Peopoly is building upon the phenomenon of its Phenom 3D printer line, today introducing the startlingly large Phenom XXL.
When the Hong Kong-based company introduced the Phenom L just this March, the reasoning was relatively straightforward: “Our users like big resin printers.”
“Our users like big resin printers so we made Phenom L even bigger than the classic Phenom. It has a build volume of 345.6 × 194.4 x 400 mm and is 33% bigger than Form3L. It also prints faster and has all new build plate designed for improve postprocessing experience. Imagine you can now print a full-size helmet without splitting the file up,” Peopoly Founder Mark Peng told me of that launch (introduced with the Phenom Noir).
Now, though, Peopoly is back at it, ready to offer their users something even bigger.
Development continued during the pandemic that has affected the globe since the last time we heard from Peng and the Peopoly team — but he explains that, “Despite the challenges, we did not stop developing even bigger printers.”
Peopoly Phenom XXL
It’s with that spirit in mind that Peng tells us:
“We like to introduce you to Phenom XXL, with a build volume of 527 x 296 x 550 mm (22 times of Form3). We have functional prototypes, and we shot a video about it too. While XXL works the same way in principle as other Phenoms, the much bigger build plate/LCD panel requires higher precision and strength parts. We upgraded many aspects of the Phenom to make this work.”
That’s 22x the size of the Form 3 — and more than 4x bigger than the already-definitely-large production-oriented Formlabs Form 3L, introduced last year and serving as a benchmark for large SLA 3D printing. The size is also 500% bigger than the original Phenom.
The photo above shows that the XXL does indeed dwarf the Phenom, and you can see that that photo’s scale was not distorted in the jammin’ (musically, not print-fully) video:
Like the Phenom 3D printers introduced earlier this year, the XXL is an MSLA system — masked stereolithography, which Peopoly sums up as being “LCD+LED” 3D printing.
“The most challenging part of making Phenom XXL is that the increase in the size of the bottom-up MSLA printer significantly increases the development difficulty. The core issue is the peel force increases exponentially with the increase in the size of the build plate, and that, combined with the gravity, makes it much harder to keep prints on the plate. The improvement in the plate and vat design, as well as light engine, helps reduce the peel force. These advances were made possible by building on top of what we learned during Phenom L development,” Peng tells us.
Okay, so the Phenom XXL is big, but what’s “big” these days? The 3D printer’s specs include:
- Panel: 3840 × 2160 (UHD) (4k)
- Print Volume: 527 × 296 x 550 mm
- Pixel Pitch: 137 um
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- UV Light Power: 340W
- Printer Size: 780 x 570 x 1120 mm
- Vat Volume: 6.5 kg
- Physical Weight: 115 KG
- Power consumption: 48V 9.7A
Peopoly teased the launch yesterday ahead of today’s official unveiling, tweeting:
And of course that’s not it (why would it be?) — Peng added a little something at the end of his description of the Phenom XXL he shared with me:
“We plan to go for an even bigger printer after XXL.”
Big Resin 3D Printers
Okay, so the Form 3L is popular, and Peopoly’s Phenom L was so popular they needed to size it up. Why? Who exactly needs such a build volume from an SLA system?
Much of the usage we see for the highly-detailed prints possible with SLA 3D printing comes from detail-intensive industries, like dental (orthodontic aligners), medical (hearing aids), and jewelry (personalize that bling). But when it comes to larger-scale SLA, users are a bit different.
Peopoly explains that it saw success with the Phenom launch in October 2019, and that subsequently “the faster print speed [of the Phenom Noir] and the bigger print volume [of the Phenom L] were well received by industrial and education users.”
The company says of the new system:
“However, Phenom L is still not big enough for some of the advanced users in the medical, automobile, and entertainment industries and they request even bigger Phenom.”
“With an industrial-grade 4K panel, XXL is ideal for high volume production and extra-large [models].”
These all fall in line with where Peopoly sees MSLA technology coming into play:
“Rapid prototyping to check shape for many industries. On-demand manufacturing for customized one-off design (custom car parts, research tools, movie props, interior decoration, advertisement piece) or small-batch productions (miniatures, small run electronic casings, jewelry making) Medical (dental, customized wearable items like braces for injured limbs, shoe inserts, surgical planning props).”
Unsurprisingly, Peopoly is in tune with their user base and understands what they need. So they also note that:
“With all-new build plate designs, Phenom XXL is as easy to run as other Phenoms while offering the ability to print large models with splitting. XXL also runs on the same Deft and Neo resins as Phenom so users can stock the same consumables.”
[Updated 8/25 to add: Pricing has not yet been announced, as the Phenom XXL is still being polished up to its final form. It should be available for order in October.]