Chimera $60 DLP High-Res 3D Printer

I have been on a hunt for the past several years to find a cheap and simple, yet moderately high resolution 3D printer. I had 3 different 3D printers partially constructed when I heard about the amazing technology of DLP Stereo lithography (SLA) printers. I have finally found enough parts at the right price to construct a fully functional printer capable of amazing quality with spending less than $100. Top down DLP printers in their simplest form have only one axis of motion, a video projector, and minimal electronics. They do not require a heated or perfectly level bed, there is never a clogged or wrong temperature in the extruder as it does not use an extruder. And the resin used has a comparable price to FDM printers.

I Started this project to show that you dont need a lot of money or special equipment to start experimenting with 3D Printing. While this printer was not meant to give the same quality as an expensive printer such as the form 1, the results I got exceeded my expectations. There are still a few bugs to work out but, it definitely is usable. If you would like to see a video of it printing, the video is in Step 12.

The chimera (ky-meer-a) is a mythological creature that is made up of 3 different animals, this printer is made using the recycled/modified parts of 3 different categories (projector, toys, and old computer stuff), hence the name.

I am always looking for constructive criticism, let me know of any ways I can improve on the project, or the instructable!

Before continuing I would like to apologize for the not-up-to-current-standards pictures and video quality, I am working with almost or over a decade old equipment in bad lighting. I will try to update the photos once I get a better quality camera and/or find a better location for pictures.

Update 7/14/15This project won one of the enthusiast grand prizes in the2015 3D printing contest. Thank you everyone for their votes, and thank you instructables for continuing to be the best online DIY community! I am glad I could contribute to this site and hope my next project will spark as much interest as this one did.

Lets start out with the basics, in 1986 Charles W. Hull created stereo-lithography as a form of fabrication that uses ultraviolet light to cure a polymer resin to create solid objects. Since then, projection technology has opened up a highly accurate, fairly cheap, and easily accessible form of ultraviolet emission. A DLP printer is different from the normal FDM (fused deposition molding) 3d printers that have been dominating the community, an FDM machine uses an extrusion system similar to an advanced hot glue gun that is attached to an apparatus that can move the extruder in an X, Y, and Z direction. The extruder must follow a path made by a computer to print objects. A DLP printer uses the stationary projector to display the entire X and Y portions at once onto a resin that turn from a solid into a liquid from the light emitted by the projector in the shape of the projected image, and uses one axis for the Z motion.

Resin tank vs. resin vat – The biggest difference in the abilities of top down vs. bottom up printing comes from the limits of the container that holds the resin. In a top down system the platform and object slowly gets submerged deeper into the resin and is limited by how deep the tank is. This is not a problem if you only want to make small detailed prints as I designed this printer to do. Bottom up printers use a shallow tank and the object rises up out of the resin and is not limited by the vat size.

Viscosity – Top down system require a low viscosity resin in order to work properly, as it relies on the resin to flow on its own over the platform, and level properly when the object is lifted to skim just below the surface. Without a wiper apparatus you have to wait for resin to settle before you are able to print with your desired layer thickness. Luckily, MakerJuices SubG+ has a low viscosity and works very well for top down systems. Bottom up printers squish the resin to the desired layer thickness.

Warping – Warping effects both types of printers, but effects each printer differently. In a bottom up printer, each layer of the object is created pressed between the bottom of the vat and the previous layers, that combined with the ability to use low viscosity liquids provides very little warping per layer. However with top down systems the object is free to curl and warp if it does not stick properly to the build platform. And low viscosity resins tend to have a slightly higher shrinkage per volume unit.

Object stress – Bottom up printed objects suffer from numerous forces acting on it throughout the build process. Every layer has a suction force trying to pull the object off of the build platform, and tilt/slide mechanisms are applying forces in many directions at once, along with gravity pulling down on the entire object. In a top down printer, the printed object has almost the same density as the liquid resin so gravity it not a problem. And the only forces acting upon the object is shrinkage.

The ultimate advantage to top down over bottom up is its

, where bottom up printers require tilt/slide mechanisms and expensive/messy vat coatings, top down printers only move up and down and can use almost any container for the tank.

Even though bottom up printers are capable of printing larger and higher quality objects with less resin, I decided to build a Top down printer for its simplicity and ease of construction.

Edison once said invention requires imagination and a pile of junk. I had a few ideas, so it was time to head to the pile of junk (really, I have one). Out of that pile came old printer carriages, steel smooth rod, old disk drives, stepper motors and other misc electronics. The one part that I had to buy was the DLP projector.

1x mitsubishi XD221u 1024×768 video projector -ebay $50, was $40 when I bought mine.

1x computer disc drive laser deck assembly (must be one with a stepper motor) -Free, from scrap disc drive

1x Arduino UNO/Duemilanove , or atmega328 based Arduino clone-$4 ebay

(optional) Ability to etch circuit boards (you can protoboard/breadboard it if you have to)

(possibly) 5v, .5A power supply. Some laser decks can be powered by the USB port by the Arduino, some may need a power supply to be plugged into the Arduino or M+ on the easydriver to make the motor move. It will depend on the power of your USB port. My deck did not need one.

(optional for frame) scrap wood-free or 2x4ft MDF board -$10 home depot

While the actual 3d printer can be built for less than $60 you will still need resin to print anything.

MakerJuice red G+ resin -500ml for $35or 1L for $60

I only spent $39.99 for the projector, and got the resin for free using gift cards acquired frombing rewards. And I already had all of the other parts. So I built this for a total cost of only $39.99, which is very good especially considering the quality of the parts that it prints.

There are many projectors out in to market today, and as this is the most important part of the 3d printer, it is important to choose a good one. There are a few projectors i see referenced as being used for 3d printers, namely the the dell 2300 and 2400, and the infocus 2104. But in theory any DLP projector can work as long as you keep a few thing in mind when choosing a projector.

You need a projector that uses DLP(Digital Light Processing) technology for projection. DLP technology uses an array of micro mirrors to turn pixels on and off. The mirrors reflect the light directly from the bulb to the emitter lens without passing through much.

What you dont want is an LCD(Liquid Crystal Display) type of projector. LCD projector direct the light through an LCD panel that uses transistors to turn pixels on and off, if the pixel in on, then the light has to pass through several layers of plastic, glass, and polarizing filters before the image gets projected. Much of the UV light that is needed to cure the resin gets absorbed by the LCD panel and there will not be enough left over to cure the resin. once again, LCD projectors can NOT be used for resin based 3d printing (that i know of)

Resolution (or res for short) is the number of pixels that the image is projected at. The native resolution of the projector is very important as it will determine the quality of the printed object. Common resolutions for projectors are 800×600, 1024×768, 1280×800, 1280×1024, and 1600×1200. Obviously the higher the resolution, the better the quality of the printed objects will be, but high-res projectors are not cheap. i would recommend not going any lower than 1024×768, which is the most common, but it is possible to go with lower res projectors, just dont expect great results.

NOTE: there is a difference between supported and native resolutions. supported resolutions is the max resolution of the video feed that is given to the projector. Native resolution is what the actual projected image will be displayed at. be careful of advertising scam that will make it sound like an amazing 1080p (1920×1080) quality projector, but the quality is actually terrible and usually around 400×320. This is something that usually happens with Chinese no-name projectors, but it is still important to be aware of the difference.

This is how bright your projector will display the image at. The higher the lumen rating the projector has, the faster it will be able to cure then resin. I dont know what the minimum rating is, but the xd221u projector is rated for 2300 lumens and it takes longer than i would like for each layer at 10 seconds exposure time.

While the XD221u will not cure the resin without modifications, the focus distance is too far and the curing time is too long at 15 seconds exposure per layer. The focus had to be modified for close distances and the UV filter had to be removed allow more UV light through. Making it cure the resin faster is easy, just remove the filter (glass square) on the front of the bulb. Making the projector focus at 7 was a bit more difficult. The service manual has been attached for assistance in dis-assembly if you are using an xd221u projector, but the modification should be similar for most projectors.

WARNING: I am not responsible for any damage, injury, blindness, death, etc. that may be inflicted upon you during these instructions. Your actions are your own and you should know what is and isnt safe to do. Use common sense and you will be fine.

