First post: new 3d DLP printer

Let’s start this blog with a 3d printer project that kept me busy for the last two years and has now come to an end.

Well, not really an end.

In fact, there does not seem to be an end when it comes to 3d printers.

But enough of endings, here’s the start:

For a long time I wanted to build one of those 3d DLP printers. 3d DLP printers are awesome! They use a projector to illuminate the transparent bottom of a basin filled with photo-curable resin. After a layer of the model is cured, the model gets pulled up and the next layer is illuminated until step by step a 3-dimensional model is “printed”.

The print quality is great: you can go down to resolutions of 0.05 mm or less and the printed objects are much stronger than from FDM printers.

As a lucky coincidence, the University of Groningen needed a 3d printer being built to manufacture high quality models for flow tunnel testing. This was a great opportunity: there was a budget and workshop access and all kinds of nice conditions that make the tinkerers life easy. Long story short: I teamed up with Leo, a friend of mine and together we build this thing.

The team and the machine: Leo, me and the Print-O-Mat (from right)

Leo made all the mechanical stuff and I jumped in for the electronics and programming. Check out the result below 🙂

PrinterFilling in the resinBox fish print

It’s quite a machine as it features a decent build volume of 192 x 108 x 300 mm at 0.1 mm resolution. And it is built like a tank. Heart of the printer is a small Intel NUC PC. It controls the projector as well as the AtMega32U4 micro controller that is in charge of the various stepper motors and the LCD display.

Photograph of a 3d printed monkey head with fine details.
Print results are great and on par with commercially available printers. Click the image to enlarge…

The print results are great and do not have to hide behind the models printed by commercially available printers like the Formlabs Form1, the Solidator or the Kudo 3d.

I’ll cover more details on the printer in the next posts as well as a new open source pre-processing software developed for 3d DLP printers!

Stay tuned and make sure to comment!


7 thoughts on “First post: new 3d DLP printer”

  1. Hey Paule,
    Sieht sehr cool aus der Drucker…! Den würde ich gerne mal in Aktion sehen, bin ja aber nicht mehr so oft in Groningen… 🙁
    Und sonst so?

    1. Moin Willi,
      danke danke 🙂
      Ich schätze mal es gibt bald nen neuen. Ist ja viel zu nervig, immer nach Groningen zu fahren.
      Und die Druckqualität ist einfach zu gut als dass man ohne auskommen könnte…
      Lass dann mal nen Copter drucken!

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