It’s been fairly quiet regarding news and updates over the last few months from Ilios, the maker of the Photon 3D printer, but it wasn’t from a lack of activity. Demetris Ruslan Zavorotnitsienko, the director of the company, says it was because he and his team have been hard at work creating a completely new – and much more refined – 3D printing experience for all Ilios products.
“After almost six months of development, we are proud to present a completely new software and electronics package for all Ilios products,” says Zavorotnitsienko. “Features such as WiFi connectivity, new software for preparing the model – and much more – are just some of the things we developed for a much simpler 3D printing experience.”
The Ilios Ray was released at the beginning of 2015, and the company says due to a raft of new features and new functionality, they moved away from open source packages and created completely new and custom solutions for the Ilios family of products moving forward.
“As a starting point, we realized that a custom software package was required to properly prepare the model for 3D printing. Due to the versatile nature of all Ilios 3D printers, the software package was needed to do all the tasks a 3D designer would normally do, before sending the model to a 3D printer,” Zavorotnitsienko says. “Things such as Shell (hollow model creation), Support structures and many more were implemented into the Ilios 3D Suite in an easy to use and intuitive interface. Quite complex mathematics were used for each feature of the software package to make the experience as user friendly as possible, and without compromising its functionality.”
He says that aside from preparing models for output from any Ilios 3D printer, the Ilios 3D Suite can also export the finished files to a USB drive, a feature they say eliminates the need for a computer altogether and is rare in most DLP-based 3D printers.
According to Zavorotnitsienko, the Ilios 3D Suite can now control an Ilios 3D printer with a USB connection, and a completely new User Interface (based on a Linux operating system and controlled through a Color Touch Screen) is now a part of all Ilios products.
“The User interface is hosted within a Linux based processing unit and provides besides the Stand-Alone printing from a USB, features such as Ethernet connectivity to your 3D printer remotely, WiFi access as well as functions like a HotSpot for sharing an Internet connection if it is present through the Wired network, Control of the printer, Automated Firmware updates, multiple languages and even Help as well as Descriptions on its screen when needed,” Zavorotnitsienko notes.
This new UI provides connectivity to an Android and iOS app specifically designed for Ilios 3D printers, and the application also provides connectivity to smartwatches operating on Android Wear such as Moto 360 and Tizen.
An accessory camera can also be connected to the User Interface which streams live images or video to any connected media which is capable of taking snapshots at any time during eh printing process.
According to Zavorotnitsienko, Arduino hardware was completely removed from all Ilios 3D printers and replaced with a custom Ilios Control Box, and the power supply, connections, installation structures, sensors and cable management have all been revamped and specifically developed for improved modularity and reliability.
He adds that all pricing information has been updated in the web shop to reflect the new features and hardware, and that all Ilios Kit & Photon orders – excluding the Ilios for Research Kit – will include the updated hardware free of charge for the time being.
“As we progress and update the software package, features and functionality will also increase since there is much more we want to do to make the 3D printing experience as pleasant as possible,” Zavorotnitsienko says.
Have you ever used an Ilios 3D Printer? What do you think about the company’s upgrades to their hardware and software and their move away from open source? Let us know in the Ilios Software and Electronics Upgrades forum thread on 3DPB.com.