Just yesterday, we reported on the Ester 3D Printer, a selective laser sintering (SLS) machine which is slated to hit crowdfunding site, Indiegogo as soon as today. The campaign will sell developer kits of the SLS 3D printer, starting at just $2,500 (unassembled). Today, we get news that yet another SLS 3D printer will be hitting the crowdfunding space within a few more months, from a company called SinterIt.
With current SLS machines priced in the $250,000+ range, this technology has been reserved for large corporations that can afford a machine with these capabilities. Selective laser sintering works by laying down layers of a powdered material, prior to a laser coming by and sintering it. Sintering is basically a fancy word for melting and hardening. This is done, one layer at a time until a desired object has been completely fabricated.
“We are a group of experienced engineers (ex-Googlers and ABB) working together to build a professional and affordable 3D printer in SLS technology,” SinterIt cofounder and developer, Konrad Głowacki tells 3DPrint.com. “Our mission is to introduce the 5k$ SLS 3D printer into the market. We want to deliver first batch printers in [the] first half 2015. Currently we have a working prototype but we still [need to] make improvements to our design and prepare our final version of electronics and software.”
Glowacki is no newcomer to technology. In fact, he worked for Google as a software engineer for almost four years, until leaving the company this past July. The SinterIt 3D printer will work using layers of nylon 12 powder to print with in a layer-by-layer fashion. The company claims that because of their latest technological innovations they are able to create a product that is much more affordable than other SLS 3D printers already on the market. After working on the engineering and mechanics of their machine for over a year, the company is now in the prototyping stages.
The plan is to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the SinterIt SLS 3D printer sometime in the beginning of next year, with hopes of releasing the first units sometime in the first half of 2015. They claim that the price of $5,000 is achievable due to the innovative components that they have used in order to make the printer as simple as possible, while at the same time, maintaining the required high quality output needed.
“We wanted to reinvent the concept of [the] SLS printer by changing and improving many aspects of its construction,” the company explains. “We managed to achieve [a] smaller size [for] the device and lower production and cost with regards to high quality of printed objects.”
The specifications of this new 3D printer are as follows:
- Ability to Print with powder in any color at high speeds
- Print bed size: 150mm x 150mm x 200mm (5.9 x 5.9 x 7.6 in)
- Print scan speed: Up to 500 mm/s (19.6 in / s)
- Print bed temperature: Up to 180 Celsius degrees (356 F)
- Controlled over WiFi
- Price of materials: Printing powder will be priced under $100 per 1 kg (2.2 lbs)
The SinterIt SLS 3D Printer will come fully assembled and ready to use out of the box. We will definitely be keeping an eye on this product, as it appears the SLS printer wars are about to heat up.. Let us know what you think. Would you consider buying this printer for $5,000? Discuss in the SinterIt Forum thread on 3DPB.com.