US-based PhotonFluid is working on a new generation of SLA-style 3D printer that they say can 3D print at a maximum speed of 8 inches per hour. 3D printing enthusiasts will quickly draw comparisons to Carbon3D’s mind-blowing CLIP 3D printing technology capable of printing objects in less than ten minutes. Jerry Liu, the start-up’s Co-founder and Director of business development, however, tells me that PhotonFluid saw in their own research a similar process to Carbon3D’s CLIP technology early in 2013, but that they didn’t keep developing the technology due to what they saw as a potential drawback from geometrical constraints caused by fluid dynamics during the CLIP-style process. Liu says, though, that, one week after Science Magazine published their article about Carbon3D, PhotonFluid evaluated the paper and successfully reproduced Carbon3D’s the test result. The company is now readying their Kast 3D printer for Kickstarter, to be launched this June.
In the video below, demonstrating the latest machine in a string of eleven prototypes, you’ll see a time-lapse showing the Kast 3D printer manufacturing a series of architecture models in less than 60 minutes, easily the fastest light-based 3D printer in production, aside from the Carbon3D system. Jerry tells me that this is achieved using their own unique technology that doesn’t rely on oxygen and, so, allows the Kast to 3D print both solid and hollow objects at the same rapid speed.
Many of the details about the Kast system are still under wraps, awaiting the launch of the Kickstarter, but they do say that the Kast 3D printer’s technology relies on a special light engine as its light source, rather than a laser or a projector, seen with SLA and DLP 3D printers respectively. According to Liu, this allows for a resolution of up to 60 microns. The printer also has a print volume of 6x8x10 inches, or about 15cmx20cmx25cm, which is much larger than the Autodesk Ember, bigger than the Form1+, and roughly the size of the Pegasus Touch from FSL3D.
And, though the complete details aren’t yet revealed, the Kast 3D printer is a promising one that could have potential for the 3D printing industry. We’ll only be able to say more about the printer as it approaches its launch. Stay tuned for more details!