Zortrax is continuing its focus on LCD 3D printing with a new software release and three new castable resins.
The Polish company has its roots in filament systems, so the announcement last autumn that Zortrax would be introducing a resin system was something of a surprise. The UV LCD Inkspire 3D printer is proving to be a key part of the company’s portfolio, though, as now over the last year it’s been at the heart of their updates.
Along with the new material system has come an application-specific focus, as different uses require different material qualities.
Last month, Zortrax introduced biocompatible resins targeted at the dental industry; now, they are zeroing in on jewelry manufacture.
Casting is one of the more popular ways to create rings and other detailed pieces of jewelry. Traditionally done in wax, 3D printing is opening up more options for designers — without changing too much of the workflow, even using the same tools. 3D printing can speed up the process of creating the jewelry casts significantly, enabling precision.
New to the Zortrax portfolio are three resins:
BlueCast X5 — designed for European-style jewelry design with stones in ring settings (think engagement rings). Interestingly, the material does not require post-curing; it also leaves no ash residue during burnout and does not contain toxic compounds that could potentially contaminate the investment.
BlueCast X10 — designed for American-style design, where Zortrax says “jewelry is usually more bulky”, this material is suited for signet-style rings and other relatively large pieces of jewelry. It is designed for fast burnouts at 740C.
BlueCast Original — designed for Middle Eastern-style jewelry with fine detailed and filigree designs. This material can be hand-shaped after being 3D printed.
The three new materials are all available now, and all have profiles in Zortrax’s Z-SUITE software.
The latest release, 2.11.0, is also grounds for a new plan from Zortrax: third party support in Z-SUITE. For the first time, the company is adding support for non-Zortrax LCD 3D printers in its software.
The company’s software offerings have always been proprietary, which has limited wider reach for useful features like a model library introduced a few years ago. Opening up the usage to other LCD 3D printers expands the potential user base for Z-SUITE — which seems timely, especially given the additions to this latest update.
Key features Zortrax is highlighting include:
Rotation Optimization Tool
Raft-Free 3D printing
Hollow Infill; ability to add cavities in the model
Split functionality to break up a print job or remove some components
Intelligent Support Structures
The latest version is available now — for anyone using an LCD 3D printer.