Now for the fun part. The steps correspond roughly to in order of the pictures

1-3. Remove the bulb cover and bulb from the projector. There are two screws and two clips holing the bulb in.

4. Remove the 8 screws from the bottom of the projector

5-6. Remove the three screws holing the back plate on, and use a flat head screwdriver to remove the back plate.

7-9. Lift the top of the projector off being careful not to rip the ribbon cable connected to the top buttons. Lift the clip holding the cable to the motherboard and slide the cable free.

10-12. Remove the zoom adjustment piece by prying out the 2 clips holding it in. Then remove the zoom frame by screwing the two screws holding it in place.

(WARNING: for the next several steps do not touch any of the lenses or you will not be able to get a clear picture after you are done.)

13-14. Remove the four screws holding the focus lens assembly in place, there is very little room for a normal screwdriver here, I had to use pliers and a Philips piece from a multi-head screwdriver. To remove and replace these.

15. Turn the assembly upside down and rotate the focus lens outward until its stops, inspect the circumference of the body of the focus assembly and you should see a very small screw that is screwed into the focus lens housing and is colliding with the outer assembly case. This is the screw that prevents the lens from unscrewing too far.

Remove this screw. You will now be able to turn the lens farther to focus at a closer distance. (WARNING: removing this screw allows the focus lens to be unscrewed all the way and fall out of the projector if turned too far, be aware of this as you focus the projector)

16. Re-assemble the projector but dont put the bulb in yet. Reverse the steps used to disassemble. The lens can now turn far enough to focus at close distances, which is needed for high resolution prints.

16-18. For the xd221u, there is a tab on the focus lens that will prevent the lens from turning to far, this is both good news and bad news. the good news is that I can use this to prevent the lens from falling out if it gets turned too far, the bad news is that the lens still cant turn far enough to focus at the distance I was looking for. To fix this use a file and slowly file down the tab until there is 1-2mm of distance from the tab to the projectors case.

I found that the lens will fall out when turned to around 300 (looking head on with 0 at the right) so I super-glued a scrap piece of scrap plastic to the case about 5mm from the point the lens will fall out to stop the lens from turning too far. This gives me a focus distance of approximately 6.75 inches from the front of the projector and a projection area of 4in wide by 3in tall.

Modifying the bulb -Then I needed to remove the UV filter to make the layers cure quicker.

19. If you are at the right angle you can see the square piece of glass at the front of the bulb that is the UV filter.

20. Remove the screw holding the metal plate on.

21-22. Use a small flat head to pry the metal clips out and up.

23. Remove the UV filter by lifting the glass out or by tilting the bulb until it falls out into your hand.

24. keep the UV filter in a safe and protected place, if you ever want to use the projector to watch movies or play games on, you will need to put the filter back in.

Put the bulb back in to projector, and turn it on. If everything works, well done! if not, open it up make sure that the ribbon cable for the buttons is attached correctly, no other cables were disconnected, and that the circuit board didnt suffer any damage. Connect a video source. Turn the focus as far as it will go without falling out, use a piece of paper or the wall to measure a rough estimate of the focal distance, this will be fine-tuned after it is attached to the printer.

The Z axis is the second most important part of the printer. It must be able to move smoothly without any wobble or twisting. I was considering constructing one, but that would require a significant amount of measuring, cutting, drilling, having to work with linear bearings, attachment plates, bells and pulleys, or lead screws, backlash, and all the other stuff associated with linear motion, or i could settle for a smaller but easily acquired, free, pre-built, and extremely fine precision assembly that has everything needed in one package.

As many people have found, a laser deck assembly from a computer disc drive is perfect for this purpose. the one i used is one that i have had around for a while, waiting for a good use for it. I do not know what model drive it came out of, but any assembly will work as long as it uses a stepper motor (4 wires) and not a DC motor (2 wires). As a rule of thumb the newer the disc drive, the more likely that it will be the correct type of motor, Ive taken at least 50 apart over the years and i would estimate 90% of the DVD burners i have taken apart contained the correct motor while only 50% off DVD players and only 10% of CD players had the correct motor.

These pictures are for reference of how to take a drive apart and what you want from the drive. while i did not use this particular assembly it does fit the requirements and could be used. I would like to thank groover and his excellent pocket laser engraver instructable for bringing disc drive laser decks to my attention as viable candidates for linear motion.

Use a paper clip to eject the disc tray.

Push in the clips on either side of the tray to remove the faceplate.

Remove the screws holding the bottom plate on.

Remove any cables connected to the circuit board and remove any clips or screws holding the circuit board in place.

Lift the circuit board away and remove the ribbon cable connected to the laser assembly.

Flip the drive over and lift off the metal cover

Remove the screws holding the deck assembly in place.

Lift up and slide the assembly out, some drives have the rubber pieces secured in the plastic, remove them from the plastic frame without damaging them. You want to keep all four rubber pieces with the laser deck.

If you want, remove any unnecessary parts such as the spindle motor.

Once you have taken the deck out of the disc drive, solder four 6inch wires and a four pin female header to the stepper motor. This will be used to connect to the shield that will be made later.

The only requirement for the build platform is that it is made from a material that your print will stick to without peeling itself up, yet will not force you to pry the object off and potentially damage the print in the process. The material I see used most often is aluminum. I had a piece of 1mm thick aluminum sheet that was part of the back light housing for an LCD monitor. After measuring the resin vat dimensions I scratched the design into the sheet and cut it with tin snips. Then bent the cut out at a 90 angle to form the build platform and the suspension beam. I had to bend the beam in the middle move the platform farther away from the z axis to fit properly in the resin tank. When cutting the sheet metal I made the platform 4mm smaller than the resin tank which gave 2mm clearance on each side to allow the resin to move freely from below the platform to above the platform without any pressure building up.

The resin tank for top down printers are fairly simple. Almost any container can be used as long as you follow a few guidelines.

I looked at my options and decided on the top from an acrylic container that i had lying around, it is roughly 50x50x35mmind is sufficient for the prototyping stage. I recently found a glass container at goodwill for $.50 that is 3 diameter and 3 inches deep which should work perfectly for my needs.

This machine was built with two frames, one to hold the z axis, platform and resin tank, which I am calling the Zframe. The other frame simply holds the projector above the zframe, and allows the zframe to move up and down to allow the projector to focus on different resin tanks.

I like to design as I go along, so I turned to the most versatile prototyping material in existence, LEGOs. Yes these are technically a toy, but i have not found any other materials that allow you to quickly construct, make small changes, or tear down a bad idea as easily as LEGOs do. The requirements for the zframe were…

Must be able to mount the z axis (disc drive laser deck)

Must hold the resin tank securely below the z axis and build platform without allowing any motion

Must be able to rest on whatever main frame that will be constructed later

The z axis mounting problem is something that I had solved a while ago for a different purpose, but it worked well for the Chimera. As pointed out earlier, LEGO technic bushings fit very well into the rubber/plastic mounting holes that already exist in the laser deck, so all that was needed to mount the laser deck was four Lego axles protruding from a wall in the right locations.

The vertical spacing is easily adjusted by how many layers of full bricks and flat bricks are used. But most laser decks will not fit the standard spacing of technic beam holes. This issue was solves by mounting LEGO axles within the wall that allow a Tpin to slide for any spacing.

something to be aware of is that when any resin touches the LEGOs it has a similar effect thatgallium has on aluminum(video), essentially it will make the LEGOs disintegrate. So if you dont mind if some LEGOs get destroyed then go ahead and use LEGOs, it didnt bother me as these were actually megablocks ;). otherwise you can make the frame out of wood, which I am planning to do once I decide on the final size vat I am going to use.

For the main from the only requirements were that it held the projector up and had a space for the zframe below the projection area. While LEGOs could be used, Ive found that interlocking bricks are not good for large and stable structures. So I turned to the other toy that can make large, lightweight, and sturdy structures, yet has a similar flexibility for alterations to the design as Legos do, and that is Knex.

Several years ago i was heavily involved with the knex community here on instructables, making everything from theFoldable knex gunto the5 foot cannonand in doing so i discovered the amazing strength and versatility of Knex, and have amassed over 100lbs of it. it is an excellent tool for learning the physics behind large structures, and how to make large structures that can withstand a significant amount of forces acting upon them.

