Sinterit has made a name by supplying a quality desktop SLS 3D printer, the Lisa, for some years now.
The Lisa has been perhaps the lowest cost desktop SLS unit you can buy, and it’s capable of fusing powdered nylon into strong parts with any geometry you require. And this machine has been available a very low cost, only €6,990 (USD$8,240), far lower than the price of other commercial SLS 3D printers.
Building on that success, the company subsequently developed the Lisa 2, which offered larger build volumes and other features.
But does their forays into more expensive machines mean they’re leaving the low cost SLS market behind? It turns out they are not, as they announced a new generation of the Lisa SLS 3D printer, which has some surprises.
To be sure, this is still intended to be a low cost SLS desktop 3D printer, so you won’t see massive additions of features. But here’s what’s changed:
- They’ve increased print reliability through more precise control of temperatures during printing
- They’ve tightened up the heat sealing of the build chamber to better maintain and control temperatures
- They’ve redesigned the lid to allow simpler and easier access to the build chamber
- They’ve developed a simpler method of changing out the laser protective glass that is much faster
- Their user interface is simplified and easier to use
But by far the most interesting new feature is an increased build volume.
Sinterit says the new Lisa will have a diagonal print bed increase from 227mm to 245mm.
Hold on, you say, that’s not particularly large - and it’s measured as a diagonal, which would correspond to a somewhat smaller X and/or Y dimension increase.
That’s all true, but there is something extremely interesting about this feature upgrade: it was done WITHOUT changing any of the basic hardware. The build plate remains the same size as the previous version!
How can Sinterit increase the build dimensions without increasing the build plate size?
The answer is that it relates to their increased focus on heat control. It seems that the previous Lisa was not able to fully utilize its available mechanical reach due to variability in heat during printing operations. However, the improvements to the machine’s heat control effectively enabled Sinterit to perform a kind of “software upgrade” that turned on the extra dimensions.
While I’ve seen many 3D printer companies upgrade their equipment through software releases, I have not yet seen a company increase their build volume in this unique way.
Another thing: this increase does strongly suggest that the folks in the Sinterit labs have truly spent considerable time on the issues of heat control, which they likely did when working on the larger Lisa 2 machine. It could be that their findings on that machine’s development, combined with long experience with the original Lisa resulted in the revelation of increasing build volume without changing hardware.
Unfortunately, it’s quite likely such a build volume increase would not be available as an upgrade to current Lisa owners, as it depends on the superior heat control features in the new version.
Sinterit now offers the new Lisa at a discount price of €4,990 (USD$5,840) until August 1st. If you’re interested in a powerful, inexpensive desktop SLS 3D printer, this may be the machine for you.