Last week, we were saddened to hear about the imminent closing of Ilios 3D, the small Cyprus-based manufacturer of innovative 3D printers like the Ilios Ray, the Ilios Beam and the Ilios Photon. Despite the desire to keep developing and manufacturing new printers, said founder Demetris Ruslan Zavorotnitsienko, the company no longer had the funding to continue, much to the chagrin of Ilios 3D’s many fans.
It’s clear that Zavorotnitsienko cares deeply about the business he created, and he’s still not quite ready to give up completely just yet. Before he made the announcement that he’d be selling the company, Zavorotnitsienko was hard at work developing the next Ilios 3D printer, and now he has decided to release it in hopes that new sales may be able to give the company enough of a boost to keep going into 2017. The Ilios Photon 2, a UV DLP SLA 3D printer, is largely the result of user feedback on previous printers – as Zavorotnitsienko tells 3DPrint.com, it’s “essentially every user comment and feedback as well as my experience meshed into a single product.”
The original Photon was immensely popular for its simplicity, affordability and flexibility; users loved the fact that the printer could be easily modified by rearranging and adding parts. The sturdy metal machine offered users a lot of design freedom by allowing them to choose between multiple DLP projectors based on their printing needs, with an impressive spectrum of layer height options ranging from 6 to 50 microns.
The Ilios Photon 2 maintains the simple reliability of its predecessor, with a few key modifications. It’s more compact, with a build volume of 106 x 165 x 200 mm, but still retains the customizable design that attracted so many fans to the original. The single projector is still mounted on the back of the printer, connected to a motorized system that moves it up and down to change the resolution and build size – the closer the projector gets to the mirror, the higher the resolution and smaller the build size. The user can control the variable resolution with printer pre-sets, ensuring a consistent resolution and build aspect ratio.
The Photon 2 also features the vat swipe and tilt mechanism that was originally designed for the Ilios HD, the printer that spurred the creation of the company with its massively successful Indiegogo campaign. The material vat is mounted on a separate movable slide and installed in a metal frame with simple mounting clamps for easy removal. The Photon 2 also has a UV protected enclosure with an RFID card for extra safety if used in an educational facility, and the lift plate features a mesh surface for reliable adhesion and easy print removal.
In addition to its enhanced features, the Ilios Photon 2 is a work of art. Each printer has been handcrafted with carved designs and bronze detailing for a beautifully unique look.
The Ilios Photon 2 is available for €3265, and all orders are expected to ship by late January to mid-February. If all goes well, Zavorotnitsienko says, the Photon 2 will become the company’s flagship printer in the future.
“Perhaps the best present i could have for the end of this year in my attempt to save Ilios 3D is to receive enough Ilios Photon 2 orders or at least enough orders for any Ilios 3D printer so we can keep working,” he adds.
We’ve seen other companies on the verge of going out of business be rescued at the last minute, so there’s hope for Ilios 3D. If you’ve been thinking about a DLP 3D printer, go check out the Photon 2 in more detail – it’s very affordable for a resin printer, and its quality can be backed up by the many positive reviews its predecessors have received. Discuss in the Photon 2 forum at 3DPB.com.