A Spanish company hopes to launch an inexpensive resin-based 3D printer. The Stalactite 102 3D HD printer is now available for pre-order.
Since the expiration of 3D Systems’ initial stereolithography patent, several inexpensive resin-based 3D printers have emerged, typically priced in the USD$3000+ range. The Stalactite 102 falls right within that category and offers similar characteristics: high resolution, quality components, dedicated easy-to-use software and a modest build volume (102 x 77 x 180mm).
Resin 3D printers usually come with either a laser or DLP light source that delivers UV light to the liquid resin surface. The Stalactite 3D HD printer uses the DLP approach. The biggest advantage of DLP is that an entire layer is solidified simultaneously, leading to significant speedups.
Like other resin 3D printers, the Stalactite 102 offers very high resolution. The standard layer size is a mere 50 microns, or 0.05mm. This is twice the resolution of typical plastic extrusion machines. Even better, the Stalactite can support up to 10 microns for even finer resolution. At this level it’s difficult to even feel the layers, let alone see them.
One aspect we quite like is the choice of resins. Right off the launch, the Stalactite can use one of four different resin formulations for different purposes. From their announcement:
- STANDARD: Our entry level resin. Affordable and suitable for general 3d printing needs, from figurines to maquettes or quick prototypes.
- PROTOTYPING: A hard and thought material, aimed at print objects that require improved physical properties. It has similar properties as ABS or Nylon plastic. Ideal for electronic housings, cogs, Iphone holders... Use this for your engineering and über-nerd projects!
- ELASTIC: A resin with very peculiar properties: It's elastic and flexible!! This opens up a world of options for your prototypes and props!
- WAXY: It demonstrates similar properties to investment casting waxes. Once you print your model you will be able to use the lost wax investment process and cast your designs to bronze, silver, gold or any meltable metal. This resin is particularly well suited for jewelers and miniature figurines manufacturers!!
It’s the resins that make these printers sing. This set of resins makes the Stalactite immediately useful in multiple areas.
The company hopes to ship units in November of this year, if their Indiegogo campaign succeeds. For now, you can only pre-order the machine for as low as €1,850 (USD$2650), which is a great deal for a powerful high-definition 3D printer.