I’ve been predicting for some time now that Stereolithography technology will eventually be the preferred technique used in desktop 3D printing. The accuracy and speed, combined with the quality of print, that’s achievable from such technology sets it apart from the currently popular FDM/FFF 3D printers on the market today.
Why haven’t SLA printers taken off as of yet? There are four main obstacles currently holding the technology back: material options, current patents, messy cleanup, and price. One company based out of Madrid, Spain called Kitprinter3D believes that they may be able to tackle some of those obstacles. The young company, which specializes in the sale of 3D printer construction kits, has just announced a new kit for the upcoming SolidRay SLA-DLP 3D printer — a kit which is affordable, bypasses patent concerns, and will provide the accurate, fast, and reliable prints which are often left to the more professional machines.
The kit, which includes all necessary components besides the DLP projector, will be priced rather affordably at just €549 (approximately $585) once it launches on April 15, and will come equipped with a 100ml supply of Maker Juice Resin. When assembled the printer will have a maximum print surface of 90 x 60 mm.
The DLP projector used will determine the quality of the printer. Kitprinter3D specifically recommends using an ACER P1500 projector, which retails for $699. This projector is able to achieve incredibly high resolutions of 50 microns on the X and Y axes, and up to 40 microns on the Z axis, making it ideal for a variety of applications such as jewelry making, intricate art, and high resolution modelling.
“During the last few months we have been developing a new kit with which you’ll be able to build a 3d Printer based on SLA-DLP ® technology,” stated the company in an email to 3DPrint.com. “Until now this technology was available only for a few people, but with the SolidRay you can have it for a similar price to a Prusa i3 (apart from the DLP projector).”
While the ACER P1500 is the recommended projector, any number of more affordable, yet still high quality projectors could be used instead, which can be found on sites such as eBay for under $300.
While SLA technology is slowly making a push into the consumer space, it’s the faster SLA-DLP technology which could ultimately win out, as such printers are able to fabricate objects one layer at a time by curing a photosensitive resin using the light emitted from a high resolution DLP projector.
Let us know if you plan on purchasing the Solidray kit. Discuss in the Kitprinter3d SolidRay forum thread on 3DPB.com.