A new resin-based 3D printer makes a bold claim: MoonRay hopes to be the world’s best desktop 3D printer.
Could this be true? Let’s examine why they believe their product could be the best.
At first glance, the Moonray appears to be similar to many other DLP-powered resin 3D printers, but you must look a bit deeper to find their magic.
Their secret is a custom-designed ultraviolet light projector. Where other DLP 3D printers use off-the-shelf light projectors, MoonRay has designed their own, and with a very good reason.
Common DLP projectors issue light in a variety of wavelengths. In fact, most projectors were originally designed to project visible video onto nearby walls.
But that kind of light is only incidentally useful to 3D printing processes, which require UV light to selectively solidify photo curable resin.
MoonRay’s projector is built to blast light only at 405nm, the precise UV frequency required to cure resin. This means that there are no “wasted” light frequencies that otherwise would warm the resin and slightly distort printing accuracy.
The result of the new projector is increased accuracy and lowered power consumption. MoonRay is said to be capable of reliably printing at 0.020mm layer sizes, with a lateral resolution of 0.100mm, which is very good. Check out the printed samples here, where it is very clear that the UV projector has produced finely detailed prints. SprintRay, the company behind MoonRay, says the bulb in the projector should last 50,000 hours, far more than conventional projectors.
Aside from the innovative projector, the MoonRay has a few other interesting features, most notably the design of the resin tank. Most DLP 3D printers have a serious issue with tank erosion. As printing occurs from the bottom of the transparent tank, some adhesion occurs and tank material erodes as layers peel off the bottom.
MoonRay’s tank is different: “We designed the MoonRay’s resin tank to last, so there’s no more replacing your printer’s resin tank or changing the PDMS layer.” This should remove another consumable from 3D printer operation.
The company produces its own resins, although we suspect you can use any handy resin in the MoonRay. However, the pricing of their resins is quite reasonable: USD$59 for “standard resin” and USD$100 for castable resin.
The MoonRay is currently available on Kickstarter and pricing is at USD$2,799 and rising as units are sold. For this price you’ll receive a fully assembled unit and two liters of resin. Note: this pricing is for US backers only; those outside of the USA must opt for the USD$2,999 package. All machines are said to be delivered in early 2016.
Act now, as their campaign ends on June 5th!