Prodways Releases Its First Sub-$115,000 SLS 3D Printer

Prodways unveils their new P1000 3D printer

Prodways unveils their new P1000 3D printer

The ProMaker P1000 3D printer is Prodways’ entry-level industrial-grade SLS 3D printer. (Image courtesy of Prodways.)

French 3D printer manufacturer Prodways has made it its mission to become the third leading player in the 3D printer industry, after Stratasys and 3D Systems. 

To do so, the company, a subsidiary of the publicly-traded Groupe Gorgé, partnered with Farsoon Technology, a Chinese manufacturer of selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printers, and acquired a startup, Norge Systems, that, at the time of acquisition, was working toward developing an entry-level SLS machine.

Last year saw the release of the “Prodways powered by Farsoon” line of plastic and metal sintering systems and now, at the RAPID 3D printing trade show, the results of that second deal are starting to appear with Prodways unveiling what the company is billing as the first industrial SLS system priced at under EUR€100,000 (USD$113,170), a comparatively low-cost option for a typically high-priced technology. To top off the release, the company has also announced a partnership with BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world.

The Prodways P1000 3D printer

The Prodways P1000 3D printer

The new ProMaker P1000 is the result of Prodways' acquisition of Norge Systems, an Italy-born, England-based, three-person startup that originally sought to crowdfund the construction of two low-cost SLS 3D printers, the Ice 1 and Ice 9. Impressed with the technology and to secure an internal SLS team, Prodways purchased the firm in March of 2015, bringing on board its founders Alessandro Facchini, Luca Veneri, and Stefano Rebecchi to develop the P1000 system.

Standing with the ProMaker P1000 3D printer, Prodways’ SLS engineering team, from left to right: Alessandro Facchini, Luca Veneri, and Stefano Rebecchi. (Image courtesy of the author.)
Standing with the ProMaker P1000 3D printer, Prodways’ SLS engineering team, from left to right: Alessandro Facchini, Luca Veneri, and Stefano Rebecchi. (Image courtesy of the author.)
In an interview at RAPID 2016, the Norge team, now heading up Prodways' SLS division, said that, in many ways, being bought by an established company was a dream, particularly considering the significant investments Groupe Gorgé has been making in its 3D printing subsidiary. Suddenly, the three entrepreneurs had all of the resources necessary to turn their low-cost technology into a powerful industrial platform.

One of the features made possible with the new resources at their disposal was the inclusion of a smart temperature-control system into the P1000. Facchini explained that this system, capable of providing thermal stability, is key to producing quality prints. With 10 lamps and four infrared sensors in the build chamber, the machine is able to monitor the temperature of the powder and print area and then maintain a consistent temperature.

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