Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Tablet-Based Forge 1 SLA 3D Printer Arrives on Kickstarter

ST Medical Devices

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You can use a tablet for a lot of things – to work, to play music, to watch movies, take photos, communicate with others, the list goes on. Many 3D printers allow you to control and monitor print jobs directly from your tablet, but now you can add being part of the physical 3D printing process to the list of things that tablets can do. The Forge 1, a new SLA 3D printer available today on Kickstarter, uses the light from an ordinary tablet to cure the 3D printed resin.

The Forge 1 was developed by Visionsforge, a Swiss company founded with the intent of creating a 3D printer that would be faster, less expensive, and offer a better build volume than other 3D printers on the market. The Kickstarter campaign is being launched after two years of development, and the Forge 1 is being offered at a cost up to six times less than other SLA 3D printers. The simplicity of the 3D printer is part of both its low cost and its durability – much of the operation is left up to the tablet, meaning that there is less need for the 3D printer to have lots of parts. And with fewer parts, there’s less chance something will break.

It’s designed to be easily upgraded, too. If a newer, bigger interface is released, users only need to buy the lower front part of the 3D printer, which has the new interface integrated on it, and easily mount it in a few minutes.

“Forge 1 is very robust and built for lasting many decades, thats why we chose classic lines and engineered it from the very beginning, with the ease of upgrade in mind,” said Founder and CEO Fabrizio Guadagnino.

The Forge 1 prints at room temperature and is designed to be safe to use. A few specifications include:

  • Dimensions: 405 x 500 x 675 mm
  • Weight: 14 kg
  • Build volume: 165 x 293 x 430 mm – 20,788 cubic cm
  • Tank volume: 4 liters
  • Print speed: 20-40 cc per hour
  • Print resolution: 5-100 microns layer height

As you can see, Visionsforge wasn’t joking about offering a build envelope much larger than other 3D printers on the market. It’s far less expensive, too, starting at CHF 899 for early birds on Kickstarter. That’s for the 3D printer itself – you supply your own tablet. If you want a tablet as well, the price is CHF 1,199 for early birds, still much lower in cost than your typical SLA 3D printer. Each Kickstarter reward option also comes with a 1.8-liter resin pack.

Many 3D printer manufacturers extol the green virtues of their machines, but Visionsforge is taking its eco-friendliness a step further by planting a tree for every Forge 1 3D printer sold. 50 trees have been planted already, and the company is hoping for a major reforestation effort to take place.

“I hope other entrepreneurs will follow our example because in that case, there would be millions of trees planted every year,” Guadagnino noted to 3DPrint.com.

The Forge 1 is easy to use and comes ready to go right out of the box. Thanks to wireless charging and Bluetooth and WiFi connections, there are no cables to deal with, either. The software is simple and intuitive. Everything about the 3D printer was designed to be user-friendly and to last; Visionsforge describes it as “a revolution in accessibility.”

Visionsforge is hoping to raise CHF 40,000 (about US$40,560) on Kickstarter; the campaign officially launches today. Rewards are expected to ship in April 2018. This is a 3D printer that has been worked on and fine-tuned for a long time, and now the result of all that hard work is ready for the market. Visionsforge prides itself on being a forward-thinking company with novel ideas, and hopes to show itself as such through the Forge 1. As Guadagnino commented:

“If we always were following the beaten tracks, we would still live in caves.”

 

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

[Images: Visionsforge]

 

 

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