We’ve been following Ilios 3D closely lately, as the small Cypress-based company tries to work its way back from the brink of extinction. It was only two months ago that founder Demetris Ruslan Zavorotnitsienko announced that he would be closing the company that he had built as he no longer had the budget or time to keep up with the competition of new 3D printers being introduced into the market through crowdfunding campaigns every day. Only days later, however, he decided that he wasn’t ready to give up, announcing that he would be focusing on the development of the Ilios Photon 2 to try to keep the company going.
At this point, things are looking encouraging for Zavorotnitsienko, who updated us two weeks ago on the progress he has been making with the Photon 2. He had listened closely to feedback from customers and kept their requests and suggestions in mind as he designed the new printer, resulting in a machine with new features including a removable resin vat, UV protective surroundings, variable resolution and an RFID door lock. He also invested in a new compact UV-based DLP projector.
Now the Ilios Photon 2 has been fully assembled and has printed its first sample – and it looks pretty good.
“The UV projector characteristics are so sharp that we can actually see individual pixels on the model so the resolution is really awesome. Also thanks to the completely rigid construction of the printer and no Flex in the moving parts, each layer is rock solid and consistent so the intersections are seamless and without defects,” Zavorotnitsienko told 3DPrint.com. “Since the UV projector is exposing pure UV light, with enough magnification you can even see individual pixels, which are also so sharp due to the all-new VAT construction and optics on the projector itself.”
Though it may look small, Zavorotnitsienko assures customers that the 105 x 165 x 210 mm build volume is plenty sizable enough for most applications, particularly because models that don’t fit horizontally can be printed vertically, as the layer consistency won’t allow even long prints to deform. It’s a versatile 3D printer, he continues; the ultra-fine resolution is ideal for jewelry and medical applications, and even microfluidics, “where each pixel counts when making those fine channels for experimentation chips,” he adds.
The new vat does not require PDMS or non-stick film; the layers are easy to remove without damaging the print, and the vat is spacious enough to hold enough resin for most prints. It’s also easy to remove, which should please the many users who wrote in to request a removable vat.
“Since the Photon 2 is a DLP 3D printer, don’t forget that the print speed is only determined by the model height, meaning that a single model will be printed in the same time as multiple ones with the approximately same height,” Zavorotnitsienko says. “Meaning that you can fill the build area with as many models as can fit and still print in the same amount of time as a single model would…Since the 3D printer uses a DLP projection to print the model, the print speed does not change based on the model size and only is affected based on the model height. This means that the same model can be populated on the build area as many times as needed while the print time will remain the same.”
In addition to everything else, the Photon 2 is a visually appealing printer with hand-carved and painted designs enhancing its silver metal frame. The printer, which you can purchase here, retails for €3,265. Below, you can get a look at the Ilios Photon 2 as it prints a high-resolution model:
Discuss in the Ilios Photon 2 forum at 3DPB.com.
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