Knex made constructing the frame easy, its simply a base, two towers and an adjustable platform to accommodate for different size resin tanks until I find a suitably permanent one.

As promised I have designed a frame that can be completely out of wood for anyone who does not have Legos or Knex. I made this one out of a 11.5x28x.5 particle board shelf that I pulled out of the trash with a circular saw and a drill press.Home depot has a 24x48x.5 MDF for $10that is more than enough wood and will work better than the particleboard I used. The SolidWorks CAD files are at the end of the step, I will make blueprint files from the SolidWorks files soon. I will also make printable PDF documents that can be used as stencils if for those who like to use those.

One of the best features of a top down system is the simplicity of the electronics. Instead of the expensive Arduino MEGA and RAMPs shield that many DIY 3D printers use to control the many features, the cheap Arduino UNO can be used because there is only one axis to control and maybe a shutter (optional). I etched a shield for the Arduino, which I designed in Cadsoft EAGLE. But if that is not something you are able to do, fear not! the schematic is simple and can easily be made on a breadboard. If you want to put a little more work into it, you can program an ATMega328p chip with the firmware and etch a all-in-one board whose design is included in the files attached.

Easydriver – This is Where the Stepper motor controller goes. The Easydriver was chosen because the motors in the disc drive operate off of 5 volts which Easydrivers can operate at. the smaller and more popular stepstick drivers require at least 8.2 volts before they even turn on, which will cause the small steppers to overheat.

Zmotor – This is where you plug in the bi-polar stepper motor from the disc drive deck assembly.

Top and bottom limits – (optional) These are optional, i have not configured GRBL to use limits yet, but they are available if you want to use them.

Iris – (experimental) connects to a solenoid that opens and closes a mechanical iris, more in the future updates step.

Power terminals – (Optional) This gives you the option to connect a non-wall wart power supply.

The Shield has 1/8th microstepping enabled for high resolution movement.

I tried several different firmwares for the Arduino UNO before deciding to use GRBL 0.9i. In my experience, GRBL is the best option for print quality, compatibility, ease of use, and customization. To get your arduino setup for the printer you will need to upload the GRBL firmware, and configure GRBL to your machines specs. Download the attached zip file and extract it to the desktop. Connector your arduino to the computer.

GRBL firmware is in .hex format, and the arduino software does not allow you to upload .hex file to the arduino, so we will be using a different program calledxloader.

Open the extracted files, open the xloader folder, and open xloader.exe

Click the browse button navigate to the extracted files on oped the

grbl_v0_9i_atmega328p_16mhz_115200_for_SO2.hex file.

In the device box chose Uno(ATmega328)

Make sure the baud rate is set at 115200

Once the message 28690s byte uploaded appears you are ready to go to the next step

For this step, open up a serial terminal, for this I will use GRBL controller.

If needed, change the baud rate to 115200.

Open the serial terminal in the top right corner

Several lines of code should appear, at the top it should say Grbl 0.9i [$ for help]

The only thing you need to change is the steps per mm for the z axis. In the top command bar type $102=53.333 , this will set the number of steps per mm your Z axis moves at. 53.333 is the number of steps per mm for the normal type of lead screw, the one I used had 157steps per mm which I found by trial and error

You are now able to use the Arduino for controlling your printer.

Out of the many open source software options that I looked at, onlyCreation Workshopby envision labs seemed to provide the compatibility and customization options that I required. I have included the zip file that contained the software and settings I used pre-setup, but it may require some tweaking for your own machine. Start by extracting the zip file to the desktop or other location. Open up CreationWorkshop.exe and follow the instructions.

Profile selection – Click the plus button to create a new profile and name it chimera (or whatever you want)

Build Size – Take a rough measurement of the x and y dimensions of your projected area. note that this is NOT the dimension of your build platform, these are the dimensions of the total projection area, measure as best you can, but its doesnt need to be exact. This will be adjusted after the first test print.

Com port – plug in the Arduino, click configure, and chose the com port that your computer assigned to the Arduino, and make sure that the baud rate is set at 115200.

Machine controls – this is where you tell the software what features you printer has, as this one only has a z axis, check the corresponding box.

Displays – connect your projector to your computer, most laptops will have a video-out connection, the xd221 projector and my laptop both have VGA connections so that is what i used. if your computer does not have the options for duel monitors, it should let you use the main monitor, but it will make the process more difficult. click the second display then the plus button to use the second monitor (projector) as the display used for printing.

Configured displays – shows the display that will be used for the printing process.

Apply changes – make sure that you click this to save any changes you have made before moving on.

Profile selection – Click the plus button to create a new profile and name it chimera (or whatever you want)

Slice thickness – this is how thin each layer of the print will be, set the layer height to .1mm, this is a good place to start.

Exposure time – this is how long each layer will be projected onto the resin, the longer the time the harder each layer will be, but each layer will also shrink more. 10 seconds (10,000 milliseconds) is what everything pictured was printed at, but i think that it may be slightly overexposing the resin. This is something you must test and adjust as each printer/projector will be different.

Bottom exposure – for the very first few layers you want to be sure that your print is anchored sufficiently to the build platform these lawyer are exposed for a longer period of time to ensure proper adhesion. I doubled the layer time for 20 seconds (20,000 milliseconds).

bottom layers – this is how many of the first layer will be exposed for the longer duration. again this will be slightly different for each printer, but i am having success with using the first three layers.

Enable anti-aliasing – Checking this box can help if straight lines are being printed with jagged edges, but it shouldnt be a problem.

Z lift distance – This is how far down the z axis will go to allow resin to flow over the top of the previous layers. for larger prints or higher viscosity resins you will need to increase this distance, but for the small prints that i am doing 3mm is fine.

z speeds – you dont want to move the print to fast, or the forces of the resin flowing could collapse some of the finer details or thin walls in your print. 75mm per second is slower than it needs to be, but i feels its better safe than sorry.

4. Auto Calc – this will calculate the estimated time that it will take for the printer to complete the lift sequence, this is important as it is the time for which the software waits before projecting the next layer.

5. Build Direction – VERY IMPORTANT – make sure that you have top_down selected as the printer type. your printer will not work if the wrong type is selected.

6. Apply changes – make sure that you click this to save any changes you have made before moving on.

I would highly recommend using a second computer to run your software on, while you can use your computer at the same time you are printin.

The Fuel3D Is A Handheld High Resolution 3D Scanner For Sub-$1000 That Can Grab Faces Textures

You are about to activate our Facebook Messenger news bot. Once subscribed, the bot will send you a digest of trending stories once a day. You can also customize the types of stories it sends you.

Click on the button below to subscribe and wait for a new Facebook message from the TC Messenger news bot.

Inboard Technology raises $8 million to be the Tesla of electric skateboards

Pip is a retro games console for kids to learn coding

Kickstarter reboots its Patreon competitor, Drip

MITs new desktop 3D printer technology increases speeds up to 10x

Divergent 3D taps a Chinese-led investment syndicate for up to $107 million in new funding

Beheld is a new startup that lets you scan, send, and print yourself

Beheld is a new startup that lets you scan, send, and print yourself

Topology lets you try before you buy glasses using AR in an app

MIT researchers used a $150 Microsoft Kinect to 3D scan a giant T. rex skull

The Fuel3D Is A Handheld, High Resolution 3D Scanner For Sub-$1,000 That Can Grab Faces & Textures

Makers and 3D designers who want to replicate the shape and colour of real-world objects in their creations clap your eyes on the above gizmo. TheFuel3Dis a handheld, high resolution 3D scanner, which captures 3D photos of real-world objects/subjects and, in conjunction with its creators software, turns them into a 3D model with accurate geometry and colour.

With 3D printers taking off, the demand for object scanners is likely to rise especially affordable scanners, and the Fuel3Ds creators are aiming to ship this high resolution 3D scanner with a sub-$1,000 price-tag. Or thats the plan, if it achieves itsKickstarterfunding goal of $75,000 all but certain, given it still has 31 days left to run on its campaign and less than $10,000 required.

