The Monolith 3D Printer

With a name like "Monolith", you'd expect this 3D printer to be big - and you won't be disappointed. The Monolith, developed by Acme Design Co., is one of the largest low-cost 3D printers we've seen. It also seems to be one of the shiniest. 
 
How big is it? What material does it consume? What's the resolution? Here are the relevant specs: 
 
  • Uses an ultraviolet-cured resin as its material
  • Build envelope of 43 x 24 x 84 cm (yes, cm!) or 16.8 x 9.5 x 33 inches
  • Layer height of 0.01mm (0.004 inches), XY resolution of 0.022mm (0.0088 inches)
  • Build rate of 2.85cm per hour (1.12 inches per hour)
 
To hold that massive build envelope, the machine itself is almost six feet tall. 
 
The Monolith has a very unusual scheme for driving printer operations. Typically 3D printer manufacturers include custom software to transform your 3D model into appropriate machine instructions and then sends it on to the device. The Monolith includes no such software; instead you are required to prepare a USB flash drive containing black and white images of each layer's contents. 
 
This can be done using some open source and commercial solutions and gives the operator the flexibility to use whatever tool is convenient. However, some owners may view this as an extra responsibility. According to Acme Design's Benjamin Paul: 
 
The Monolith was intentionally designed to be free of preparation software. This will allow the end user to choose the software that best fits their needs – from expensive professional solutions, to free open-source options. The choice is theirs. Simply supply the Monolith with the layer images (jpeg, png, etc.) stored on a USB flash drive, select the project from the onscreen menu, and it will take it from there. No host computer required. We’ve also designed it to be free of proprietary material cartridges, because nobody likes to be locked into expensive “ink” cartridges :)
  
The price of this unit is just under USD$15,000 and includes one US gallon of UV resin, which otherwise is sold for USD$134/L or USD$495/USgal. The printer's pricing is competitive with other other commercial units, although the Monolith has a larger build envelope. Can you order one now? Unfortunately you'll have to wait for the next batch, but you can sign up to be notified when you can place your order. 
 
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