This short article will describe our company’s quest for a 3D printer technology that could deliver what we considered a fast and high quality 3D print.
The results of this endeavor will be briefly described. More will come on a later stage!
Primarily our company develops electronics, and was initially interested in 3D printing to able to print electronic casings for custom electronic cards.
Casings for electronics can be fairly complex if they require several plugs. Maybe the electronic circuit is communicating on a bus, and you require this to be more high-end than just a barebone circuitry.
So the investigation started, for a 3D printer technology that could deliver high end quality to a reasonable price.
What we found
After investigating the current technologies, it was very sad to see that the resolution of the 3D printed objects was so low. Only a very few companies was able to deliver high quality prints, and the price for quality was high. A bit higher than a start-up company can handle.
But the most disturbing findings of them all, was that neither of the companies was providing print-time specifications. Everybody knows that when printing paper, what you hate the most, is a printer that takes more than 10 minutes before it completes. To complete a 3D printed object, it will take forever. And if you want to print quality, it would take forever and a bit more.
What was the problem? Why? How? When?
For the curious mind, the questions are the cause and the endeavor the effect.
What we did
We started to develop our own 3D printer. That was the only way to find out the answers to the questions. It was an interesting task, with intriguing results.
An ongoing endeavor.
The 3D printing development is still ongoing, but we achieved what we needed, and the results are definitely in the high end area. Could we compete against the biggest 3D companies in the world? Yes, and we would if that was our primary goal, and or our primary challenge. But we have proven that it is a simple task to create something similar to current technologies. It would be a bit more challenging to create the ultimate 3D printer; the printer that could print a three-dimensional object in less than 10 minutes, and with a high end quality.
We can do it.
The printer developed used a fairly standard methodology during the development.
This technology was originally developed and patented by Charles W. Hull and his patent is still the inspiration of many in the industry. Stereolithography have one advantage over most 3D printer technologies; high quality and high resolution. The disadvantage is slower speed. So we decided to use Stereolithography for our technology development.
It was fun to see the results. The pictures below are from the prototype; a nice desktop 3D printer.
This prototype is still a bit too expensive, but who wants to sell their best tech. But anyone interested, can contact the company on our company homepage.
Any investors who loves this 3D printer, have an open invitation to stop by the beautiful city of Bergen to have a look at our technology development. The company has also more interesting technologies under development, than just another printer.
Some new 3D printer companies claims that they have developed the world’s fastest 3D printer. These claims seems to be nonproven statements, and just commersial proclamations to get attention in the market.
A 3D printer have mathemathical limitations due to the x-y-z resolution and the amount of pixels (or voxels) one layer contains. For FDM (fused deposition modeling), when the complexity of the objects increases the mathemathical limitations are more evident due to the increase of complexity in all axis. Since the layer thickness (resolution) is inversely proportional to the object construction time, the world’s fastest printer must have either limitations on speed or resolution. The latter is more likely. The biggest companies seems to be a bit more humble in their statements. Probably because they know the mathemathical limitations.
If it is possible to increase the 3D printer speed by the hundreds, the business would change.We are certain that it is a fairly interesting challenge to change the industry to the better.
We have just begun our journey.
Pictures of the prototype
Below is pictures of the prototype. 3D printed objects are about to be printed, at very slow speeds I am sad to say. More pictures will be added. Just stop by our company homepage, and we will show you some of our printed objects in a while. Currently – just enjoy the pictures of this nice product.