If the last two years were the pinnacle years for FFF/FDM 3D printers — which we have seen drop substantially in price while gaining a slew of interesting features and a faster, more accurate, printing ability — then the next two years may be the pinnacle years for Stereolithography (SLA) technology.
We have seen numerous new 3D printers emerge on the scene over the last several months, which utilize SLA technology in ways foreign to anything in the past. As competition enters the market, the rate of innovation from companies within this space should progress rapidly. One such company may be Cyprus-based Ilios 3D, which has just announced its Ilios Ray 3D Printer, and it is a doozy.
“Everything that any 3D printer user would ever want in an SLA solution has been incorporated into Ilios Ray,” explained the company on their website. “The entire 3D printing experience has been rethought and redesigned from the ground up.”
The printer is packed full of features which might explain its rather hefty price tag of 14,495€ (approximately $18,722). Is it worth the money? That depends on what you or your company are looking for. This is not a printer like anything you have seen before. Below are some of its general specifications:
- Print Resolution: 22 microns (0.022mm)
- Layer Thickness: 6 microns (0.006mm)
- Print Speed: 10 – 15 sec per layer
- Build Envelope: 297mm x 211mm x 300mm
- Printer Size: 892mm x 512mm x 200mm
- Repeat Accuracy:Less than 0.01mm on 300mm
In my opinion, what makes this machine stand out from other SLA printers on the market, is it’s ability to print using four differently colored resin cartridges, mixing them to form a near infinite number of printable colors. Don’t let the term ‘cartridge’ fool you into thinking you will be tied into proprietary resins. The four cartridges, each with a capacity of 220ml, can be refilled with whatever 3rd party resins you desire.
The operation of the Ilios Ray is as streamlined as a machine can get. Almost the entire print process, from start to finish, is automated, including the removal of the fabricated object once completed, as well as the machine’s cleaning and purging. The Ilios Ray also features an in-built post-curing system, to ensure that your prints are able to be 100% cured prior to being placed into use.
There is no doubt this machine is priced out of the reach of most hobbyists and at-home users, however, this could be the perfect, simplistic 3D printer for both large and small businesses. Let us know what you think of this new machine from Ilios 3D. Have they figured out the key to developing a full color SLA printer? Discuss in the Ilios Ray 3D Printer forum thread on 3DPB.com.