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New Printer Roundup.


ICMF
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Some interesting new developments in the hardware side of things.

 

First up, Anycubic have announced the first budget DLP printer.  This uses a projector under the vat, rather than masking off an array of LEDs, so it should give a crisper, more defined, more accurate image, with correspondingly improved prints.  It's "just" the size of the standard Photon or Mars and pixel size is 80 um, but the actual prints are on par with (or better than) 35 um printers.  It will be launched as a Kickstarter soon, where you can expect a significant savings over retail prices (but you're also getting beta units that may have nits to iron out...)  Review of a pre-release unit here: https://youtu.be/eAf0mpF9Nww This is a REALLY interesting development, as it opens up a bunch of cool possibilities - if they make the projector 'focusable', you could theoretically get down to, like, 10 um if you just printed a small ejection seat or wheel in the middle of the build plate.  Definitely on my radar to replace my OG Photon.

 

Next, Elegoo announced a new larget-format printer yesterday: the Elegoo Jupiter.  It has a 12.8" 6K screen for a respectable 278 x 156 x 300 mm build volume (11 x 6 x 12") @ 51 um resolution.  Again, they're launching on Kickstarter at a significant discount - MSRP is $1300 US, but the super early bird Kickstarter price will be $600.  IMO, it's a bit of a 'mushy middle' printer; it's really compelling at the launch price, but at full MSRP, it kind of lags behind the competition.  The Phrozen 8K is only $300 more, has a bigger, higher-res screen for better detailed prints, AND has an extra 10 cm on the Z axis.  It's probably a bit of a moot point for most modellers, but one of the big uses for the large format printers is the cosplay community, and I suspect 300 mm will be too short to print helmets and such, so it kind of misses the mark.  Anyway, full details here: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E86V1YCWEAIYoLJ?format=png&name=medium

 

...and lastly, speaking of the Phrozen 8K...  it has started shipping to pre-order customers.  Reviews here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HaSNoTEAg8 and here https://youtu.be/o4jlmFzb0-s Most of the criticisms I've seen either relate to the slicer (which, meh, I'm not that bothered by) or the fact that it's just so damned big (which is obviously unavoidable, really).  The one legitimate complaint I've seen is that the print times are relatively long - a full Z axis print is about 70 hours, IIRC - which again goes back to the large build plate and commensurate suction forces, and the time needed for the resin to flow back across the plate. 

 

I guess that just leaves Creality and Epax to announce new stuff in the coming months.  :) 

 

 

 

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The Anycubic DLP looks very interesting.  In a way, I wish I had not seen this report because I am planning to buy a 2K mono in the next few weeks, but now I’m thinking whether I should hold fire.

 

Problems are price and the teething issues with new technology.

 

After watching the video I see that the DLP will be priced as

 

$399 for the first 100 Kickstarter backers

$499 for the subsequent Kickstarter backers

$599 for retail (Amazon)

 

So quite a bit more than I was planning to pay for an Elegoo Mars 2 Pro.

 

Prices will come down of course as time passes and there is more competition but do I want to wait another year?  Decisions.

 

 

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If you were planning on getting some sort of wash/cure machine, you could always forego that (they're a bit of a waste anyway, IMO) and add it to your budget.  ;) 

 

I don't know that a DLP's benefits will be as useful for a home tinkerer.  You can design in looser tolerances and be fine with the level of detail on a typical mSLA print.  Where the DLP will be a big benefit is people who need greater accuracy in their prints, since this could potentially replace a five-figure DLP printer (or more realistically, farming out to a bureau that has one...)

 

(Just to muddy the waters further, I'd also suggest a Mars 3 over the Mars 2 Pro, for a modest increase in price.  Better resolution and a bigger build volume for a small price increase seems like a bit of a no brainer to me)

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On 8/23/2021 at 12:41 AM, ICMF said:

 

(Just to muddy the waters further, I'd also suggest a Mars 3 over the Mars 2 Pro, for a modest increase in price.  Better resolution and a bigger build volume for a small price increase seems like a bit of a no brainer to me)


Don’t think it will be a modest increase to start.  I was interested in a Mars 3 but somehow forgot all about it and missed the pre-order window.  The pre-order price at $399 is very attractive and indeed not that much more than the Mars 2 Pro but if it follows the same pattern as previously, the price will be significantly higher post pre-order.

 

Mind you, I did see a comparison review of the Mars 2 Po and the Mars 3 which concluded that print quality was the same but the Mars 3 is a little faster.

 

I would prefer to buy in the UK as importing incurs taxes and fees.  In the UK the Mars 2 Pro can be had for around £230, I suspect the Mars 3 will start out at £300 as a minimum.

 

The Mars 2 can be had for £180.

 

I wasn’t planning on getting a wash and cure machine, just the printer.

 

But you are absolutely correct, I would feel uncomfortable buying a Mars 2 when the Mars 3 has just hit the streets, but I could kick myself for missing the pre-orders so unless they do another batch at $299 I will probably hang on until the price drops.

 

The DLP is interesting but probably more expensive than I would be prepared to pay - and as you say, I may not even see the benefit or need.
 

Cheers,

 

Nigel 

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On 8/23/2021 at 12:41 AM, ICMF said:

If you were planning on getting some sort of wash/cure machine, you could always forego that (they're a bit of a waste anyway, IMO) and add it to your budget.  ;) 


Sorry, but I couldn’t disagree more. A decent wash/cure machine was the difference between getting seriously  stuck into making proper, detailed things and giving up for me.

 

Each to their own, but I’ve gone into bat on another forum about this, if you’re making a lot of stuff, with the inevitable trial and error that goes with that, manual, ineffective cleanup is a killer.  That pretty much goes away with a washer.

 

Cure I can take or leave, but a decent washer IMHO is a must. The fact it also sounds like an RB211 spooling up is just an added bonus. 
 

Nick

 

 

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Meh.  Different strokes.  IMO, giving it a good swish in a jar of IPA is more effective.

 

Changing back to the topic of new printers, Elegoo has announced that they will be selling modification kits to increase the Z axis on their upcoming Jupiter.  Replacement rails and a longer lead-screw so you can have upwards of 50cm in build height.  Which takes away one of my big complaints about the printer.  :)  Though a 50cm print would take a heck of a long time...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well my KS attempt for an Ultra failed.  I hit the pledge button within seconds but got locked out by the KickStarter web server crash so missed all the good deals.  In fact my pledge didn’t go through at all, it wasn’t that it was just slow.  I placed one later but I have since cancelled because 1) I think it is too much money($499) for my needs and 2) the print bed size is very small.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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