Have you heard of Rapidshape's line of 3D printers? The one year old German-based company markets several units that focus on jewelry development, as they have significant experience in the lost wax casting process.
Rapidshare currently offers three different models: the S60 mini, midi and maxi. These printers use a photo-sensitive resin to form solid objects. Externally the S60's appear identical, but internally they differ slightly in build envelope size and print resolution:
- mini: 84mm x 48mm x 200mm, 0.03mm native resolution
- midi: 122mm x 69mm x 200mm, 0.05mm
- maxi: 150m x 85mm x 200mm, 0.06mm
All three units print at a rather snappy speed of 1cm of height every ten minutes, regardless of how many objects are in play. That's one of the fastest print speeds we've seen.
Slicing software for STL 3D models is provided with the printers and it seems that Rapidshape prefers Rhino3D as a 3D modeling solution.
The printers include internal management software capable of storing up to 500 print jobs, so the S60's are clearly production-oriented machines. There's no word on pricing for printers or resin that we can find at this time.