D printer on the market.”
It may not be the best-performing resin printer, but it’s still pretty darn good, from the looks of things. The Morpheus Delta is smaller than the original, but still offers a very decently-sized build volume of 150 x 85 x 150 mm (5.9 x 3.4 x 5.9″). It’s fast, with an average print speed of 36 mm or 1.42 inches per hour, and offers a high resolution of ~190 um in-plane and 25~200 um z-axis.
The Morpheus Delta comes with Team Owl Works’ Trinity software, compatible with both Mac and Windows. There’s also an option for stand-alone printing via Raspberry Pi-based nanoDLP, which users can select as an optional add-on. Team Owl Works has developed their own acrylic resin, now available in white, black, red and blue, but they still encourage the use of third-party materials as well.
Reward packages include the printer itself plus 300g of white resin and a post-treatment kit. The nanoDLP option can be added on for an additional $99 after the campaign ends. While the first two reward tiers are already claimed, you can still pledge for highly discounted prices of $579, $649, $679 or $745, with delivery expected for May 2017. You can also pledge $745 for an early version of the printer, to be delivered in January.
Team Owl Works is far from being finished after the Delta campaign ends. They already have several other printer iterations planned, including a Morpheus Jr. portable printer, a Morpheus Giant with an even larger build volume than the original for industrial applications, and a multi-color version.
“We believe creative individuals can change the world to better and we want to support their creative works by providing the affordable-high-performance 3D printer as a tool,” Park told 3DPrint.com. “We do not make 3D printers just to earn money, but need a fund to help us make a revolutionary 3D printer for individuals. That’s why we’re on Kickstarter, again.”