XYZprinting may have started with the 3D print consumer market, but now they’re strongly pursuing the jeweler market.
That’s because they’ve just announced the XYZprinting Nobel Superfine, a new DLP-based resin 3D printer.
The Nobel Superfine is apparently a sibling of their previous product in this area, the Nobel 1.0A. That machine, which sells for USD$1,999, included a laser for solidifying resin, as opposed to a DLP light engine on the Nobel Superfine.
This is a considerable switch, as the DLP should enable far faster 3D printing operations. Why? Because the DLP can illuminate all pixels on an entire layer at once, whereas the laser must literally move around to trace all pixels, movement by movement.
Unfortunately, I cannot locate any print speed statistics from XYZprinting on this new model, but regardless it is likely quite a bit faster than their previous model.
The new machine’s title includes the term “Superfine”, and that applies to the resolution of this unit. XYZprinting says the machine has an X-Y resolution (the pixel size) of 0.05mm, and the layer size (Z-axis) can be as small as 0.025mm. This should indeed produce very finely detailed 3D prints.
Again, unfortunately, XYZprinting has neglected to provide specifications for the build volume of this machine, but I suspect it is typically of machines of this size: small. But the size shouldn’t matter very much, as they are targeting it at jewelers, who need high resolution, not large volumes.
The DLP pixels are likely focused on a relatively small area in order to gain that finer resolution. This seems to be the case when looking at the machine’s build plate in this view.
How can this machine be used by jewelers? They would 3D print a design in a wax-like material, and then use the traditional lost-wax process to create a mold for pouring in liquid precious metal.
XYZprinting says the machine accepts 0.5L resin cartridges, and they will supply a castable resin. It’s highly likely these cartridges are chipped, as that seems to be XYZprinting’s standard approach to materials, so you may have to buy the materials from XYZprinting only.
Here you can see a jewelry item made using this process on the XYZprinting Nobel Superfine. Looks good!
It’s not clear exactly when the Nobel Superfine will be available, but it’s price will be USD$2,699. That’s less than some low-cost competitors, and significantly less than the long-term vendors that have focused on the jewelry market.