A sub-$1,000 price-tag is not as cheap as thePhoton 3D scannerwe covered back in April which was on Indiegogo for $399 but that scanner was specifically focused on object scanning, with a small turntable design. Whereas the Fuel3D is more freestyle in what it can scan, allowing for human faces to be captured by holding the device up and taking photos in conjunction with a small target placed next to the face.

Its high resolution 3D capture also allows for detailed textures to be captured, providing a variety of use-case scenario for animators, game developers and 3D artists. In other words, this could be a handy office gadget for your gaming startup.

FUEL3D is an affordable handheld 3D scanning system that delivers extremely high quality 3D shape and color capture for a range of creative applications. The Fuel3D handheld scanner is a point-and-shoot 3D scanning system that captures extremely high resolution mesh and color information of objects. Fuel3D is the worlds first 3D scanner to combine pre-calibrated stereo cameras with photometric imaging

Get the top tech stories of the day delivered to your inbox

Get a weekly recap of the biggest tech stories

The latest startup funding announcements

Tinder is using AI to get you hooked up Crunch Report

Facebook Messenger Kids lets under-13s chat with whom parents approve

Early Uber advisor Bradley Tusk on selling his shares, and the fights hell wage in 2018

How Slack uses a raccoon to keep distractions on Slack at bay

Volkswagens MOIA debuts its all-electric rideshare vehicle

Kinin puts aromatherapy in your mouth

The Sun Exchange funds solar installations with micro-investments and bitcoin

Trillium aims to shield your high-tech car against cyberattacks

Notch can record your body movements

Pinterest Adds Price Alerts To Turn Aspirational Pins Into Purchases

Part-time Helpdesk Support at Childrens Council of SF (San Francisco, CA, United States)

Web Developer at Childrens Council of SF (San Francisco, CA, United States)

Director of Marketing at Devbridge Group (Chicago, IL, United States)

Recruiting Services Manager at The Sourcery (San Francisco, CA, United States)

Senior Java Engineer at Direct Commerce (San Francisco, CA, United States)

Latest headlines delivered to you daily

Subscribe to span class=no-mobileSubscribe to /spanThe Daily Crunch

Ultra-High Resolution 3D Printing at the Micro-Scale with Nanoscribe

AM Strategies Medical & Dental Summit – Save 17% through 12/14

The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing

3D Printing for Prototyping and Production

Beginner Design for 3D Printing – June 2017

Advanced Design for 3D Printing – June 2017

Beginner Design for 3D Printing – April 2017

Advanced Design for 3D Printing – April 2017

Formlabs Whitepaper: Injection Molding from 3D Printed Molds

Stratasys: How Additive and Traditional Manufacturing Mix

Inquire to promote your organizations White Paper

Ultra-High Resolution 3D Printing at the Micro-Scale with Nanoscribe

byScott J GrunewaldMar 3, 20163D Printers3D PrintingBusiness

Despite what the smartphone wars tell us, the trend of making things smaller has been almost continuous since the very first electronics were developed. It just makes sense to make things smaller; it allows them to be more portable, and on some level even more durable and damage-resistant. Advances in consumer products like digital cameras and various varieties of sensors have given designers the option to dramatically shrink many of those components. Sadly, it seems almost faster than the technologies used to manufacture those tiny parts can actually keep up. Current rapid prototyping technologies are simply incapable of keeping up with shrinking micro-optical elements like lenses or lens arrays and are unable to produce parts with a high enough resolution to work properly.

Photonic Professional GT High-resolution 3D printer for the fabrication of micrometer and mesoscale structures

Unfortunately the inability to prototype at that small of a scale makes the design and manufacturing of micro-parts quite expensive, often prohibitively so. The inability to pace manufacturing technologies with miniaturized technology actually slows down the advancement of new, vital technologies. Thanks to recent advancements in 3D printing technology from companies likeNanoscribethat is rapidly changing. The German companysPhotonic Professional GT3D printer is a state-of-the-art ultra-high-resolution laser lithography 3D printer that is capable of layer thicknesses and detail sizes well below 1 micrometer.

The Nanoscribe technology is essentially a micro-scale laser that 3D prints three dimensional constructs, almost like a very small pen, only it writes in photosensitive material at the nanoscale. The process is very similar to direct laser writing but the Nanoscribe process is capable of much more detail and precision. Primarily because of the near infrared laser, which is pulsed by the femtosecond so polymerization only occurs at the targeted area. Due to this pulsing, the photoreactive materials will not also harden along the entire path of the laser, providing an astronomical jump in fine detail and precision.

3D printed lens mounts for micro-optical systems 2.4 mm

The laser beam itself has a computer-controlled beam guidance system that translates a 3D CAD model directly into 3D structures of almost any complexity at any scale. Essentially it can fabricate microstructures as small as 500 nanometers, including those with complex geometries and support structures, at extremely high resolutions. The 3D printing technology that Nanoscribe developed has allowed sub-micron parts to be fabricated with geometries and internal structures that would be completely impossible to create using standard micro-scale manufacturing techniques.

One of the most innovative uses for the Photonic Professional GT system is micro rapid prototyping. The Nanoscribe system has a much higher resolution than micro-stereolithography, so it opens up micro-prototyping to entirely new industries at scales that were previously unreachable. While developers of products are in the prototyping phase of the typical development cycle for something like a micro-optical system, it is often nearly impossible to fully visualize the final configuration. The ability to rapidly prototype elements for applications like lens holders or mounts for miniaturized optical systems can dramatically reduce both the production cost and the development time of these high tech products. That means optical technology can be produced cheaply, sold for lower prices and used in new and innovative products.

Nanoscribe is a world leader in the development and manufacturing of 3D printing technology that is capable of working at the nano, micro, and mesoscale. Their two-photon polymerization 3D printers are used throughout the research and scientific community, as well as manufacturing and industrial fabrication companies of all kinds. Their technology is regularly used to fabricate micro-optical components and microfluidic elements like filters or mixers on microfluidic chips. It is also used to demonstrate photonics, printing highly functional mechanical microstructures and the construction of cellular scaffolding and biomimetics. You can find out more over on the Nanoscribe website. Discuss in theNanoscribe 3D Printer Technology forumover at .

Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

This iframe contains the logic required to handle Ajax powered Gravity Forms.

Tagged with:light cured resinmicro-scale 3d printingmicro-scale rapid prototypingnano-scale 3d printingnanoscribePhotonic Professional GTtwo-photon polymerizationuv laser printing

ORNL Reaching Out to Future Scientists with Worlds Smallest 3D Printed Fidget Spinner

Nanoscribe Combines 3D Micro-Printing Technology and Conventional Series Production

3D Printing News Briefs: October 27, 2017

Researchers Develop New Water-Soluble Photoinitiators for 3D Printing

Researchers at Tsinghua University Describe How Nanodroplets Deform Upon Surface Strike, Potential to Improve 3D Printing

Nanoscribe 3D Prints Micro-Optics at the NanoscaleView By CategoriesView By CategoriesSelect Category3D Design (5,635)3D Printed Art (734)3D Printed Guns (82)3D Printer Reviews (18)3D Printers (2,969)3D Printing (11,902)3D Printing and Robotics Jobs (19)3D Printing Materials (1,634)3D Scanning (610)3D Software (1,082)Additive Manufacturing Research (5)Aerospace 3D Printing (285)Business (3,631)Editorials / Opinions (287)Education (375)Exclusive Interviews (331)Featured Stories (2)Medical 3D Printing (1,425)Metal 3D Printing (509)Popular Stories (90)Robotics (276)Science & Technology (673)Sponsored (129)Virtual Reality (163)

Subscribe to Email Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

2017 3D Printer Buyers Guide

2017 3D Scanner Buyers Guide

Anything Related to the 3D Printing Industry which doesnt belong in the our other folders goes here.3D Printers (Hardware)

Discuss the various 3D Printers on the Market. Please make sure there isnt already a folder for the printer you wish to discuss in our Specific 3D Printer Folders.3D Printer Parts, Filament & Materials

Discussion related to 3D Printer parts, such as hot ends, extruders, and anything else you may want to discuss related to printer parts, as well as filament, resin, and sintering powder.Inside 3D Printing EventsSan DiegoDecember 4-5, 2017SingaporeFebruary 6-7, 2018DsseldorfFebruary 21-22, 2018SydneyMay 9-11, 2018São PauloJune 11-12, 2018SeoulJune 27-29, 2018New YorkOctober 30-31, 2018TokyoOctober 2018

Tips for Designing a 3D Printed Part

3D Printing is a type of additive manufacturing in which a part is constructed layer by layer. The 3D printers used in the Innovation Station are modified Replicator 2s, made by MakerBot. They use an extrusion process called Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) to create parts. PLA plastic in wire form is pulled into the printer head where it is heated to 230C and extruded from a nozzle. This molten plastic is positioned on the build surface based on instructions the printer receives from a program that slices CAD models into layers. The following video is a good introduction to 3D printers and how they work.

