Currently there are two main technologies driving the market for consumer-based desktop 3D printing. The first is Fused Filament Fabrications (FFF) and the second is Stereolithography (SLA). FFF technology is used in printers, sold by companies such as MakerBot, which extrude a melted thermoplastic one layer at a time. SLA technology has only begun to make its way into the market, thanks to FormLabs. By relying on a DLP projector or a laser to cure a photosensitive resin, SLA technology is able to produce much more accurate results, and oftentimes at speeds just as fast as, if not sometimes faster than, FFF technology.
You might be thinking to yourself, why would anyone want to purchase an FFF machine when SLA technology is so much better? Well, price is one of the main issues. The lack of competition within the SLA desktop space has prevented a rapid drop in pricing like we have seen with FFF printers on the market today. This is all about to change, however, thanks to a company called SprintRay.
Headquarted in Redondo Beach, CA, SprintRay is the brainchild of co-founders Amir Mansouri and Jasper J. Zhang, both Ph.Ds out of University of Southern California whom I had the pleasure of meeting at the Inside 3D Printing Conference in Santa Clara last week. The company, which has been developing a DLP-based SLA 3D printer called the StarRay for over a year now, has just announced its availability. The new printer features the following specifications:
- Printer Technology: SLA
- Printer Size: 16.9 x 13.3 x 28.7 inches
- Build Envelope: 4.8 x 3.6 x 9 inches
- Print Resolution: .12mm
- Printing Spped: 10-20 seconds/layer
- Minimum Layer Thickness: 20 microns
Priced at just $1,999, and available for purchase in a limited quantity on the company’s website, this machine should be a significant step toward more widespread SLA-based 3D printing. In addition to the StarRay, the company also has plans for a more compact DLP printer which will be called the MoonRay. With similar specifications as the StarRay, this printer, which will be launching on Kickstarter sometime next year, will be priced under $3,000 according to Mansouri.
Both machines utilize DLP projectors, which the company feels puts out quite high resolutions. The MoonRay will use an in-house manufactured projector, however, which should be superior to that of the current technology on the market today. I was able to see and touch some of the objects fabricated with the StarRay and I can tell you that the resolutions on almost all the objects were quite impressive. On top of all of this, the company will also include a software which will automatically create supports for the printing process.
Making SLA 3D printing even more affordable, SprintRay will also be offering their own photosensitive resin at a price which is about 50% of their competitions’. A one liter bottle will only cost $50, according to Mansouri. Check out some of the photos below from the conference, and as always, let us hear your feedback on this story in the SprintRay SLA 3D Printer forum thread on 3DPB.com.
You May Also Like
Tuning 3D Printed Flexible Materials with Microfluidics Droplet System
As the name suggests, microfluidics is centered around the behavior, manipulation, and control of fluids that have been constrained to a very small scale. Obviously, accurate handling is of the...
3D Printed Respirator Masks Below N95 Standards, Says Virginia Tech Team
We’ve been cautious and careful about promoting 3D-printed COVID safety equipment here at 3DPrint.com. We talked about a general principle of first doing no harm and also discussed safety recommendations...
6K Partners with Relativity Space, Commissions UniMelt to Transform Sustainability in Metal 3D Printing
On the heels of their recent announcement of commissioning the first two commercial UniMelt systems for sustainable production of additive manufacturing (AM) powders, 6K has now partnered with Relativity Space...
Hybrid Drug Delivery Systems Made by Combining FFF 3D Printing & Conventional Manufacturing
Over the last few years, research has shown that 3D printing has a lot of potential for fabricating drug delivery systems. Now, a group of researchers from the Aristotle University...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.