Jun 28, 2016 | By Andre

There are companies that find something they’re good at and stick with it. A few years ago, for example, I was at a talk given by Makerbot co-founder Bre Petis and someone in the audience asked if he was interested in following Formlabs towards SLA 3D printing (the Form-1 was wrapping up its Kickstarter at the time). He suggested Makerbot didn’t want to play with messy resins and was happy to stick with FDM. Four years on, they’re still doing their thing but their dominance in the desktop 3D printer market has certainly been in decline.

It’s possible this is because smaller companies such as Italy based Sharebot are branching out from their comfort zone and toward a broader spectrum of 3D printer technologies. Their product lineup (both commercially available and still in the experimental stage) includes oversized FDM 3D printers, an SLS unit and last year discussed their impending adventure with DLP based resin printing.

It seems as though they are about to push their DLP efforts into high gear with the just announced Voyager Warp high speed professional 3D printer. Specifically designed for jewellery 3D printing in conjunction with BlueCat castable resins as its material of choice, the device is optimized so that “the needed exposure time for every single layer is reduced to just few hundredths of a second” with claims that the 3D printing speed (compared with competitors) is up from 10mm/h to 100mm/h.

With integrated management and control software out of the box, support structure creation, model transfer and processing can be done easily and painlessly via web connectivity. Also, since it is designed primarily for jewelry, the printing area doesn’t need to be too large and it most certainly isn’t (60x100x100mm) but with a 50 micron xy resolution and 5-100 micron z resolution, there’s no reason to doubt that you’ll get the best in-class prints at blistering fast speeds.

Not wanting to sound too much like a promotional piece with my words, I did a bit of digging and noticed the recently announced Titan 2 SLA/DLP 3D printer maxes out at roughly 69mm/h in terms of print speed. This is certainly less than the 100mm/h being touted by Sharebot’s new release. Alternatively still, the Form2 by Formlabs (granted, this is an SLA 3D printer) clocks in at roughly 30mm/hour at its lowest quality setting of 100 micron so if Sharebot’s speed claim for their Voyager Warp DLP 3D printer holds true, they certainly are a step (or two) above what’s out there today.

While it’s true not everyone has a need for a machine that is specific to castable resins and jewelry making, there is certainly a market out there and this is another example of how Sharebot isn’t satisfied with just one 3D printing technology. The future is uncertain in regard to which method of 3D printing will ultimately come out on top so for a company to limit itself to one process so early on is risky.

The announcement of the Voyager Warp suggests the company isn’t satisfied with what they’ve already released. Why put all eggs in one basket when it’s perfectly possible to dabble about just a little? In the end, this release looks like another positive step in this small Italian 3D printer developers future.

If not too late, check out their Facebook page for a live stream of today's release announcement.

Specifications:

  • Build envelope: 60x100x100 mm ca.
  • Printing speed with rw-16 castable resin: 100 mm/h
  • XY resolution: 50 micron circa
  • Z resolution: 5-100 micron
  • Wave length: 405 Nm
  • Compatible resin: RW-16 castable
  • Full HD LEV UV projector: 1920x1080px
  • 3D Printer size: 65x25x40 cm
  • Weight: 28kg
  • Support material generation software: Integrated

 

Posted in 3D Printer

 

 

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