Taipei-based MiiCraft launched a new 3D printer last week, one that’s quite different from their original model.
MiiCraft launched in 2012 with an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. At the time their sole product was a small-scale resin-based 3D printer (“the world’s smallest”), priced at a then spectacular USD$2,200.
That price level was competitive for hobby machines, and indeed, I believe that was their target market at that time. Mid 2012 was right in the middle of the consumer 3D printing hype cycle, which subsequently peaked in 2014.
What happened next? Evidently MiiCraft survived as so many other 3D printing startups did not, and now they’ve developed and released a brand new machine. But it’s utterly unlike their previous model, aside from using the same 3D printing process: photocured resin.
The new machine is the MiiCraft 125 series, described as:
Building on Digital optics technology and modularized mechanical design, 125 series add a variety choice of specifications to MiiCraft printer family including different types of building volume, resolution and wavelength (table 1). 125 series provides high precision printing enthusiasts with greater production volume, flexible choice of third party resins and applying to more printing applications.
The 125 Series is offered in several different models that vary by build volume and consequent resolution (the larger the build volume, the lower the resolution). However, in all cases the MiiCraft 125 Series machines offer incredibly good resolution, ranging from 0.030 – 0.065mm on the XY axis. (This is essentially the pixel size illuminated by their light source). The Z-layer height can vary between 0.200 and 0.005mm, making it possible to print highly accurate and smooth objects.
Each machine is able to use several types of resin, including a castable version offered by MiiCraft and five colors. Of course, you can also use any 3D party resin in the Series as well, and their software permits twiddling the parameters to achieve the best printing results.
It looks like an excellent machine. But here’s the big difference: the price of the new 125 Series is said to begin at USD$15,000 and up, depending on the model.
That’s a far cry from their original hobby-level USD$2,000 machine, and demonstrates that this company has completely shifted their market from consumers to professionals. The MiiCraft 125 Series is designed – and priced – for use by those developing jewelry, dental apparatus and similar.
Here we have a case of a company launched directly into the consumer world, but successfully transformed into servicing the commercial world, competing directly with high-end resin 3D vendors such as DWS, Solidscape and others.