Sep 10, 2014 | By Alec

As most of our readers might already know, the consumer market for 3D printing technology is currently dominated by printers that utilize Fused Deposition Modelling techniques, or FDM. FDM printing is a printing technique that relies on additive deposition: plastic filament is ejected from a nozzle in a molten state, and the design takes shape through systematic layering.

Printers that work with FDM printing are usually easy to operate and inexpensive, making them a logical option for regular printing enthusiasts. The downside, of course, is that the printers are usually unable to print highly accurate details, while the surface finishes can be a bit sloppy. Other printing techniques, meanwhile, are usually a lot more expensive and ill-suited for consumers.

Therefore the China-based company ATSmake has released the 'Make' SLA 3D printer, which is intended to fill the slot between these two extremes; the industrial-grade, expensive high-precision printers and the less accurate FDM consumer printers. To do so, ATSmake (which comes from 'Artisan Make') utilizes Stereolithography printing (or SLA), which is not as expensive as, say, SLS, but far more accurate than FDM. This technology uses lasers to print in resin, and one of its largest advantages is the high speed with which it prints.

ATSmake is specifically targeting small and medium sized companies. Founded in 2012 in Shenzhen China, ATSmake produced its first FDM 3D printer 'Planets—Jupiter' in March 2013. In July 2013 they started working on development of SLA printer, which entered its mass production phase in April 2014.

As Yang Peng from ATSmake explained, 'mainstream industrial rapid prototyping machines are all SLA machines, so from a technical point of view, it is a more mature technology, while at the same time its optical system, software, etc are all close source systems, making this printing technology far more competitive. Other SLA printers, such as Form1 and B9C are still very expensive to acquire in China due to high import tax.'

With this 'Make' 3D printer, ATSmake hope to specifically interest high-cost industries, such as producers of jewellery and dentistry equipment in China. Both rely on high resolution parts, which are still a challenge for 3D printing technology. Meanwhile, there's a particular demand in the field of dentistry for custom made, detailed moulds. 'However, many other areas, such as the watch industry, will also be interested in this printer', ATSmake said.

Doubtlessly, we'll hear more from ATSmake in the near future, as their ambitions in the 3D printing market aren't limited to this SLA printer. They have announced plans to develop a small-sized Direct Metal Deposition 3D printer in collaboration with Italian metal printers. And a SLS 3D printer is also in the works, which they will develop together with UK-based printing company Norge Systems, a company that have been working on their very own SLS printer for a while now. Perhaps a new generation of printers is slowly coming our way?

The ATSmake 'Make' 3D printer weighs an approximate 15 kilograms, and just sneaks into the range of desktop printers with a size of 380 x 380 x 550 mm. Here are the printer's exact specifications:

  • Print size: 125 x 125 x 180 mm
  • Minimum layer thickness: 0.025mm (25 μ m)
  • Resolution: DPI 4096X4096X6000mm
  • Optical life: 5,000 hours
  • Dimensions: 380x 380 x 550 mm
  • Product weight: 15kg
  • Operating system: windowsXP or above compatible system
  • File formats: STL
  • Connection: USB
  • Operating temperature: 20-25 c
  • Working power supply: 100-240V1.5A 50/60Hz 160W
The ATSmake Make is priced at USD3300. Check out the 3D prints made on the ATSmake Make below:


Posted in 3D Printers

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