As in all manufacturing processes 3D printing has constraints that must be met in order to print parts correctly. The constraints of the Innovation station are as follows. The bolded constraints are especially important:

Maximum part size = 10.5 x 5.5 x 4.75 in or 266 x 140 x 120 mm (L x W x H)

Minimum surface area resting on build plate = 0.295 x 0.295 or 7.5 mm x 7.5 mm

Minimum resolution (X/Y axis) = 0.01575 or 0.4 mm

Minimum resolution (Z axis) = 0.00787 or 0.2 mm

Minimum wall thickness = 0.0197 or 0.5 mm

Dimensional Changes from CAD model to Printed Part:

Plastic expands and contracts as it is heated and cooled, and this thermal expansion/contraction causes dimensional variation in parts. Dimensional variation is also caused by the discrete nature of filament deposition, with the thickness of each layer corresponding to the diameter of the extrusion nozzle. To create dimensionally accurate parts, adjustments must be made to CAD models. Outer features expand and inner features shrink as shown in the pictures below.

Example of dimensional variations from modeled diameter

Two formulas have been identified for modifying the dimensions of hole diameters.To use these formulas, the x value is your desired diameter (for example 4 mm) and the y value is the adjusted diameter for your CAD model (in this case 4.34 mm). Use the vertical hole formula if the axis of the hole is parallel with the Z axis of the build plate and the horizontal hole formula if the axis of the hole is parallel with the X or Y axes. Both of these formulas are in millimeters.

If your part requires dimensionally accurate holes, use these equations.

The cost of plastic filament and the running costs of 3D printing are low. Because of this, the real cost of 3D printing is the part build time. To allow more users to be able to use the 3D printers in the Innovation Station, there is a 3 hour limit for print jobs. There are various things that you as a designer can do to reduce the build time of your parts.

Decrease the size of parts as much as possible: Any unnecessary material used in a part is just wasted time.

Scale down parts: If the part does not need to be full size for what you are doing, scaling the part down will significantly reduce build time.

Warning: When scaling down parts it is imperative to ensure that all structures remain greater than 1mm. This is a commone error when scaling down downloaded models.

Place parts close together on the build plate: The closer the parts are to one another on the build platform, the shorter the print job because the printer head does not spend as much time traveling between parts for each layer.

Because parts are built layer-by-layer, each layer must be supported by something underneath it. Features that are not directly supported by underlying layers or the build platform are called unsupported overhangs and examples can be seen in the pictures. Without any supports these features fail to print correctly as seen in picture of the printed part below.

To build these parts successfully, you can choose to use the Supports + Rafts profile when printing your part. This profile will add support structures to your part automatically while printing. After you receive your part, you can remove the support structures. An example of a 3D printed cat with supports and rafts and then with the supports and rafts removed can be seen below.

Rafts and Supports are extremely difficult to remove and so it is recommended to not use them unless absolutely necessary.For example, if overhangs are supported by angled supports, they can be self-supporting, as shown below. It is good practice to use angled supports of 45 degrees or more for the best quality of parts.

Tests performed with the 3D printers in the Innovation Station indicate that much smaller angles can be used with success, although some additional whiskers might have to be trimmed after the part is retrieved. As can be seen from our tests of varying angles, 22.5 degree angled overhangs print successfully every time for any length and are the smallest recommended angle. Smaller angles such as 15 degrees successfully print but leave whiskers on the angled edge and also droop significantly if the overhang is too long.

Bridges are features that are supported on both ends but require the printer head to cross a gap in the middle. Supports can be used in these situations but it can be difficult to remove the support structures from the parts.

If designers opt out ofsupports, filament will be laid between the ends of the bridge with no support in between. This lack of support can cause problems for bridges of certain dimensions. As seen in the picture, bridges shorter than 36 mm long print with drooping of 0-0.5 mm, bridges 36 to 60 mm long print with drooping of 0.5-2 mm, and bridges longer than 60 mm long print with significant drooping of 2-5 mm. Parts must be designed accordingly depending on the need for the bridge.

Personalized parts frequently include lettering. This lettering comes in two forms, embossed and engraved text. Engraved text has the letters slightly indented into the part whereas embossed text sticks out of the part. Embossed text will always lead to failed parts because the small stroke width of the letters is well below the minimum structure size of 1mm. The text will fail to resolve and lead to a failed or rejected part. Engraved font is highly recommended unless the stroke width is greater than 4mm.

Once your part is created, it must be oriented on the build surface. Part orientation greatly influences the quality and the material properties of parts. Some best practices for part placement and orientation include:

Positioning the part on the build plate:

Center parts on the build surface: The closer a part is to the center of the build plate the less it will warp because the build surface is leveled most accurately at its center. In addition, the heated build surface is cooler on the edges which increases warping near the edge.

Place parts directly on the platform: Make sure that the part is positioned on the build plate itself. You can check this by clicking on the Move button in MakerWare and making sure the Z position is 0.

Place parts close together: When parts are positioned close together on the build platform, the printer head can move more quickly between parts, reducing build time. Arranging parts too close together can ruin multiple parts if one of the parts detaches. Parts should be placed 5-15 mm apart.

WARNING: Building multiple parts in the same build can cause other parts to print incorrectly if one of the part fails to print correctly. It is best to limit the number of parts per build and submit multiple jobs.

Selecting an appropriate orientation: Because 3D printers print parts layer-by-layer, the parts are weakest in the Z axis because layers can sometimes separate from one another. Also, the interior of parts are filled with a 10% dense honeycomb to reduce material use and build time, which also effects the material properties of parts.

Avoiding stair-stepping: Place curves or sloped surfaces so that they are printed in the XY plane. Curves printed in other planes have a stair-stepping effect. This stair-stepping effect can most easily be seen in parts with really shallow angles as shown in the picture below.

Avoid tall, thin features: Parts with small surfaces areas attached to the build surface are likely to become detached during printing due to the forces and moments exerted on them by the printer head. The taller the part, the larger the moments (or torques) it will experience at its base, which means the more likely it will detach while printing.

Post-processing Parts after Printing:

Some parts require post-processing after printing. If you printed your parts with rafts and supports they must be removed before your part will be useable. Using needle nose pliers to pry off supports can be effective. Metal spatulas have also been used successfully to remove rafts. It is best to add all holes to parts in CAD software prior to printing. Drilling holes into 3D printed parts can cause parts to collapse if nuts are tightened onto the holes because the interior of the parts is composed of a honeycomb structure to reduce material usage and print time.

© 2014Cockrell School of EngineeringThe University of Texas at Austin

Cheap 3D Printing

Tired of paying too much for 3D printed parts that take weeks to arrive? Need high resolution but shocked by the cost?Use 3DAddFab to 3D print your parts using Polyjet technology and

Savemore than 30%compared to other fabricators using OBJETshigh resolutionVeroWhitePlusand Polyjet technology. Get an instant quote – no registration required.

Order by 5pm ET and your order will ship the next business day!*

Free Shipping on orders $100 or more*

Quantity Discounts on Short Run Production

Upload Your STL* File for an Instant Quote!

*Learn aboutSTLfiles and STL repairhereandhere

Need parts inquantity? Dpending on the part, Polyjet 3D printing could be your answer forshort and/or custom runsup to several hundred pieces. We can consistently, quickly and accurately print parts and will provide you with a custom quote guaranteeing the best prices we can ntactus for more info.

Have questions aboutcontent creationortraditional fabrication? We can help get you started withCAD design and reverse engineering services.and other production methods such as casting, injection molding or CNC milling.

