By Shane Taylor | 3D Printing Industry
“The entire 3D printing experience has been rethought and redesigned from the ground up. Providing the tools and capabilities any engineer, artist, architect or general DIY’er would ever want or need. The complete 3D printing experience is done within a laboratory grade environment, while always being protected from the outside factors and at the same time protecting the user from unwanted exposure and contact.” — GizmoForYou
There have been a number of 3D printer designs that seem to stand out from the rest of the pack. This has inevitably happened for various different 3D printing technologies – Fused Deposition Modeling, Stereolithography, Laser Sintering etc. – and various different product stratifcation levels — prosumer, professional, production. GizmoForYou has come up with a prosumer / professional level stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer that really does take a different approach to design and mechanics, the Ilios Ray.
On the back of the succssful Indiegogo crowdfunding of their Ilios HD SLA 3D Printer, GizmoForYou has moved on towards a very different approach to stereolithography design. In seeking a compact schematic for a desktop unit, the inventors have reiterated a number of the essentials for a stereolithographic 3D printer in a pragmatic, perhaps almost portable, machine. The compact design doesn’t sacrifice on build area however, with an impressive A4 (297mm x 211mm x 300mm) maximum output size.
There are a number of unique features that make this 3D printer worthy of consideration for consumers, worthy of emulation via innovative 3D printer manufacturers, and worthy of, well, just… “cooooool!” As a stereolithographic printer, the primary motion mechanism is that which lifts the cured polymer from its point of origin. Here, that lifting is accomplished by two servo motors which pass torque to precision gearboxes, in turn dividing the ratio of movement further still. In essence, the designers have minimised the height of the printer (see SLA product height comparison below) by spreading the in-print height differential among a number of internal mechanisms.
GizmoForYou, the manufacturer of the Ilios Ray, says: “Through its slim design, Ilios Ray can build models much higher than its own height and still retain the up-most level of accuracy and reliability. Every single part has been selected from precision manufacturers and incorporated into a rigid and completely metallic frame.”
There are a number of stand-out automated features in the Ilios Ray 3D printer that make this a real ranker in the prosumer stereolithography stakes. The printer includes model removal, which, whilst not novel, is of high utility. Also automated is the purging process. Add to this automated cleaning and the machine contains enough innovation to add significant value — in time, simplicity and safety. Let’s take a look at those all important product specifications:
- Resolution: 22 microns (0.022mm)
- Layer Thickness: 6 microns (0.006mm)
- Build Speed: 10 – 15 seconds per layer
- Build Volume: 297mm x 211mm x 300mm
- Machine Dimensions L x W x H: 892mm x 512mm x 200mm
- Cartridges: Four removable 220ml capacity
- Colour Tanks: Three at 100ml plus one at 160ml
- Built-in post curing process
- Automated model removal
- Automated cleaning and purging
Also included in the Ilois Ray 3D printer package is GizmoForYou’s Ilios software. The software supports all of this additive manufacturing machine’s standard and innovative features. Specifications for the software are as follows:
- OpenGL 2.1Model orientation, scaling and positioning
- File input: .STL & .OBJ
- Material and pigment mixing customisation
- Clean, purge and refill functions included
- Post-cure function included
- Platform: Windows, XP (SP3) to Windows 8.1RAM required: 2GBHard-drive space required: 10MB
So, there we have it. A highly innovative design and unusual number of automated features for a stereolithography 3D printer in this consumer niche.
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