Jan 6, 2015 | By Simon

When it was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January of 2014, Digital Wax Systems’ (DWS Labs) XFAB 3D Laser Printer turned quite a few heads thanks to its unique ability to use laser stereolithography to fuse a variety of materials into solid objects including acrylate resin, ABS, polypropylene, rigid opaque, transparent, ceramic, rubber and even wax.

The system also includes the NAUTA XFAB Edition 3D editing software and uses an intelligent cartridge system for quick material swaps, no material handling, and ease-of-use.  Additionally, its ability to automatically generate supports also allows for easy support removal.

Today it was announced that DWS will be making their XFAB 3D printer available for purchase immediately.  The $5,000 3D printer will feature the same technology used by many industrial high-end 3D printers in an affordable and compact desk-sized offering.  

Specifications of the XFAB 3D printer include:

  • 3D printing method: Laser Stereolithography
  • Working area: Ø 180×180 mm
  • Laser source: Solid State BlueEdge® BE-1300X
  • Slice thickness: 10-100 microns
  • Minimum feature size: 80 microns
  • Scanning method: Galvanometer
  • Software: XFAB Controller, Nauta™ XFAB Edition
  • Input file format: .stl, .slc
  • Machine size: 420x638x590 mm
  • Operating Temperature and Humidity: 22°-25°C/60%
  • Power supply: AC 230/115V/50-60 Hz

According to independent research company HYPERLINK, the 3D printing market is expected to grow over 500 percent with a year-over-year growth rate of 45.7 percent.  While we’ve seen the marketplace of 3D printers grow to offer all sorts of shapes, sizes, prices and technologies, the printers that are capable of printing with the Laser Stereolithography method have proven to be among those that are leading the pack.  

More recently, the Form1 3D printer from Formlabs has been gaining a lot of attention despite having come on the market years ago.  Additionally, the new 3D printer from software giant Autodesk (not just their first 3D printer but also their first piece of hardware, ever) will also be employing the use of laser stereolithography for their Ember 3D printer model to be released in early 2015.

While the laser stereolithography method offers a much higher resolution than prints seen coming off of printers that use fused deposition modeling techniques (including MakerBot 3D printers, among others), the printers also come at a significantly higher cost.

Despite the higher cost however, there will always be a market of designers, engineers, medical professionals and others who rely on the high resolution prints as a tool in their design process.  With the XFAB offering multiple materials for the laser stereolithography method of additive manufacturing, they certainly have a leg up on the competition if they are able to deliver what they have advertised.

For those at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, XFAB will be showcasing their lineup of 3D printers including:

-DigitalWax 029X, for the industrial design applications

-DigitalWax 020D, for dental and biomedical applications

-DigitalWax 009J, for jewelry industry and accessories


Posted in 3D Printers


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Anja wrote at 1/7/2015 3:56:02 PM:

@Oliver Smith, @Codemite, @M Collinson: Thanks, corrected.

Oliver Smith @ Econolyst wrote at 1/7/2015 3:23:02 PM:

I think SLS is a typo here, the DWS XFABB is an SLA machine. SLS a powder bed fusion process where powdered material (polymer, typically nylon in most applications) is sintered together using a laser within a heated build chamber. SLA is a form of Vat Polymerisation where liquid photopolymer is selectively cured by UV light. Digital Wax Systems, similar to Envisiontec, specialises in top-down Vat photopolymerisation, both servicing the jewellery, medical/dental and industrial sectors. The XFAB is DWS's first attempt at breaking into the prosumer market, similar to Envisiontec's prosumer level Perfactory Micro Advantage printer at approx 7,900 euros The Envisiontec Micro however is specifically tailored for the production of jewellery masters for casting, whereas the DWS XFAB has a broader range of applications thanks to it's substantial build envelope and resin palette.

Codemite wrote at 1/6/2015 4:53:19 PM:

Why would SLS need to generate support material? This a misleading article.

M Collinson wrote at 1/6/2015 11:50:10 AM:

Title says SLS or should that be SLA?

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