***COMING SOON: In-House Professional Injection Molding***

Exploring the possibility of buying a 3D printer? Objet Polyjet printers are high resolution 3D printers perfect for prototyping, short run production and more. And now you can try out the technology risk-free. Sign up for 3DAddFabsFree 3D Printing program, use 3DAddFab for your current Polyjet and 3D printing needs and when you buy an Objet printer well rebate everything youve paid to us – up to $2000!

*In some cases, due to part geometry or other factors, next day shipping may be impossible. If your part will not be shipped within 3 business days you will be contacted and have the option of cancelling your order. $15 minimum order.

At 3DAddFab we use the same technology, have a simple online quoting and ordering system and can deliver as fast or faster than much larger fabricators. And were NOT a wholesaler -all fabrication is done in-house.

You wont find a lot of Big Fabbings bells and whistles here. But you wont pay for them either. What you will find is a lean operation offering pricesSIGNIFICANTLY lessthan those same large fabricators.

3DAddFab: same quality, better delivery, better prices.

3dAddFab uses Objet-patentedPolyjettechnology to fabricate your 3D design inhigh resolutionsof 600dpi x 600dpi x 900dpi – greater than most FDM technologies. This allows fordetailsas small as 0.1-0.2mm andVeroWhitePluspolymer results in itemsmore durablethan other similarly priced powder-based 3D printing technologies.

3dAddFab will 3d print your item -using the same technology and materials- at prices cheaper than leading competitors by30% or more.

Best customer service hands down! Order was taken care of promptly. Look foward to doing business with these guys again real soon!


Received the model. It looks awsome!


3D printers of CES 2016 (pictures

CNET tambin est disponible en español.

The Formlabs Form 2 is one of the best stereo-lithography (SLA) 3D printers on the market. It uses different types of liquid resin to make incredibly detailed objects (see our reviewfor examples). It costs about $3,500, which is about 2,400 or AU$5,000 converted.

The OWL MC2 is a super-high-end industrial 3D printer that can print objects of extremely high detail, up to 100 nanometers in resolution. It also carries an extremely high price, ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 (thats as much as 171,000 or AU$356,700).

These are filaments forfused-filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printers. These plastic strings are melted during the printing process to form a 3D object, then they quickly congeal to hold the objects form.

The 3D-509 F3D printer from Hueway, a Chinese 3D printing startup, is a fused-filament fabrication (FFF) printer.

The New Matter Mod-T is one of the least expensive 3D printers on the market, costing just $399. It can only make relatively small objects, however, up to 6x4x5 inches (150x100x125 mm) in size.

The Raise3D 3D printer is from a startup of the same name that aims to raise the quality of 3D printing. The Raise itself can print objects of up to 0.01 millimeter in resolution and uses more than 10 types of filament. The printer has a 7-inch touchscreen and a remote control, and can even resume the print process after a power cut. Its currently not yet available for purchase.

An all-new upcoming 3D printer called Slash from a startup called Uniz.

The Phoenix Touch 1080PDLP 3D Printer from Full Spectrum Laser 3D. The printer features precision 50-micron XY pixels and uses consumer-grade 1080P digital light projectors to cut down the cost. The company says its printers FSL3D algorithms help reduce material usage and allow one computer to manage many 3D printers at the same time. The Phoenix Touch is slated to cost around $3,500, which is about 2,400 or AU$5,000.

The Axiom features a fully enclosed print chamber to provide a thermally stable environment, which minimizes warping for optimal print quality, especially when applied to very large 3D prints. The printer costs around $4,000, which is about 2,740 or AU$5,700.

The LulzBot Mini is an open-source 3D printer. In fact the entire 3D printer itself is a DYI project.

TheUltimaker 2 Extended is a larger, more expensive versionof the Ultimaker 2, which we consideredwell-designed but overpricedand not reliable enough. The Extended, too, is well-designed and easy to use. The new printer costs about $3,000. which is about 2,050 or AU$4,270.

The AIO Robotics Zeus All-In-One 3D Printer can do both 3D scanning and printing. It has a 7-inch touchscreen and is easy to use. It can scan at 125-micron resolution and print at 80-micron resolution. The printer costs $2,500, which is about 1,700 or AU$3,550.

Firstshowcased at CES 2015 as a prototype, XYZprintings 3D food printeris a final product at CES 2016. The printer can make different kinds of edibles, from candies to cookies. Its quite slow and supports only a limited number of recipes, however, so dont fire your personal cook just yet.

The CubePro features the largest-in-class build platform with high resolution. It can make objects of up to 11.2x 10.6x 9.06 inches (285.4mmx270.4mmx230mm) in dimensions, about 2.5 times larger than any other desktop prosumer and hobbyist printer. The printer can reach a resolution of up to 70 microns. Its a big upgrade to 3D SystemsCube 3. The new printer costs $2,800, which is about 1,915 or AU$4,000.

3D Systems also showed afood printer, the ChefJet Pro.

The ProJet 1200 is a micro-SLA 3D printer designed to deliver super-high-quality 3D printing. With a print volume of 43x27x150mm (1.69×1.06×5.9 inches), the ProJet 1200 prints 30 micron layers at a 585-dpi resolution resulting in fine details reflecting true-to-CAD accuracy. This printer is only made to order.

MatterHackers is a vendor that sells parts and accessories so you can make your own 3D printer. Heres one of the custom-made printers using its parts.

The Robox 3D printer is quite innovative, though it still needs work to be easier to use. The printer costs $1,500, which is about 1,025 or AU$2,135.

MakerBot is a big namein 3D printing. This 5th-generation Replicator 3D printer is the companys latest. It costs $2,900, which is about 1,985 or AU$4,125

The CoLiDo Compact is another affordable 3D printer, priced at $500, which is about 340 or AU$710. The machine is very compact and can print objects of up to 5.1×5.1x 5.1 inches (13 x 13 x 13cm) in volume.

See allCNETs coverage of CES 2016 here.

You could win* awesome tech gadgets for your car!

You could win* awesome tech gadgets for your car!

Amazon launches online retail in Australia

Amazon launches online retail in Australia

Enable Alexa notifications to know when your pizza is on the way

Enable Alexa notifications to know when your pizza is on the way

House of Cards final season wont feature Spacey

House of Cards final season wont feature Spacey

Target adds in-store mobile Wallet payment system to app

Target adds in-store mobile Wallet payment system to app

4 Things You Need to Know About 3D Printing Resolution

Resolution is one of the most important factors to take into account when considering different 3D printers and extends beyond the minimum layer height value that many people are familiar with. In fact, minimum layer height tends to be a poor representation of a 3D printers quality.

In this guide, youll learn about each of the different components associated with a 3D printers resolution. Well go over Z resolution, minimum feature size, X/Y resolution, and layer ovality, to get a complete picture of resolution in 3D printing.

The best known value associated with a 3D printers resolution is the minimum Z layer height. 3D printers construct objects layer-by-layer, and this value describes the thickness of one of these layers. For most FDM machines, the smallest practical layer height is 0.1mm or 100 microns and for SLA machines, 0.025mm or 25 microns.

Many FDM manufacturers will list minimum Z layer heights as low as 10 microns. While this is technically possible, printing layers as thin as 10 microns on FDM machines is impractical. Most stepper motors are capable of moving that platform by as little as 10 microns, but FDM extruders cannot control the flow of filament precisely enough to produce clean results. For this reason, 10 micron prints on FDM machines often end up looking worse than 100 micron prints even though the individual layers may be finer.

In many cases, using thinner layers has few to no advantages and only serves to increase print time. Thinner layers are most useful for improving the surface finish on parts that have diagonal or curved surfaces. Formlabs has a great illustration of this concept below.

For FDM machines, minimum feature size is a function of the diameter of the print nozzle. The most common nozzle diameter is 0.4mm and ergo, the smallest feature that can be printed is 0.4mm. Many printers allow their nozzles to be swapped out and 3rd party upgrades can be purchased with diameters as narrow as 0.15mm. This concept applies to features that stand on their own such as towers and spikes and isnt applicable to components like text embossed onto the side of an object. Well go into greater depth on embossed features in the X/Y Resolution section.

