Feb 2, 2016 | By Alec

On the whole, the past year was quite a big success story for the 3D printing industry, with the market itself growing extensively. A number of companies has been successfully riding that wave with a series of eye-catching releases. Among them is the prominent Chinese 3D printer manufacturer Zhuhai CTC Electronic from the Guangdong province. It looks like they are ready to repeat those previous successes in 2016, as they have just announced that they will be entering the industrial 3D printing market with the very impressive upcoming Riverbase 500 SLA 3D printer, featuring high-speed laser galvanometer scanning technology.

CTC Electronic, as you might know, is one of the fastest growers in the 3D printing market. They have been heavily investing in their technology since opening the largest 3D printer factory of China back in 2014. Over the past year, they have also released a number of new 3D printers, including the affordable Riverside SLA 3D printer, the follow-up Riverside 2 and the RiverOS 1.0 operating system. The company also recently launched China’s first spot-scan operation system in Beijing.

But it looks like the professional user could be the center of their attention in 2016, and the release of their Riverbase 500 3D printer will doubtlessly play a big role in that. Recent market research by US-based analysis and advisory firm IDC has shown that this market is expanding, with up to 70 percent of all 3D printing sales consisting of industrial equipment and applications – a fact that has already convinced 3D Systems to shift their focus away from desktop 3D printers and has spurred HP to develop their own industrial inkjet 3D printer. This trend makes it quite logical that an ambitious company such as Zhuhai CTC Electronic also wants to enter the industrial market.

And to do so, they have brought quite a formidable machine with them. Their new square-shaped 3D printer is huge, at 1.75 meters long, 1.10 meters wide, 1.95 meters high. Featuring a brown-green color scheme that should blend in with any office or production environment, it has a sleek and dynamic exterior – though a box spanner allows for a high level of customization. It is of course a stereolithography 3D printer, and uses ultraviolet light to cure photosensitive polymers. This technique is one of the most widely used deposition-based 3D printing technologies in industrial machines, with over 50 percent of all machines in the world using SLA. In the Chinese market, that number is as high as 60 percent, though most of those are imported 3D printers.

The company is therefore right to assume that there’s definitely a market for their machine. The Riverbase 500 is also the first Chinese-made Gcode-format 3D printer to be equipped with CTC's proprietary operation system RiverOS, the company reveals. Other features include: a stable operation and mobility of high precision screw rails and a negative pressure-and-adsorption-based system to ensure reliable and uniform coatings; an automated optimization process for scanning paths for faster production and an instantly measured laser power to ensure top level processing parameters; and a high level of automation, including automated liquid level control, for 24-hour unattended processing. The machine also supports scanning design separation and convenient post-processing options. It’s price tag? RMB 530,000 for the Chinese market, and $86,000 in the US market. The Riverbase 500’s full specifications can be found below.

1. Laser & Resin

  • Laser Type: solid-state lasers
  • Wavelength: 355nm
  • Power: 300MW-500MW
  • Material: photosensitive resin (Photosensitive resin)

2. Laser scanning system

  • Effective spot diameter: 0.10 ~ 0.16mm
  • Scanning galvanometer: F-THETA-LEN system
  • Part Scanning speed: 6.0-12m / s

3. Print Volume

  • XYZ: 500mm (X) × 400mm (Y) x300mm (Z)

4. Software

  • Operating System: Windows 7, XP
  • 3D operating software: Riverside OS
  • Data format: Gcode
  • CAD Interface: 3D design software, STL file format



Posted in 3D Printer



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