Sep 16, 2016 | By Benedict

British startup Lightning 3D has launched a Kickstarter campaign for its “Lightning” Double Exposure UV DLP 3D printer. An early bird version of the 3D printer is available for £1,450 ($1,900), and the campaign has a target of £20,000 ($26,500).

Just how fast is the new Lightning UV DLP 3D printer from Lightning 3D? Lightning fast! Or, more accurately, 3.8cm per hour. According to Lightning 3D, its new desktop 3D printer—available now for $1,900 through Kickstarter—is compact, quiet, and user-friendly, and delivers accurate prints at an affordable price.

Instead of depositing molten plastic from a print head, DLP 3D printers use projectors and vats of curable resin to create their 3D printed parts. What sets the Lightning apart from other DLP printers is its double exposure feature: each printed layer can be exposed in two positions, effectively doubling the available print volume without compromising on the print resolution of 62.5 microns (x,y) and 20 microns (z).

According to Lightning 3D, there are other benefits to its projector setup. For example, the Lightning’s compact DLP Light Engine uses a 405nm UV LED as its light source, producing relatively little unwanted heat. This efficiency massively increases the lifespan of the projector bulb, increasing the 2,000 hours (at a typical cost of £150 per bulb) of regular projectors to around 30,000 hours, 15 times that of lamps used in other systems.

In many projection-based 3D printers, background light from the projector during the peel cycle can damage printed parts and cause the resin to gel in unintended places. The Lightning 3D printer sidesteps these problems, as its LED light source is switched during the peel cycle. This method is more efficient, extends the lifespan of the LED, and helps to maintain high quality printing during large prints and over the lifespan of the printer.

The resin vat of the Lightning 3D printer has also been designed with durability in mind. Rather than use PDMS, Lightning 3D has constructed the vat from Teflon FEP film, giving it a longer lifespan and eliminating potential clouding issues. The supported film allows for a quick release between layers and faster cycling.

Lightning 3D has produced its own batch of resins to work with the Lightning 3D printer. These resins are tuned to cure at 405nm, and produce hard and durable parts in a range of colors. Parts 3D printed with the resin can easily be post-processed, filed, sanded, primed, and painted. The startup is even prototyping a castable resin which can be burned out without leaving a residue, while  flexible or filled resins may be developed in future. The printer is, however, compatible with some third-party resins such as Makerjuice G+ and Funtodo SB.

Other useful features of Lightning include an acrylic anti-UV cover, transparent enough to allow easy monitoring of print progress while blocking UV light. The cover is hanged, takes up minimal space, and has been designed for easy access, so changing resin vats and removing build platforms can be done cleanly and quickly. The printer also supports WiFi connectivity, features a full aluminum body, and uses an industrial-grade linear rail, C7 ballnut and screws, and moving platform.

The Lightning UV DLP 3D printer will be supplied with Creation Workshop, a model preparation tool through which users can readjust the size of their 3D models, generate supports, and create hollow sections within a solid part.

In order to bring its Lightning 3D printer to production, Nottingham-based Lightning 3D has launched a Kickstarter campaign, setting a £20,000 ($26,500) goal. An early bird version of the printer is available for a $1,900 pledge, with delivery set for December 2016.



Posted in 3D Printer



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Snarky wrote at 9/20/2016 8:08:53 PM:

Wow. Someone obviously does not understand the difference between a review and an advertisement. They should probably go review that memo.

Annie Collier wrote at 9/19/2016 10:45:18 PM:

To Whom this may Concern, I am a representative of DataTree3D LLC (“DT3D”) in Texas. DT3D is the owner of the 3D printing software CreationW3D, formerly known as Creation Workshop, created by Steven Hernandez. It is our intention to guarantee the continued development of DataTree3D and its products for the benefit of consumers just like yourself. Unfortunately it has come to our attention that unlicensed copies of our software are being distributed to the public through various businesses, and are therefore guilty of copyright infringement. We are not accusing you of unlawful activities, however we being the owners of CreationW3D are entitled to request that you cease and desist any use of our software until this issue is resolved. We understand the circumstances in which our product became available to you, and we hope to address this issue as best we can for all parties involved. We are glad that you would choose our software for your 3D printing needs, and going forward we hope to establish a business relationship.

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