Mar 28, 2017 | By Tess

Hong Kong startup Orbi Lab is seeing some early success with the launch of a Kickstarter campaign for its Milkshake3D 3D printer. The “top-down” SLA 3D printer is being marketed as the ideal tool for artists, as it offers high-resolution printing and a relatively large build volume.

Orbi Lab, a Hong Kong-based startup founded by a dedicated group of 3D artists and engineers, set out to design and build its own 3D printer about a year ago. Now, after much development and refining, the product of Orbi Lab’s work, the Milkshake3D 3D printer, is nearly ready for market.

So what sets the Milkshake3D printer apart from other desktop SLA machines? Well, as Orbi Lab explains it, its innovative “top-down” printing process, which means the build panel moves downwards, effectively dipping into the resin vat, offers a more stable printing process, which can be crucial when making highly detailed objects.

As mentioned, the new 3D printer is being marketed to artists and designers, as it offers high-resolution printing (from 20 to 100 micrometers), and an X/Y resolution as small as 50 micrometers. Additionally, the forthcoming 3D printer has a notably large maximum build volume for an SLA/DLP 3D printer, coming in at 288 x 162 x 160 mm. The print volume can be adjusted in size (from 50μm to 150μm), meaning that it can be adapted for 3D printing tiny objects, such as jewelry, to larger models and figurines.

Other hardware features include a wiper system, which enables smooth print surfaces and refills resin, and the capacity to 3D print batches, helping makers to save time when 3D printing numerous small parts.

In terms of software, the Milkshake3D 3D printer can be used with an accompanying app that features a “powerful slicer” (reportedly capable of slicing three times faster than competitors), an anti-aliasing level, and automatically generated supports. The Milkshake3D slicing software was specially developed for ZBrush artists. The SLA 3D printer can be operated using a web-based control system (on PC, Mac, Linux, and mobile devices), and offers wi-fi connectivity, enabling multi-user control.

The Hong Kong startup is also introducing a line of Milkshake resins, including “Espresso” and “Mocha,” two general purpose curing resins for artists; “Strawberry Cast,” a direct casting and fast curing resin; and “Mango Cast,” a high-res direct casting, high curing resin. Both Strawberry Cast and Mango Cast are ideal for 3D printing and casting pieces of jewelry.

The Kickstarter campaign for the new Milkshake3D printer, which launched just over a week ago, has already raised HK$558,454 (~ $71,895), far surpassing its initial goal of HK$365,300 (~ $47,028). This means that backers should expect to receive their 3D printer rewards as early as August 2017 (depending on the pledge).

As for the rewards, backers can get their hands on a Milkshake3D printer starting at HK$28,710 (about $3,696), which, if everything about the 3D printer is true, is not a bad deal at all. And while potential backers might be slightly skeptical about investing in 3D printer crowdfunding campaigns (after the Tiko 3D printer debacle and the controversial NexD1 3D printer NexD1 3D printercampaign), Orbi Lab has, at the very least, offered many videos of the 3D printer in action.



Posted in 3D Printer



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