Speeds of 3D printers are getting better. According to a recent presentation by 3D Systems, printer speeds are, on average, doubling every two years. This is an amazing statistic because if this trend continues, within the next decade, print time will no longer be a major factor within additive manufacturing. To get to this point, however, new technologies need to be developed, tested, and perfected.
One Chinese man named Yiming He, is doing just this. He has set out to create a high speed, high resolution, stereolithography based 3D printer. His printer that he is trying to raise $75,000 on Indiegogo to produce, is called the Rayee. The Rayee SLA 3D printer works in a unique way, to print at incredibly fast speeds. Instead of using a a laser or DLP projector to cure a resin, like other SLA printers do, Rayee uses a pixelated LCD screen to cure entire layers of resin at a time.
According to Yiming He, Rayee is capable of printing 22 vertical millimeters per hour, meaning that something like an iPhone case could be printed in approximately 20 minutes, or a child’s shoe can be created in about two and a half hours.
In order to create such a unique device, Yiming and his team had to overcome several frustrating obstacles. They had to create their own back-light module so that enough quanta light could be directed at the resin to cure an entire layer at once, within seconds. They also had to develop their own photosensitive resin which would work with the back-light module which they created.
Here are some basic Specifications for the Rayee 3D Printer:
- Expected Printer Size: 270 mm(L) x 190 mm(W) x 300 mm(H) (10.6 x 7.5 x 11.8 inch).
- Expected Printer Weight: 5.8 Kg (12.8 lbs)
- Build Speed: 22 vertical mm/hour
- Horizontal Resolution: 0.1333 mm
- Vertical Resolution: 0.022 – .2 mm
They have made tremendous progress thus far, writing software and firmware for the new processes, creating their own resin and back-light module, building several prototypes, and connecting with a flexible supply chain. However, in order to continue their development of the Rayee, additional funding is needed. Yiming and his team need to further test their production prototype, secure a mass production method, finish improvements on the software, and make sure their design is just right for mass manufacturing.
Their Indiegogo campaign will run until July 19th, and if funded, mass production of the Rayee will begin as early as September, with an expected commencement of delivery of October 10th of this year. Backers of the project can receive a Rayee for a contribution of $875, making this printer extremely affordable for an SLA device. Discuss the the technology behind Yiming’s innovative new device at the 3DPB.com forum thread for the Rayee 3D Printer. Check out the video from the Indiegogo campaign for further details. (note that the English is not great, however captions are provided within the video)
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