Last year Vicenza, Italy-based DWS LAB unveiled the beta version of their XFAB Laser SLA 3D Printer at CES. At the time, many details were lacking and since then the printer has yet to officially launch. The company, which has over seven years of experience within the prototyping sector, has been working diligently to finalize the schematics of the XFAB machine prior to its official launch, and has improved many of its features since last year’s showing. These improvements include:
- Higher building speed
- Higher resolution and surface quality
- Intelligent cartridge system
- Nauta XFAB edition software suite
- Additional material portfolio (Castable Wax for Lost Wax Casting)
This week we got word that the DWS LAB will officially be launching the new machine at the 2015 International CES. In doing so they have also released further information to us about the printer, the technology behind it, and its price.
To start, the XFAB 3D printer will be available for pre-order imminently, with the very first units shipping in the first half of this year. DWS has completed the build of a new production facility, where the XFAB assembly line will be operative in Spring 2015 and this will be the definitive delivery start time. Priced at $5,000 + VAT for North American countries, this machine falls in the middle range of the market. The printer is being marketed as a high-end machine at a consumer-level price, and utilizes a patented laser SLA technology which is incredibly powerful for a desktop 3D printer.
“This patented technology can turn a much wider variety of materials into solid: acrylate resin, ABS, polypropylene, rigid opaque, transparent, rubber and ceramic,” explained DWS to 3DPrint.com.
The full list of materials compatible with this machine includes: standard acrylate (amber), ABS-like (grey and white), polypropylene, rigid opaque, transparent, rubber-like (black and transparent), ceramic nano-filled, and castable wax. The main advantages of the XFAB printer over some of the competition are its:
- Large building area
- Patented TTT (Tank Translation Technology) system, which allows building of tall objects without collapses and long life of the resin tank
- Widest material range in the category, from ABS to polypropilene, rubbers, castable wax, etc.
- Highest surface quality like professional DWS 3D printers
- Highest building speed
- Intelligent material cartridges with no leakage and clean use without gloves (mandatory for educational use)
- Professional-level software suite
“The main differentiator for XFAB is that it uses Laser Stereolithography but is still affordable,” explained the company. “Laser Stereolithography is able to print a much broader choice of materials with greater precision than currently available consumer 3D printers. There are a couple of other printers out there at a similar price point ($5K plus tax), but not with the print range and material choice. DWS has an established industrial business and this is its first foray into the lower-end game. While most of XFAB competitors (Formlabs, FSL3D) are targeting consumer markets with small size and moderate performance 3D printers, XFAB is the first Prosumer 3D Printer having most of the technical specifications and performance of DWS’s professional systems.”
The printer has a working area of 180 x 180 mm, and utilizes a solid state BlueEdge BE-1300X laser. It is able to achieve 80 micron feature sizes, and has a slice thickness of 10-100 microns. The printer itself measures 420 x 638 x 590 mm, and runs on Nauta XFAB Edition software.
As we have stated in the past, the materials sub-market is where the biggest innovations are taking place within the 3D printing space. The XFAB 3D Printer certainly takes advantage of these innovations and presents a machine which appears to be a step up from the competition. For those of you wanting to see the new machine in action, DWS Lab will be present at booth #72418 at the 2015 International CES from January 6-9. We will certainly be checking them out. How about you? Let us know your thoughts on this new machine in the DWS LAB XFAB 3D printer forum thread on 3DPB.com.