Its important to keep in mind that smaller features are more easily deformed by heat in FDM printing. Tall and thin towers often fail because the heat of the molten plastic and nozzle cause the structures to soften.

Formlabs Form 2 printed and hand painted figure from Modern Life:Image Source

In SLA printers, minimum feature resolution is a function of the spot size of the laser. Because SLA printing doesnt involve the same thermal stresses as FDM, tall thin towers are more viable and small features are easily resolved.

X/Y resolution breaks your printer down to its bare hardware and is determined by the minimum rotation of your stepper motor and mechanics of the machine. Lithophanes are useful objects for explaining X/Y resolution.

A lithophane is an image that has been extruded in three dimensions such that the dark components of the image are thicker than light components. When a light is shone through, thicker portions of the model will appear darker and the original image appears.Learn the 3 Steps for Creating Your Own Lithophanes here!

Lithophanes are printed vertically rather than flat on the platform because the resolution in the X and Y axis is often better than the resolution in the Z axis. Below is an example of the cross section of a lithophane. X/Y resolution describes the minimum possible deviation of your nozzle or laser spot and often falls on the scale of 16 microns though this can vary by machine.

Cross section of a lithophane in Formlabs PreForm Software

In FDM printers, there are other factors to take into account when considering X and Y resolution. FDM printers that use a direct drive extrusion setup carry weight above the nozzle that can translate to excessive inertia at high speeds. This leads to an effect calledbandingwhere vertical deviations become visible in a model and X/Y resolution is reXY setups reduce this effectthrough clever kinematics that make the X and Y axis independent of any one motor.

Layer ovality is one of the more subtle parameters to take into account when considering 3D printer resolution. When layers are deposited in FDM printing, the outer bounds take on an oval shape which contributes to a rougher surface finish and poor transparency.

Layers created by SLA printers have inherently less ovality than those created via FDM. Laser-based stereolithography creates layers that are more rectangular and this allows for a smoother surface finish and superior transparency.

Sanding parts is a great way to decrease the ovality of the exterior layers and improve surface finish. Coatings like XTC-3D work by filling the gaps between layers to produce a smooth and transparent part. Taulman3D created an excellent illustration of this effect that you can learn more about ontheir T-glase optics page.

Each of the 4 components of resolution in 3D printing will impact your final print quality. To gain a greater understanding of resolution in 3D printing especially in regards to SLA, check out Formlabs postWhat Does Resolution Mean in 3D Printing?

Pinshape is a 3D printing community and marketplace where makers from all over the world can find and share their next great 3D print and help each other get the best results from their 3D printers.

Pinshape is a 3D printing community and marketplace where makers from all over the world can find and share their next great 3D print and help each other get the best results from their 3D printers.

NewsletterSign up now to get the best 3D printing news & coolest new designs each week!

5 Interesting 3D Printer Controller Boards to Check Out!

FDM vs SLA: How does 3D Printing Technology Work?

Low-Cost Injection Molding Using 3D Printing

Create Your Own 3D Printed Lithophane in Blender

Pinshape Featured Designs – December 1st

Announcing the Top 8 Winter Holiday Designs of 2017!

Pinshape Featured Designs – November 24th

Learn to Add Ball Joints to Your 3D Printed Parts

Pinshape Featured Designs – November 17th

Understanding Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D Printer Resolution

By Cory Lambertson April 20, 20173D Printing

When researching 3D printers, it is important to be able to discern the difference between resolution and precision. 3D printer resolution is separated into two differentsegments: Z resolution (vertical) and XY resolution (horizontal). These two segments define the accuracy of the 3D Printer and need to be understood properly when selecting which printer is going to provide the highest precision prints.

The Z-Resolution is commonly referred to as the controllable layer height that the object will be printed. This defines the surface quality and detail of the printed object. A high Z-resolution (thinner layers) will produce an extremely smooth finish with higher detail. A lower resolution (thicker layers) will produce a coarse finish with stair-step detail. By modifying the Z-resolution, the user will find a compromise between surface quality and print speeds. For example, the photo below shows the same model twice, but the model on the left was printed in 100 micron layer thickness and the model on the right was printed in 50 micron layers.

It is quite obvious that the model on the right has a higher surface quality, but the 50 micron layered model took twice as long to print as the 100 micron one. AllAsiga 3D printershave a customizable Z axis resolution that can even produce a one micron layer thickness! When comparing printers, most specifications will only show the Z resolution and state it as the accuracy of the printer, this is misleading as the proper accuracy of the printer is defined by the XY resolution.

Defining the XY precision of a 3D printer will depend on the type of 3D printing technology that you are using. DLP 3D Printer technology is what theAsiga line of 3D printersuse. The accuracy of a DLP 3D printer is defined by the size of the pixel being projected. The easiest way to understand how the pixel-size defines the accuracy is to compare it to a HD television screen. If you look closely at your TV screen you will notice thousands of small squares or pixels that change color to create the image being shown. Now if you were to compare a 1080p TV to a 4K resolution screen, you will immediately notice that the pixels on the 4K screen are significantly smaller, creating a higher precision image. This is identical to the way thatDLP printer accuracyis defined. The smaller pixel size directly links to a higher accuracy.

When you look at the two images of a single projected layer below, do you see the difference in pixel size? You should be able to tell that the image on the right was printed with a higher resolution 3D DLP printer with a smaller pixel size.

Left Image: 75Micron Pixel.Right Image:37 micron pixel

The size of the pixel will also define the feature size that the printer is able to print. For example, theAsiga PRO2 75has an XY accuracy and pixel size of 75 microns which will allow objects to be printed as thin as 75 microns, producing a highly detailed object. Due to DLP 3D printers having a high resolution, they are able to be used for all applications in dentistry from Crown and Bridge models and restorations to RPD frameworks, surgical guides, splints, custom impression trays, orthodontic models and even temporaries.

Cory Lambertson is a Technical Services Representative at Whip Mix. As a certified 3Shape and Roland trainer, he develops and conducts CAD/CAM equipment & software training and provides technical support/assistance to our digital customers. Before joining Whip Mix, he worked for 2-years in his fathers dental laboratory, Heartland Dental Laboratory in Hillsdale Michigan as a 3Shape Cad/Cam Technician. Cory received his Bachelors of Science in Finance from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

High Resolution DLP 3D Printer iNTEGRATOR

High Resolution DLP 3D Printer iNTEGRATOR

High Resolution DLP 3D Printer iNTEGRATOR

Integrator is DLP 3D printer based on SLA (stereolithography). Stereolithography, also known as Photo-Solidification, is a 3D printer stacking up resin layer by layer using ultraviolet light.

In comparison with the most well-known FDM and FFF 3D printers, Integrator is far more precise and less time-consuming. In addition, Integrator is characterized by a movable beam projector. Users can produce the best quality printing output by controlling its position according to their own preference.

Integrator is the fastest and the most precise Desktop 3D printer on the market today. Low resolution makes the surface uneven and rough. However, Integrator can offer satisfactory outputs due to its high resolution.

Winterfell by damm301 (x, y 25um, z 40micron), Stone Gazebo by Herrigold (x, y 25um, z 40micron), Castle gate by kijai (x, y 25um, z 40micron)

Integrator is equipped with a projector of Full HD 19201080, and achieved high resolution of maximum xy 25 microns through lens modification. XY resolution is 25 microns and Z resolution is 10 microns, which is 30% higher capability in comparison to other competitors. This high quality resolution allows you to produce extremely intricate and complex designs.

The above photo displays a model of the Eiffel Tower produced by the Integrator. You can clearly see the precision and clarity in every little detail (i.e. railings) without any blockages.

Linear stage module is the crucial element in SLA 3D printers, because it determines the printing quality.

Usually, high resolution linear stage is for industrial usage and very expensive. For this reason, most of the desktop 3D printers on the market today are obliged to install low cost linear stage (Ball bushing, Shaft or only one LM Guide).

However, low-cost linear stage would directly result in impairing printing quality due to its poor durability. For addressing this issue, our team designed and created our own linear stage. Our effort reduced unit cost without sacrificing its precision and performance.

Most of SLA 3D printers do not allow for users to adjust the printing size and its precision freely. However, Integrator is designed to easily adjust the position of the beam projector for various purposes. Its flexibility permits users to actualize a wide range of printing sizes. Therefore, Integrator is highly adaptable for various users.

