Chinese company Wiiboox has been in business since 2014, and was founded with a focus on manufacturing, education, food, and scientific research. Based in Nanjing, with offices in Taiwan and South Korea, Wiiboox has amassed a large selection of 3D printers and 3D scanners in its four years of existence, and most recently it introduced the SLM250, its second metal 3D printer.
The SLM250 is the follow-up to the smaller SLM150, and it’s a sizable machine at 1450 x 1100 x 2100 mm, with a build size of 250 x 250 x 300 mm. The 3D printer can print with a wide variety of metals, including stainless steel, die steel, cobalt chromium alloy, high temperature nickel based alloy, and aluminum alloy. It offers a 200W laser and a scanning speed of 8 m/s, delivering strong metal parts with a layer thickness of 0.02 to 0.1 mm.
The selective laser melting 3D printer boasts high accuracy, thanks to its thin layers and narrow laser beam. It was designed with a unique scanning path and oxygen monitoring system for print quality, and it’s easy to operate, as well. It offers online real time modification of the printing and material parameters, and an intelligent powder coating method makes for a faster printing time. Users can remotely control and monitor the 3D printer with their phones, and several safety and security features are built in to protect both the printer and the user.
In addition to its two SLM 3D printers, Wiiboox offers seven FDM printers, three SLA printers, and two food printers, the Reeyee Choc and the recently released Sweetin. The Reeyee Choc is strictly a chocolate 3D printer, while the Sweetin is designed to produce a wide variety of foods, from chocolate to jam to the curious “purple potato mud.”
It isn’t always that you see companies that offer heavy duty industrial metal 3D printers alongside more novelty items like food printers, but from the very beginning, Wiiboox intended to serve a diverse market. If the company can maintain quality across all of its varied machines, that’s an impressive feat that shows a strong engineering and design team.
Wiiboox is only one of several Chinese 3D printer manufacturers that has arisen over the past several years, and many of these companies have a lot in common in that they offer unusually large selections of 3D printers compared to other manufacturers. It would be easy to dismiss these companies as “quantity over quality,” but China has shown overall that it is serious about 3D printing in medicine, the nuclear industry, construction and much more. The country knows 3D printers, and its manufacturers have generally reflected that knowledge.
We interviewed Carol Wang the Overseas Operation Manager at Wiiboox who proactively answered some of the details we wanted to know more about. Carol said that, “Our suggested retail price is about USD 320,000 to 380,000 according to different configurations and warranties.” The customers that they are targetting are, in the “military, aerospace & automobile industry (lightweight the components used in aircraft and automobiles), the traditional manufacturing industry (for example injection molds, die casting and hot stamping models), medical care (such as customized dentures, implants, and surgical instruments).” The company aims to “develop more than 100 end-users in North America and Europe in the next 3-5 years. We believe our Wiiboox metal 3D printer can be useful and practical in real manufacturing.” Carol also said that the printer lets you choose different “scrapers according to different printing materials and printing requirements in order to improve the printing accuracy.” They’ve also developed “intelligent powder recoating method that saves time” and that they also have a “Unique scanning-path and oxygen monitoring system” to improve print accuracy. One thing that really caught our attention was that
“What’s important, is that we’ve opened the core technical parameters of the build process free of charge, which makes it convenient for our users to test different printing materials and modify the process parameters.”
Contact Wiiboox directly for a quote on the SLM250 or any of its other products.
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