San Diego-based startup UNIZ launches their incredible new resin 3D printer today.
I first encountered UNIZ at CES this year, where CEO Dr. Houmin Li explained how the SLASH, their first machine worked.
I learned that while the machine uses a resin-curing process, it uses neither lasers or DLP to supply the curing UV light. Instead it uses an LCD-masking process that should be as fast as DLP, which can illuminate an entire resin layer all at once. (As opposed to a laser, which must laboriously trace all parts of a layer in sequence).
The prints produced by the SLASH are, as you might expect, quite impressive. Here we see the frequently-tested Rook 3D model printed in very high resolution. Note the stairs and structures inside the Rook (Thingiverse link).
Here we see a sample print of the Eiffel Tower, a notoriously difficult item to print with plastic extrusion 3D printers, due to the massive amount of retraction required. This print is near perfect - and has no stringies as you might find from filament prints.
UNIZ also suggests the parts emerging from the SLASH will be highly accurate, as this image shows. However, resin prints sometimes continue to cure after printing, so I suspect parts will have to be post-processed to ensure full curing.
The other interesting feature of the SLASH is that the resin tank includes a non-stick coating. This eliminates the need for a time-consuming “peeling movement” that pulls the newly solidified layer off the bottom of the resin tank. Instead, the print process simply proceeds quickly, leading to some very impressive printing statistics.
According to Dr. Li, the SLASH will print up to fifty times faster than comparably-priced (or even higher priced) desktop resin 3D printer. It can deposit more than 1,000cc of material per hour.
Today UNIZ’s Kickstarter began with a cost of USD$999 for the initial units, with pricing set to rise as more units are sold. Currently you can grab one for only USD$1,199. I expect this to be quite a popular buy, given the incredible performance and price offered by the SLASH. In fact, they're already nearing their funding target of USD$50,000. Expect them to sell far more than that.