Dec 12, 2018 | By Cameron

SLA (stereolithography) 3D printing is the go-to technology when a smooth surface finish is a priority or when the part has very small details. No other 3D printing technology can match the precision and speed of SLA. So then, why isn’t it the most popular form of 3D printing? The biggest deterrents to purchasing and operating SLA 3D printers is their price and the messiness of handling the liquid photocurable resins they use. Generally, if a company improves the user-friendliness of the resin-loading system, it comes with a hefty increase in price. But a new all-metal SLA printer on Kickstarter called Paladin is breaking the $300 price point without skimping on the features.

The Panda 3D Paladin has an XY resolution of 50 microns, a Z resolution of 10 microns, and can print up to 60 vertical millimeters per hour in a build chamber that’s 130x73x150mm. Its all-metal body includes dual Z-axis rails for increased rigidity and precision, and its light source is a 405nm 28-LED 1080p screen. Additionally, the Paladin is capable of auto leveling and auto-filling of resin, though those features are only available on the upgraded version that’s available for $359, which is still a bargain.

I can tell you from experience that pouring and storing photocurable resins is an incredibly annoying process; it’s the main reason I stopped using an older SLA machine that had none of these automated features. The resins are often caustic and usually smelly, something I learned only after using an SLA 3D printer. For that reason, the Paladin comes with an air filter to minimize the unpleasant odors of the resins. SLA 3D printers with these features normally go for thousands of dollars, not hundreds.

"As 3D printing professionals, we knew the quality and versatility of SLA printing so we wanted to create an affordable option for consumers who want the power of 3D printing on their desktop. Paladin 3D is the realization of that goal," said Steven, CEO of Panda 3D.

There are already four types of resins available, including standard, touch (durable), casting, and flexible, and the Paladin also works with third-party resins. The level of quality of the prints is as good as any other SLA 3D printer, but at a price that’s a fraction of the competition, the Paladin will surpass its $50,000 campaign goal in no time.



Posted in 3D Printer



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