What's Up With Photocentric?
We recently spoke with Photocentric about their upcoming new resin-based 3D printers.
The UK-based company is most well known as one of the very few base manufacturers of photopolymer resin worldwide. Their materials products are used by many companies who frequently paste their own brand on Photocentric’s white label items.
But what some may not realize is that the company has been quietly developing sophisticated resin-powered 3D printers. We first saw some of their earlier machines a few years ago, when they apparently were attempting to drive resin sales through the introduction of desktop 3D printers of their own design.
Their current product line includes the Liquid Crystal Precision 1.5, the Liquid Crystal HR2 and the larger Liquid Crystal PRO.
Now we see they offer (or soon will offer) an interesting selection of unusual resin-powered 3D printers well beyond their initial forays into printer manufacturing.
The company has developed two new - and rather larger - resin 3D printers that we recently saw in person. The LC Accumulo and enormous LC Maximus are quite an extension from their current product line.
The Accumulo is targeted at the dental industry, and in particular those operations hoping to manufacture larger quantities of dental devices.
Here we see a sample print plate from the Accumulo. It’s possible with this machine to print a large quantity of objects in a single print job simply due to its large size.
What’s interesting about these machines is the light engine. Resin machines must apply energy to the photopolymer resin, usually with lasers, DLP or an LCD panel. Photocentric has been using LCD panels as their light engine, but with the new machines they’ve been using a massive 40” 4K LCD panel. This should provide for terrific resolution even at large scales such as are used in these new machines.
Photocentric also says that the new machines can 3D print at twice the speed of their predecessors. It’s not clear how they achieve this, but I suspect they’ve specifically tuned their photopolymer resins to react quickly when exposed to the particular frequencies emitted by the LCD panel.
The scale of the LC Maximus is massive. In this image with Photocentric’s Sally Tipping you can clearly see how large a print can be on this enormous resin machine. If you’ve ever seen a resin 3D printer, you will know how small they typically appear. But that’s definitely not the case with the LC Maximus.
The machines are intended on shipping in March, and the pricing is not yet known. While it’s not quite available for purchase, Photocentric tells us they are interested in speaking with anyone willing to beta test the large device.