IDM Lab finally released the PicoFAB 3D printer.
Wait, who is IDM Lab? They’re actually what used to be known as “Lumi Industries”, an Italian company that we’ve frequently written about. Over the years they’ve produced the LumiPocket, LumiFold, LumiCUBE, LumiBEE and now the PicoFAB, all small-format resin 3D printers.
We’ve actually known about the PicoFAB for quite some time, with first reports on the PicoFAB well over a year ago. For some reason the release of the machine has taken over a year, but perhaps that’s understandable given the crazy business conditions of the past year.
This item is a very small 3D printer, one with a build area of only 24 x 24 mm. This is extraordinarily tiny, even for a resin 3D printer, which are often used to produce small items such as jewelry 3D models.
Why does this unusual machine have such a small build volume?
It’s because the goal of the device is not to 3D print objects; instead it is designed for resin testing.
Developing 3D Printer Resins
Photopolymer resin is an incredibly versatile platform, as it can be doctored in many ways to create unique materials. There are, for example, resins on the market today that are: flexible, tough, fire resistant, biocompatible, ceramic, and even metal.
The idea is to take a base photopolymer resin and combine it with additives to create new materials with new properties. This is what’s done by the major players in the chemical industry to create new products.
However, resin experimentation is also done by smaller groups, like labs and even dedicated hobbyists. These would attempt to create unique resins for specific purposes.
Unfortunately, resin development usually requires plenty of iterative testing in order to perfect the mix. The problem is that standard resin 3D printers are designed to print larger objects and thus need a correspondingly large resin vat.
This means that someone developing a resin on a standard resin 3D printer would have to test batches of 100-150ml per test, and that can get expensive. If only there were a resin 3D printer that had a much smaller vat.
The PicoFAB 3D Printer
The answer is the PicoFAB.
Its ridiculously small resin vat (only 24 x 24 mm in size) allows testing of resins with only 10-15ml, one-tenth the volume of standard resin 3D printers.
This 3D printer is so small it literally fits in the palm of your hand. Well, at least the prototype without the enclosure certainly does.
This makes the PicoFAB an ideal device for labs developing custom resins.
Pricing is not yet publicly available, and those interested are directed to contact IDM Lab for details.
Via IDM Lab