For one 3D printer manufacturer, Flashforge, 2014 was a huge year for them. Not only did sales of their new Dreamer take off, but the company also had a hand in helping Dremel launch their Idea Builder 3D printer. They are certainly one of those companies to keep an eye on in 2015.
At CES 2015, Flashforge was on hand to show off, not only some of their already released 3D printers, but also some brand new machines slated to launch sometime later this year.
THE FINDER FFF 3D PRINTER
First on-hand was a 3D printer called the Finder, which is designed for kids, and is expected to be released sometime around May 2015. While the model at CES was just a prototype, the final product should look very similar. Peter Hsiao of Flashforge USA provided 3DPrint.com with some details on this upcoming 3D printer.
The Wi-Fi enabled Flashforge Finder features a very clean design that keeps all of the cables hidden and out of sight. While the model that was presented at CES was red in color, we are told that they will come in a variety of different color options. It will also feature automatic bed leveling that will self-adjust for any discrepancies, if/when found. The extruder on the Finder is completely overhauled from the extruders found on Flashforge’s other FFF 3D printers. We are told it will be capable of printing with PLA and feature a build size of around 5.5 inches in all three directions. Other specifications are not yet known.
THE DLP EXPLORER
Flashforge also plans on expanding their technology from manufacturing only FFF 3D printers to also include the creation of SLA-based DLP 3D printers, with the unveiling of their new DLP Explorer. The Explorer is an SLA/DLP 3D printer which is expected to be priced “very competitively” with other SLA-based 3D printers on the market today. The print resolution is phenomenal, and in fact we were shown several examples of prints (seen in images below). It will marketed as an “industrial-level desktop 3D printer,” and it is capable of highly efficient molding, making it great for creating molds for jewelry. Below you will find some specifications for this new 3D printer, which is expected to be released around April 2015.
- Layer Thickness: 0.025 mm
- XY Positioning Accuracy: 0.05 mm
- Support Material: FE1200 (for lost wax casting) or FE1100 (for high-hardness DLP projector)
- Working Voltage: 220 VAC, 50 Hz
- Input Power: 300 W
- Working Temperature: 20-30 C
- Display Port: DVI
- Print Speed: 43 cubic cm/hour
- Build Size: 76.8 x 57.6 x 150 mm on standard resolution or 51.2 x 38.4 x 150 mm on high resolution
OBSERVER 3D SCANNER
Flashforge isn’t stopping with just two new 3D printers. They are also introducing a new 3D scanner which they call the OBSERVER. Its technology is capable of “half-body” scanning in just 25 seconds, or “full-body” scanning in 100 seconds. It will feature a built-in magnesium alloy cooling system, which looks to provide a longer lasting service life. It is constructed with a high purity optical lens, providing for more accurate color collection than many other scanners on the market today.
The OBSERVER works using “invisible light scanning” which is harmless to the eye, and provides for high precision depth-detection, making it ideal for high scanning accuracy. No release date was provided but we can assume it will be coming sometime in 2015 as well. Below you will find some additional specifications, as we were provided by the company.
- Scanning Resolution: 600×500
- Color Lense: Polarization Cmos 650,000
- Scanning Accuracy: 0.2 mm
- Color Restoration Rate: Original file can reach 95%
- Fastest Imaging Time: 3.5 seconds per lap
- Multicore Support: Intel I3 – I7
- Application Area: Entire objects including human hair and black objects
- Interface: USB 2.0 transmission
- Access Speed per Second: 30 frames/second
- Scanning Scope: 400-3000 mm
- Color Focus Time: 0.005 seconds
- Color: 16 bit
- Physical Dimensions: 260 x 170 x 300 mm
- Scanning Angle: 50×35 degrees
- Weight: 550 grams
The OBSERVER 3D scanner will also come with a one-year replacement plan for any quality problems that may be experienced.
Flashforge had a huge year in 2014, but it’s looking as though 2015 will be even bigger for the company, with the pending release of these two new 3D printers and a 3D scanner. What do you think about these new machines? Will you be looking to purchase any upon their releases? Discuss in the Flashforge forum on 3DPB.com. Check out some prints from the DLP Explorer below.