Taiwan-based Ackuretta announced their new A96 and A135 DLP 3D printers are now available worldwide.
The company has produced DLP-based resin 3D printers for commercial use for some time, announcing the availability of their model A135 this past January. However, at the time the machine was available only in select markets.
Now the company has announced “global availablity” of the A135 and A96 models, where we now should expect to see resellers marketing the devices.
These well-built commercial 3D printers are quite suitable for dental, jewelry and prototyping applications requiring fine details and consistent print quality.
The A96 model has a build volume of, guess what, 96 x 54 x 130mm with 0.05mm XY resolution, and the A135 model’s build volume is 135 x 76 x 130mm with 0.07mm XY resolution. Both machines can produce high quality output, although in different sizes. Print speed is said to be up to 40mm per hour – 3D model geometry does not affect the print speed as the DLP illuminates an entire layer at once regardless of what’s being solidified.
The machines are both “open materials”, meaning you can use any photopolymer resin you’d like to try in them. This opens up the possibility of experimental resins and unusual approaches. It can also lower operating costs, as compared to some other machines that require expensive proprietary resins from the manufacturer.
One item of interest for these machines is their “Hybrid Duravat”, the resin tank through which the DLP shines to solidify resin. They say it has “Consistent performance for over 300 prints”, which seems quite high to me. Other machines tend to wear out their resin tanks at a faster rate. On the other hand, what is a “Print”? And are the 300 prints taking place over different portions of the tank? It’s hard to say.
One thing we do know is the price of the larger model, USD$18,900.
While the A96 and A135 appear to be very competent resin 3D printers, that price does seem high compared to more recent entries in the market. There are an awful lot of very good resin 3D printers to choose from that cost less than this level.
Were Ackuretta to include some exotic features, such as ultra-fast continuous 3D printing, variable resolution or some other practical feature, the higher cost might be justified. Even if the 300 print tank is true, the cost of tank replacements on lesser priced equipment might still make the A96 and A135 a more expensive option.
But this move by Ackuretta to sell the equipment worldwide shows their determination to expand their business. However, I suspect they are going to run into serious competition.