Oct 14, 2015 | By Alec

For a while now, it has been fairly obvious that Italy has conquered quite a good position on the 3D printing map of the world. A remarkable number of startups, companies (such as WASP) and designers (Maurizio Casella) have readily accepted 3D printing over there, and are doing some fantastic things with it. But now it looks like we can add another name to that growing list of Italian 3D printing startups, as the Genua-based Italian startup ZerO 3D Prototyper has just shared a sneak preview of an interesting high precision 3D printer also called the ZerO 3D Prototyper.

While not a lot is known about the company ZerO 3D Prototyper, the machine itself is already looking very interesting for professional users. The company itself is a four man operation and based in Genoa, Northern Italy. The machine itself is being developed by Francesco Cassulo (hardware and software), with David Valpondi being responsible for technical draws, Lion Christian for marketing and sales and Marco Niccolini being the financer.

However, the Genoa-based quartet is ambitious. Their plan is to release their first model in late November or early December 2015, and their ZerO 3D Prototyper is an FDM 3D printer completely aimed at professional users, with a more modest version for home users following too. As Francesco explains to 3ders.org, the key selling point of their 3D printer is precision. ‘There are those 3D printers we see in television broadcasts and on the internet, but those are cheap machines that are hardly useful for producing final products. Quality is very poor, precision is mechanically nonexistent and there’s a high probability of being unsatisfied with the results,’ he writes. ‘Today we introduce a new revolutionary technology that allows us to create precise objects with FDM 3D printing.’

While we will have to wait a bit longer before Francesco and his team will talk specifics about the actual 3D printing technology, they have already said that their ZerO 3D Prototyper is capable of 3D printing with an accuracy of down to 0.05 millimeter. ‘The first real goal is to obtain a similar accuracy with FDM technology, as is usual with SLA 3D printing technology,’ they say, but then much cheaper. While it might go a bit far to call that the fourth industrial revolution, as they do on their Facebook page, such a result would be very impressive indeed.

What’s more, they have already shared a couple of images of a purification filter that look to be of a very high quality. As Francisco tells us, they are 3D printed with layers of 0.2 millimeter, with 190 layers being extruded at 380 degrees. ‘Another feature of this machine is its ease of use,’ Francisco adds. ‘You will no longer need to go to trial, as the greater part accuracy is repeatable over time. This  is therefore a Prototyper and not a 3D printer.’ But whatever you call it, it is certainly impressive. Some other highlights of the ZerO 3D Prototyper can be found below.

  • New electronic driver with 128bit 5A
  • Nema 17 motors redesigned
  • Enables continuous printing without maintenance
  • New driver that allows the use of any filament
  • Extrusion temperature to 500 degrees Celsius possible
  • Handling h-bot on recirculating
  • Maximum consumption of 100W with two extruders
  • Firmware that automatically checks all the 3D printing process
  • Precision mechanical axis X / Y / Z one-twentieth of a millimeter.
  • All print parameters automatically change depending on the piece that you want to print.

So what’s the plan for now? Well, more information, the complete specifications, as well as photos of the 3D printer itself will follow in the near future. However, Francisco did add that there will be two versions of the ZerO 3D Prototyper: one for home users (costing less than $1,000) and one for professionals (in the area of $10,000) – both priced pretty well. The professional version, at least, is a big one ‘The machine has a printing volume maximum of 1 meter by 1 meter high 60 cm,’ Francisco tells us. While the rest differences between the machines are not clear for now, they will rely on the same 3D printing principles. While more will thus follow in the near future, this brief sneak peek already contains enough to make us (and probably a lot of startups as well) quite excited about the ZerO 3D Prototyper.

 

 

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