It was just two weeks ago that we reported on a company called Carbon3D and their extremely fast DLP SLA 3D printing process called “CLIP”. They claimed to be able to 3D print objects between 25 and 100 times faster than current 3D printing technology. Then last week, we broke a story about a company calledGizmo 3D who had unveiled yet another incredibly fast SLA-based 3D printing process.
When it comes to 3D printing, we all know that the Chinese have been innovating at a level similar to that of the Western world, so it would be completely expected that they would also want a little piece of the pie, right? Absolutely!
A Shanghai based company, by the name of Prismlab, has unveiled a line of super fast SLA 3D printers of their own. Last October, Prismlab announced that they would be bringing a new 3D printer called the RAPID 400 to market in the future. However, the company has now unveiled not just one 3D printer, but three, and they are said to be between 8-10 times faster than other SLA 3D printers currently available.
So how exactly does this 3D printer work? While details are scant, it is similar to the process we see in other SLA based 3D printers. It uses light to cure a liquid resin. However, Prismlab has filed patents for a new MFP Technology (Pixel Resolution Enhancement Technology), where they are able to not only fabricate objects at a super fast rate, but they are also able to 3D print larger objects — up to 324 x 576 x 576mm in dimensions.
Printed on the Rapid 400
There are three separate machines in the Prismlab Rapid line of 3D printers; the Rapid 200, Rapid 400, and Rapid 600. The smaller models are capable of printing with a higher resolution, while the larger models can print quite a bit faster, but at the same time, reducing the resolution capabilities. The complete specifications can be seen below:
Build Volume: Rapid 200 – 108 x192 x 192mm; Rapid 400 – 216 x 384 x 384mm; Rapid 600 – 324 x 576 x 576mm
XY Resolution: Rapid 200 – 33-50 microns; Rapid 400 – 67-100 microns; Rapid 600 – 75-100 microns
Z Resolution (Layer height): 50-100 microns for all models
Build Speed: Rapid 200 – 300 grams per hour; Rapid 400 – 1,000 grams per hour; Rapid 600 – 1,500 grams per hour (** see below)
Printer Weight: Rapid 200 – 70kg; Rapid 400 – 120kg; Rapid 600 – 150kg
Build Material: Acrylic resin liquid
Power Requirement: 220V (4A)
Input File Format: STL/SLC
Printed on the Rapid 400
The speeds provided in the official specifications may actually be a great underestimate, however. According to some individuals and media in China (see videos below) these 3D printers are capable of printing an incredible 2,712 cm3 of material in a single hour while curing over 3 kg of material per hour, but the company has not confirmed this. If true though, this would be quite groundbreaking.
The way in which these calculations were reach are as follow:
According to these individuals and supposedly seen in the videos below, it took only 11 seconds to 3D print a single layer, measuring 0.1mm in height. This adds up to 3.27cm in height per hour. If printing on the Rapid 400’s 216 x 384mm (X/Y) axes, this means that 3.27cm per hour should be multiplied by the build area (216 x 384mm = 8,294cm2), giving you an incredible 2,712.27cm3 of build volume in just one hour.
“This is [a] very big breakthrough in 3D printers,” Hou Feng, CEO of Prismlab explains. “It uses three-dimensional light-curing technology, with four groundbreaking features: Forming 5-10 times faster than similar domestic and foreign SLA equipment; output capacity is more than 10 times per hour faster than other desktop SLA printers. It is perfect for printing within the fields of jewelery, healthcare, education, industry and other precision industrial market”
What do you think about the new Rapid line of 3D printers from Prismlab? Could they really be capable of printing 2,712 cm3 per hour, or is the Chinese media just miscalculating? Is 2015 the year that we see 3D printer speeds break out of the rut they have been in? Discuss in the Prismlab Rapid 3D printer forum thread at 3DPB.com. Check out the videos of these printers in action below.