During the process of SLA 3D printers based on photo-solidificated resin, the afterglow from the beam projector hardens the resin in the resin tank. Consequently, it damages the bottom of the resin tank and impairs the quality of printing output. To prevent this problem, Integrator installedan automatic light barrier.This barrier prevents resin from hardening, so it ensures a long-term use of the resin.

Also, when printing for long hours, it is natural for the projector light to be shot at a same spot again and again. This repetitive shooting makes resin stagnant and causes a gradual hardening. It causes more adhesion than necessary between the bottom and the object. Eventually, this excessive adhesion damages the bottom and deteriorates the printing quality. And in worst case, it could induce printing failure.

On the other hand, Integrator tilts resin tank to mix resin. This ensures you to maintain high printing quality during long printing period.

Integrator is hard-wearing and durable because it was produced with anti UV polycarbonate cover. Polycarbonate has impact strength coming to30 timesof acrylic and250 timesof glass. It is so strong that it can be used as bulletproof material.

Also, its UV blocking ratio isover 99%and visible ray transmittance isover 85%. Thanks to this feature, you can install the Integrator everywhere exposed to UV rays (ex. around window except direct rays of the sun))

Furthermore, Integrator has a transparent cover. It allows you to observe the printing process during your working hours.

We exposed resin to strong direct sunlight for about 5 minutes. We covered the resin (on the left) with our Integrator polycarbonate cover ; but the right one without cover. We can see that the left one is hardened only a little bit but the right one is completely hardened.

Integrator is very solid and durable- as it is produced with the aluminum processed by CNC. In addition, the anodized aluminum creates an elegant and chic atmosphere,not only on your desk but also in your work place.

High performance CPUCORTEX-M3 72MHzof the Integrator allows for a much faster printing speed than any other 3D printers.

We use the verified host softwareCreationW3D as it provides advanced functions like Slicing, Anti-aliasing, Object Hollow and automatic support generation. Also, the user manual and the forum provided byDataTree3Dwill make your work much simpler. (License is included in printer price)

Easily Replaceable VAT and Detachable Build Plate

Integratordoes not need any extrawrench operationfor replacing VAT. All you have to do is to lightly push the toggle clamps to replace a resin tank. Also,you can easily level and detach a build plate byunfastening a ball head.

Thanks to its high resolution, Integrator is able to print ultra-fine details. Designers will get the clearest printing outputs as they desire. In addition, its high printing speed will save your precious work time.

Indian Rhino Mom & Boy, Designed by Rie Ito (x, y 63um, z 100um)

Fire and Ice (x, y 63um, z 100um) (Left), Superman sculpture (Right) Designed by Alejandro Pereira (x, y 53um, z 100um)

Engineers and companies usually spend a lot of time in creating prototypes. Integratorminimizes prototype-making time(minimum 1-2 hours to maximum 24 hours). It will improve your work capability considerably.

Integrator enables you to create projects in a faster and more delicate way. It is commonly thought that it is not easy for artists to realize geometric patterns in their creative works. With the help of the Integrator, they will be able to materialize these geometric patterns easily and even smooth surfaces.

Winged Victory of Samothrace by CosmoWenman (x, y 63um, z 40um), Paris lamp by LeFabShop (x, y 63um, z 100um), Athena Bust(Greek Statue 3D Scan)by 3DWP (x, y 63um, z 40um)

Integrator is especially optimized in creating small and sophisticated jewelries. It increases the likelihood of success in creating delicate molds and casts. Also, its high printing speed will allow jewelry designers to actualize their ideas in a short period of time.

Open source hardware ring by DjSplitterPro (x, y 25um, z 40um), Cocktail Ring by Abhijit Parvi (x, y 25um, z 40um)

Rosette ring 2 by jose alfredo, Celtic Ring Solitaire by jose alfredo(x, y 25um, z 40um)

Ititoli ring by jose alfredo(x, y 25um, z 40um)

For architects, it is very important to make prototypes for developing their ideas. Architects often spend a lot of money and time for it. Integrator is time-consuming and cost-effective- as you can print any intricate and complex prototypes without constraints.

Leaning Tower of Pisa by Chrisibub (x, y 63um, z 100um), Sioux Falls Cathedral South Dakota USA by MiniWorld (x, y 53um, z 100um)

Santa Rosa de Viterbo by MiniWorld (x, y 53um, z 100um), Roman Colosseum by CausalJoemama7 (x, y 50um, z 40um)

Integrator will be a great help to the medical field. Bones and internal organs printed by the Integrator can be used for treatment and for research.

Integrator can be installed in print shops and can be used for educational purposes (for students and teachers).

Integrator is compatible with most of the commercial resins on the market today. (420nm)

Integrator will be shipped almost assembled (90%) in order to reduce  shipping cost and custom duties. It is so easy and simple to assemble.    We will also provide a manual.

Faire Play III Makes Your Barbie A Wiking Princess

XYZprinting and SOLIDWORKS Team Up for Streamlined 3D Printing Experience

However, we have excellent technical skills and professional team members.

CRAFT3D consists of professional engineers.

We have been deeply involved in system design, system development and its application.

10 Tips to Maintain Your 3D Printer

Simplify3D and Dremel Announce Partnership to Enhance Capabilities of Dremel DigiLab 3D Printers

XJet Launches Carmel 3D Printer Line for Metal and Ceramics

Is 3D printing a sub-category of AI?

FELIXprinters Releases New Tec 4 3D printer

Digital Metal Starts Production of 3D Metal Binder Jet Printers for High Precision Metal Objects

Copy, transform, combine: Remixing at Thingiverse

TinkerCad vs SelfCad-Two Great 3D Softwares

Part 1: Development and History of 3D Printing Technologies

Part 2: Overview of Current 3D Printing Methods

Additive Manufacturing Hype or Disruption?

Following last weeks question to industry experts on what we can expect from 3D Printing in 2016, we asked them whether they believe additive…

Industry Experts on the Future of 3D Printing What Can…

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and receive the latest articles delivered to your email inbox every Monday.

10 Tips to Maintain Your 3D Printer

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.

Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete.

3D Printer Comparison

An accurate, reliable, easy to use out of the box 3D printer.

Plug and play 3D printer with WiFi connectivity.

Sturdy aluminum frame gives great accuracy and portability.

Huge build area, and Completely hackable.

Only dual nozzle machine from MakerBot. Optimized for printing ABS plastic with dual extruders.

The latest generation of MakerBot 3D Printers. 11% bigger build area and a host of other features.

One of the most reliable Delta-style 3D printers on the market. Offers great print speed and accuracy.

One of the smallest, cheapest, most straight-forward 3D printers available.

An exercise in simplicity, this printer steps up the game with all metal construction and auto bed leveling.

Speed, accuracy, reliability, and ease of use. This printer was designed with these features in mind!

Fast (300mm/s), AvailableDual ExtruderUpgrade, New heated bed.

Easiest to Use (2013; tie)Most Reliable (2013)

Best Documentation (2013; tie)Surprise Hit (2012)Best Documentation (2014)

Most Maker Machine(2015)Best Value (2014)

3mm:ABSPLA, HIPS, PVA, and wood filaments

3mm:ABSPLA, PLA-based, XT, and Nylon

Estimated Time from Order to Shipping:

USA, Canada, Mexico, and South America only

Ships worldwide, with a few exceptions

Ships worldwide, with a few exceptions

Ships worldwide, with a few exceptions

Ships worldwide, with a few exceptions

Ships worldwide, with a few exceptions

Ships worldwide, with a few exceptions

Ships worldwide, with a few exceptions

Ships worldwide, with a few exceptions

**Use of non-MakerBot filament will void warranty.

Make: and Maker Faire are registered trademarks of Maker Media, Inc.

Copyright © 2004-2016 Maker Media, Inc. All rights reserved

you are now signed up to the Maker Shed newsletter.

Keep up with the Greatest Show(and tell) on Earth.

The latest news about startups, products, incubators, and innovators.

Make: is the voice of the Maker Movement, empowering, inspiring, and connecting Makers worldwide to tinker and hack. Subscribe to Make Magazine Today!