A few points to consider when building a commercial machine

Post, review and discuss any commercial machines. Try to include links, specifications and prices.
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PacManFan
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A few points to consider when building a commercial machine

Postby PacManFan » Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:23 pm

I think there is still room for good printers in the SLA printer market. I know of a few more machine that are going to be coming up this year, and I really believe that it is a matter of offering a good machine at a good price. There are several important factors to consider:

1) Good price point - The machine has to be inexpensive enough to attract lots of sales. It also must be inexpensive for the vendor (you) to manufacture and still have a good profit margin. Carefully going over each and every part and sub-assembly for price /quality is important. This ties heavily into the design. Laser systems are usually more inexpensive than a DLP or LCD system.

2) Print resolution - Laser based systems have a hard time comparing to DLP systems for print resolutions. An average target goal is 100 micron, or approximately 10 pixels per mm for DLP-based machines. Some machines coming into the market this year will be targeting 25-50 microns x/y.

3) Print size - For some applications like jewelry making or dental construction, a smaller build size of 100mm x 76mm is fine. Other applications require larger build size, but lower x/y resolution, that's fine too. What almost everyone wants is a larger build size and higher resolution.

4) Print speed - For some, this is an important factor in purchasing a machine, for others, this is secondary to x/y resolution or platform size. In my opinion, laser-based systems will always be slower than a mask-based system such as a DLP or LCD, because a mask-based system can expose an entire slice at a time, while lasers must go through a scanning process.

5) Extras - Will the machine print without a computer attached? Can it act as a print server? Touchscreen interface? Is the software user interface simple to use? Do you have a support forum and user based established for people to help each other? What sets your machine apart from others? Price? Speed? Resolution? Cost?

Note that based on the technology used, some of these points are mutually exclusive of each other. What I came up with (and I know at least 1 commercial machine is pursuing) is a pico-projector mounted on an x/y linear assembly. This allows the pico-projector to maintain a 25-100 micron x/y resolution. The pico-projector can move along the x/y linear system and expose different portions of the slice onto the vat. The vat can be arbitrarily large. This is a good trade-off between size and print speed. Additionally, a pic-projector may have a much lower price than a larger high-res DLP projector, but requires more modifications to work.

Also note that some laser systems can have higher resolution/speed that what I indicated here.
You should have an idea about which kind of market you're attempting to cater towards before building a machine.

gmoneyphx
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Re: A few points to consider when building a commercial mach

Postby gmoneyphx » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:01 pm

Any plans on supporting the moving DLP (xy translation of projector) solution in CW? That is an excellent approach and easy to implement - once the software supports it.

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Re: A few points to consider when building a commercial mach

Postby PacManFan » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:07 pm

gmoneyphx wrote:Any plans on supporting the moving DLP (xy translation of projector) solution in CW? That is an excellent approach and easy to implement - once the software supports it.


Of course! There have been a few people inquiring about implementing multiple monitors and different monitor configurations. I'm going to support multiple monitors and a new sub-slice mode where multiple "things" can occur on a per-slice basis, such as moving the projector to new positions and displaying a portion of the slice image.
I'm still working out the details on this, but it shouldn't be too difficult to implement.

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James
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Re: A few points to consider when building a commercial mach

Postby James » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:10 pm

Good points Steve.

I guess I might try to do something commercial with SLA this summer. Might as well, plenty of room to make a killing given the number of successful FFF printers out there that are doing fine commercially. :D Also, as a side, given the recently expired Decker SLS patent, I'll bet that within the next few months we are going to see a polyamide printer or two come out. That, I think will be astoundingly successful, beating all the previous sales records concerning the launch of a new printer to the maker crowd. I've been looking into this too somewhat as a commercial project to work on.

As for doing multiple XY exposures per layer SLA, one way may be to just use some kind of a Photoshop macro that slices an image up into multiple parts and then outputs those images to Creation Workshop for sequential processing. Something like that might be easier to implement than trying to find a way to do it all within Creation Workshop. Then again, you tend to be brainical with programming so I won't be surprised if do find a way to code that all up nice and pretty within CW! :D
I prefer to know nothing about everything rather than everything about nothing. :)

watsonstudios
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Re: A few points to consider when building a commercial mach

Postby watsonstudios » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:33 am

I'm definitely excited about this approach! I've been thinking about making an XY projector sled for multiple, tiled exposures. I would use an HD projector for this setup because of the aspect ratio. Since it's almost 2:1, I would move the projector to double the short side of the build. So... The build resolution would be 1920 x 2160. Having the the extra commands for each slice would be awesome. Moving the projector and tilting every other slice,etc.

I guess there are 2 possible methods of breaking up the slice into tiles. Either physically cut up the slices into separate files or just display one portion of a single slice. I like this second option if that can be implemented in CW. Plus it keeps the number of files to a minimum, nice when you're talking about thousands of slices. :)

This opens up a lot of possibilities with using cheaper, low rez projectors and Pico projectors. Expose more tiles per layer, this will allow for much higher resolution prints and opens up more possiblities using cheaper projectors.

I think this is the next step for DLP's with larger build sizes.

goldi80
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Re: A few points to consider when building a commercial mach

Postby goldi80 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:06 pm

4k projector it will work like rapidshape 90k

laser is better cheap and you can move it how you want it dws the are not supid the made it first with cheap laser 90ma the use half of the power

the charge it abnormaly big price good italian design

so you can muve laser whit steper and x Axis like raprap whit gt2 belt
and Y Axis with bend mirror like gavlo head stepper whit 10:1 like gear no need to be gear only ratio whit gt2 belt and 16 tenth pulley and 100x30mmx4 aluminium
put a you software to work like open lase true the photo black and white and out the contrast for more bigger couture

is fast is cheap you can have build size 1m by 1m and it work like superman

im bulding this is working for now

Barill
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Re: A few points to consider when building a commercial mach

Postby Barill » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:12 am

@PacManFan
Did you progress about " I'm going to support multiple monitors and a new sub-slice mode where multiple "things" can occur on a per-slice basis, such as moving the projector to new positions and displaying a portion of the slice image." ?

Thanks !

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Re: A few points to consider when building a commercial mach

Postby PacManFan » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:12 am

Barill wrote:@PacManFan
Did you progress about " I'm going to support multiple monitors and a new sub-slice mode where multiple "things" can occur on a per-slice basis, such as moving the projector to new positions and displaying a portion of the slice image." ?

Thanks !


Multiple monitors are currently supported in Creation Workshop. I have also added modifications to the GCode pre-processor for allowing additional movements. I haven't tried to generate any x/y code yet. When I added the multiple monitors, they way I set them up is to pull a portion of the image from a larger x/y rectangle.