We took a closer look at DWS’s awesome XFAB resin 3D printer.
DWS is an Italian company that’s made industrial 3D printers for some time. In fact, they made their fame on wax 3D printers used for dentistry: the “DWS” could stand for “Dental Wax System”. Today they produce a wide variety of industrial machines designed for the jewelry, dental and industrial design markets. So far they’ve sold around 1,700 units in 62 countries around the world. They’re not small and they definitely have the ability to build high quality 3D printers.
But they’ve now produced a lower-cost unit, which they call the XFAB, by a subsidiary, DWSLabs, which has only 35 staff. This “prosumer” machine is very capable of producing highly accurate 3D prints with terrific surface finishes.
How good are the finishes? Check out the surface on this tube assembly, which uses 0.05mm layers and took 4:45 to complete. It’s possible to print as small as 0.01mm layers, depending on which material is used.
Here we see a metal cast of, well, we’re not sure exactly what this is, but the excellent print quality carries through to the cast.
Currently the XFAB offers this set of ten different resin materials, with prices expected to be between USD$50-100 for a pair of 330g cartridges. The cartridges are chipped so that the machine knows what to expect and can automatically adjust settings for optimum printing.
The ten materials is a shadow of the 54 they offer in their industrial lines, such as clear, transparent black or ceramic enamel. It’s possible the company may make some of these materials available on the XFAB in the future.
The materials offer different properties, one of which is “flexible”. This print shows a finely produced flexible tube that for all intents and purposes might have come off an injection molding machine.
Printing takes place in a cylindrical build volume of 178mm diameter and 178mm tall. Here you can see the build actually running, as we took a peek during a print.
The XFAB is just now on sale, and is available online and through a network of distributors, although the lead time is around eight weeks for delivery. We got the impression they were seeking additional distributors, in case anyone’s interested.