An unusual resin-powered 3D printer has appeared on Kickstarter: the Milkshake3D.
There are a ton of resin-powered desktop 3D printers now available, and most are pretty much the same. This one, however, is a bit different.
For starters, it prints upside down. Most resin printers work by shining a powerful UV light through the transparent bottom of a resin tank. The flat inner tank surface is where each layer of the print forms. This process guarantees the flatness of each layer, but eventually destroys the tank, which must be replaced.
The Milkshake3D works differently as it shines the UV light from above on the (hopefully) flat liquid resin surface. In this way there is no need to replace the resin tank, as it never wears out.
However, you must maintain extreme stability and leveling of the Milkshake3D printer to ensure the liquid surface is flat.
The Milkshake3D has a unique capability: it can easily enlarge its print volume. Here’s how it works: the light shines through a DLP array of fixed number of pixels. Each pixel corresponds to a solidified area on the liquid surface, if illuminated.
If the light is focused on a larger surface area, then the print can be larger, but the effective XY resolution is decreased. Correspondingly, if the light is focused tighter, you get a smaller print with much finer details possible. You can see this in their introductory video:
Orbi Lab is raising funds for Milkshake3D - The Artist's Top Down 3D Printer -Up to 288mm. on Kickstarter! Large SLA top down 3D printing, highest stability, fast and high resolution. Web control on all os & mobile devices.
This means the prints can be quite large, at least in the resin 3D printer world. The possible build volumes of this machine are up to 288 x 162 x 160mm, with resolutions between 0.150 and 0.050mm. You will simply adjust the distance of the projector to the resin surface to select the optimum configuration for each print. Possible configurations:
- 96 x 54 x 160mm at 0.050mm
- 192 x 108 x 160mm at 0.100mm
- 288 x 162 x 160mm at 0.150mm
The company does talk about an app to operate the machine, but it turns out it is still under development.
Pricing of this machine is for launch only HK$28,710 (USD$3,700), but it appears that the final retail price will be around USD$4,250.
Of course, this is a crowdfunded launch and the usual precautions apply: your investment could be at risk. I recommend you consult our checklist to allay your fears.
The machine is billed as an “Artist’s” machine, and the only reason I can think this is so, is that the relatively large print volume possible might enable artists to print larger works. On the other hand, so could engineers.
One curious thing is the name of this device: the Milkshake3D. Why it carries this name I cannot fathom. But it does look like an intriguing machine.