Oct 1, 2015 | By Kira

After three years of development, Italian 3D printer manufacturer WASP today announced a new technological solution for DLP 3D printing that combines the affordability, convenience and cleanliness of top side light projection with the high precision of bottom side projection. The WASP TOP DLP is to be previewed during the Rome Maker Faire in October and released to the public domain for non-commercial use.

According to the company, the new 3D printer projects a 9 cm wide image and can reach a precision of 0.08 mm. Though they have been working on this technology for three years, the real breakthrough only came a few months ago. “The image of a film immersed in a liquid only from its lower side…allowed us to re-imagine and design the TOP DLP,” said WASP.

Most DLP (Digital Light Processing) 3D printer manufacturers focus on bottom-up projections, whereby the image is projected on the bottom of a shallow transparent resin container that has been made anti-adherent. The print plate is thus slowly raised out of the vat, building the object up layer-by-layer. Bottom projection printing ensures a much higher quality of prints with excellent resolution and no restriction of the object size, however the technique us prone with suction problems, with the part often becoming detached from the projection plane.

With top down projection, the platform and object are slowly lowered and submerged into the resin vat. In this case, the size of the object is limited by how deep the tank is, and objects are subject to curling, warping, and low-resolution prints. While top-down projection is much simpler and more affordable, it is not acceptable for large-scale or professional prints.

This is where WASP comes in to fill the gap and give users the best of both worlds: simplicity and reliability; affordability and high-resolution quality. “In the TOP DLP, the image coming from a high definition projector is directed toward a film that is immersed, on its lower side, in a photosensitive liquid. The print plate is initially laid onto the film and—moving progressively away from it—determines the layered growth of the high definition 3D print,” they said. This innovative mechanism solves the issue of the piece’s detachment from the projection plane and ensures up to 100% print success rates.

They’ve also solved the problem of having to replace and clean the vat regularly. Normally, DLP 3D printer manufacturers supply replacement vats or silicon (a layer of silicon at the bottom of the vat ensures an anti-adhesive surface), and it is the user’s responsibility to empty and replace the container themselves. If they let the vat become too opaque, the print is more likely to fail. However, with the WASP TOP, once the operation is complete, a special, watertight lid closes the vat, reducing cleaning requirements and related issues.

Finally, after solving the issues of vat cleanliness and cohesion, WASp added a system that filters out fumes, eliminating the unpleasant odor often associated with photo-polymerizing 3D printers. “This new product, which will be released in the next months, aims straight for the top of the quality/price ratio and it is exactly for this reason that WASP decided to name it TOP DLP.” The WASP TOP DLP will be publicly unveiled during the Rome Maker Faire from October 16-18.

WASP has been making headlines quite a bit recently, particularly with its DeltaWASP high-speed 3D printer and of course the Big Delta, the largest 3D printer in the world, capable of 3D printing entire houses. Along with singlehandedly trying to solve the world housing crisis, WASP firmly believes in open source innovation and equal access to knowledge, power systems, and the technological means to innovate and create.




Posted in 3D Printers





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Geof wrote at 10/2/2015 7:46:07 PM:

Kira, Could you expand more on "With top down projection ... objects are subject to curling, warping, and low-resolution prints."? I own 2 LumiPockets and I don't see any of that. Thanks

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