Southern California based startup Acme Design Co released its newest 3D printer Monolith. Monolith is a large scale, high resolution and speed, UV polymer based 3D printer designed to be accessible and affordable for more people.
It is constructed in precision milled, aircraft-grade aluminum. Glass top surface acts as both the interactive display menu, and UV light source for building objects. The system uses UV curable resin and ultraviolet light to build parts' layers one at a time.
"The first layer, or cross section of a 3D model, adheres to a platform that has been lowered into the tray of resin. The platform then moves upward, separating it from the bottom of the tray, but not the build platform. The next layer does the same thing, only the platform is .004" higher, and it adheres to the first layer. This process repeats, over and over, until a solid object is created."
This additive manufacturing process is called Stereolithography and it allows you to create solid, plastic 3D objects from CAD drawings in a matter of hours. "The Monolith was designed to be free of proprietary material cartridges, because nobody likes to be locked into expensive "ink" cartridges. "
Monolith by the numbers:
- Build envelope - 16.88" x 9.5" x 33" (429 x 241 x 838 mm)(X, Y, Z)
- XY resolution - .0088"
- Z resolution - .004"
- Build speed - 1.12" per hour (Z height)
- Resin (build material) price - $2.14 per cubic inch ($61.88/lb)
The basic printing process of Monolith goes like this:
- You create a 3D model of your object and slice into layers using slicing software.
- You save the black & white layer images (jpeg, png, etc.) on a USB flash drive and inserted it into the 3D printer.
- Attach the build platform, and place the resin tray on the printer, filled resin.
- Press the print button
- The Monolith takes it from there, printing the object. When it is completed, it shuts itself down safely.
- Remove the build platform with printed object attached.
- Remove the object from the build platform. The build platform is designed to be used again and again. No need to buy "disposable" build platforms for every print.
- Clean any uncured resin off of the object. We have found Denatured Alcohol to work well. It is inexpensive, and can be found at your local hardware store.
- Post-cure under UV lamps (such as blacklight) or sunlight to increase the strength of the object.
Although stereolithography can produce a wide variety of shapes, the cost of stereolithography machines tend to be in the $100,000 to $500,000 class.
To kick-start the release, Acme Design Co will be offering a very limited number of units for presale, at $9,950. Free shipping. 1 Gal UV resin included.
The Monolith represents 2 years of hard work, and expensive R&D. I'm hoping it will shake things up in the 3D printing realm, and open new doors of creativity. - Benjamin Paul, designer/creator of Monolith 3D printer.
Posted in 3D Printers
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