Mar 21, 2017 | By Benedict

Hong Kong-based 3D printing startup Peopoly has launched the Moai stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer. The printer will be available as a build-it-youself kit for $1,250, but its Kickstarter campaign (target: $30,000) allows customers to get it for much less.

The Moai SLA 3D printer (above) and some of the items it can print

With over 15 years of combined experience in developing and marketing tech hardware, Peopoly founders Mark Peng and Richard Li seem well positioned to make their mark on the 3D printing industry—something they plan to do with their brand new Moai SLA 3D printer. Having hit Kickstarter today, the Moai promises to be a flexible and dependable resin 3D printer available at an affordable price.

Key features of the Moai 3D printer include a professional-grade 150 mW laser with a 70 micron spot size, fully adjustable laser settings, a 130 x 130 x 180 mm build volume, and excellent resin compatibility. The Moai kit, which can be put together in four hours, will retail for $1,250, though Kickstarter backers will be able to secure the 3D printer for as little as $800.

The Moai 3D printer kit will retail for $1,250

Peng and Li believe that their new Moai 3D printer, equipped with a galvo-controlled high-end laser rather than an off-the-shelf projector, will prove too tempting for makers to resist. “Most of the industrial SLA printers use a laser to achieve better results and larger print size,” they explain. “The reason for the lack of laser-based SLA [printers] in the desktop-level market is because [they are] just a lot more difficult to develop. This challenge is what attracted the founders to create this project.”

Originally developed as an educational project, the Moai retains many features that are, in Peopoly’s words, “geared toward openness.” This means that there is full access to the laser’s operational settings, while the 3D printer uses standard gcode (via SD card) instead of a proprietary format. The startup also says that the kit is easy to assemble and customize, giving makers freedom to hack and modify the powerful SLA machine as they see fit.

How the Moai 3D printer stacks up against FDM 3D printing

Perhaps most importantly, Peopoly thinks its new Moai 3D printer compares favorably to some of its more well-known peers: “Form 2 by Formlabs is currently selling for $3,499 with [a] slightly bigger build volume and larger (less accurate) laser spot size,” the startup says. “By giving the user the full control of the laser setting, Moai [users] can optimize printing results further by adjusting settings to match to [the] printing environment.”

Peopoly believes that the Moai SLA 3D printer could be used by jewelers (using investment casting), dentists, hobbyists, and others. This is because the 3D printer can purportedly print objects with an extremely high level of detail, as shown in several photos of example prints. It should be noted, however, that these photos compare Moai-printed objects with FDM-printed objects, not with objects printed on other SLA 3D printers like the Form 2.

Peopoly will produce its own resins for the 3D printer, though existing materials will also work

The Moai uses a high-end 150 mW laser

Assembling the new SLA 3D printer

The Hong Kong 3D printing startup has developed its own high-polymer Moai resin for the 3D printer, but the machine is also compatible with a range of existing materials, so nobody will be locked into Moai materials if the startup ceases production.

“By creating an affordable laser 3D printer that gives professional results, we hope that more people can use laser 3D printing for work and for play,” Peopoly says. On board with their project? Check out the Kickstarter campaign.



Posted in 3D Printer



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Anand wrote at 9/24/2017 6:16:56 PM:

How to Buy this DIY Kit ? This can be shipped to Bangalore INdia?

LOL wrote at 3/28/2017 6:46:00 AM:

lol...the FDM so crappy....they used a Micro 3D or Buccaneer Pirate

Xingewen wrote at 3/22/2017 7:05:36 AM:

Not really a Hong Kong company since they do not deliver to Hong Kong

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