Lightforge is developing a personal resin-based 3D printer, a device that apparently doesn’t have an official name yet. We checked out the machine, which was actually a “version 1 prototype”, built after some fifteen months of development.
A spokesperson indicated they’re currently working on a version 2 prototype that may be part of a Kickstarter campaign expected in a couple of months.
The machine uses DLP UV light to solidify photo-curable resin, much like several other resin-based devices do. Because the DLP tech enables curing of an entire layer at once, the unnamed Lightforge machine could be faster to print than laser-based devices in which the laser must ponderously trace each solid area of every layer. This means you could print a cube the size of the entire (large) build chamber in about 6.5 hours.
The machine features a unique peeling mechanism. The company has obtained a “Patent Pending” on this new design.
Other features include the ability to store models in the printer for offline production. Future versions of the machine will include network connectivity. They’re also making arrangements with NetFabb to produce customized slicing software.
While they’re producing their own resins, it sounds like they will also permit “open resins” to be used in the device. However, Lightforge is developing multiple resins, including polyurethane and polyester types.
The price of the unnamed Lightforge machine is unknown, but we’re expecting to see a price somewhere between USD$2-3,000, probably at the USD$2,500 mark. But you should pay attention to their Kickstarter campaign when it launches, as they may offer early bird special discounts.