At CES we were able to spend some time examining the incredible new resin 3D printer from Gizmo 3D Printers.
The tiny startup company from Brisbane, Australia has a tiger by the tail: the speed and quality of prints we saw with our own eyes were quite startling.
First, the machine: it’s a resin 3D printer powered by a standard DLP projector. If that sounds the same as numerous other recent 3D printers, read on. There’s a huge difference in technology here.
While virtually all resin-based 3D printers shine their light through the bottom of a clear resin tray, Gizmo 3D Printers does not. They focus the light on the TOP of the resin vat, which is of course perfectly smooth due to gravity (as long as the machine is stable).
This permits layers to be fused as fast as the resin will cure. There is NO DELAY from tank sticking, and no requirement for advanced peeling methods, non-stick tanks or certainly not the fancy oxygen-permeable tank as used by Carbon3D. This is an incredibly simple design that just works. In fact, the remainder of the unit involves very little mechanical parts, suggesting that this process will be highly reliable.
We observed what might be called “continuous 3D printing”. In this approach, the resin tank is lowered continuously at a slow speed, while the DLP light image focused on the resin surface is slowly changed at the same rate.
The result is prints that are perfectly smooth. Not just small layers, but PERFECTLY SMOOTH.
And this machine prints extraordinarily fast. According to Gizmo 3D Printers’ CEO Kobus du Toit, it can manage around 3mm per MINUTE.
Don’t believe this? We saw it happen. While interviewing du Toit, these geometric balls emerged in only 17 minutes. After wiping them down, they appear literally perfect. In fact, du Toit’s CES booth had quite a pile of them: they were printing faster than they could clean them off!
The printer design is quite interesting in that there are several possible future alterations:
- A 4K DLP projector could instantly increase resolution
- A lens could focus the pixels on a smaller resin area, making ultra-resolution small part printing possible
- A different lens could focus the pixels on a much larger tank, enabling 3D printing of very large resin objects at very high speed
- Segregated adjacent vats could permit printing multiple objects in multiple colors at the same time
At this point, however, you cannot purchase a unit, as the company is still organizing for production. They’ve made arrangements with a vietnamese factory to produce units for an upcoming crowdfunding launch (likely Indiegogo in March).
Pricing for the unit will start near USD$3,000 and depend on the model (there’s multiple sizes) and options, the most interesting being the “super speed” option that will “allow the user to print objects of 135mm x 76mm x 10mm in 2 minutes”. Incredible!
As we said, this is a very small company that is still in startup mode. At CES we did manage to hook them up with some professional help that could increase their chances of success significantly, since this is a potentially revolutionary product that could challenge existing resin 3D printers.