SLA or DLP Resin printers business opportunities?

I'm about to buy my first 3d printer, i'm a cad professional. My question is what is the request in 3d hub for small detailed print like the ones created with resin printers, for example for jewelry or scale models market. It'a good idea to start with a dlp printer?

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Hi - 

I have a CAD service for professional goldsmiths and I do own a form 1+ and a robox fdm printer. I use the form1 for prototyping jewelry and for that it's really good. For casting it's not really usable for fine jewelry or let's say: it just does not make sense. The quality is not really that good compared to what's already out there, it takes a lot of time to print, finish and get ready for casting and then the goldsmith has more work with polishing as the surface is not as good as with wax. Pricewise you will have a real issue with the competition like shapeways etc or even the regular casting houses that offer prints made in a milling machine or with a solidscape. The problem as well will be the consistency of the prints and reliability of the printer. You will encounter a lot of problems with the machine... with all 3D printers really. So you will have a lots of times when your printer will be out of commission due to repairs. No plug and play as the say :-). The fdm printer is not usable at all for fine jewelry. Look, I love my printers, would hate to be without them. There is nothing more fascinating than watching something get actually build in a machine that you just created on your computer! But it's more of a passion than a wise business decision. 

 

Good luck

 

Julia

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Julia, does say it best, when they work its awesome, when they don't sheer pain.

 

In addition, to be a full service for anything that comes at you all comes down to investment.

 

>10k in my opinion you need both a printer and a good mill.

 

>25k in my opinion, Envisiontec Mirco, and a good mill.

 

>25k in my opinion Solidscape

 

>75k in my opinion 3d systems 3500 Max, Envisiontec Mini, freaking workhorses, huge print platforms,but you gotta run them               24 hours a day to get back your money, and they too will cause you pain and break down.

 

My investment is currently about 13k over 10 years, I use a Form1+, Solus, used Roldand MDX-15, and a used Roland MDX-40.

    The mills sit mostly, but when you get a huge ass bangle, or a belt buckle, or something a rapper would wear, 60 x 125 mm  

     and up, its milling time baby. The wax burns out clean, and no matter what resin or resin hybrid that big do not, period.

 

Anything that comes in the way of jewelry, we can accomplish. But everything comes with cost, learning, and trial and error, and frustration. This is only my opinion, and if I was 25 again, this thread might look different.

 

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Tough call, but here is my experience of the matter. my experience comes as follows, 30 years in jewelry. Production cad design, 3d printing, 2 /3 d milling, and jewelry production.

 

I have access to 3 systems of SLA and 1 material extrusion.

 

Projet 3500 MAX, 80k I think, Envisiontec Profactory Micro Advantage 16,500.00, Formlabs Form1+ 3500.00, and Solus 3,000.00. 

The projet extrudes a castable wax, Envisiontec castable resin Epic M, and Printed wax EC3000. Formlabs Casatable Blue, and Solus using the B9 Cherry, and B9 Emerald Green resin.

 

All can print in the 25 to 50 micron range. Now comes the issues.

 

When all materials a cured to the best extent casting results by a professional will be the best success.  The wax materials cast well in gypsum resins, overall advantage. Resins with casting procedures, better plasters, and practice will produce consistent results. 

 

So while any machine can print a good product, only few can produce consistent casting results. So what customer are you going after, the amateur or the professional. Are you going to want to print every day and deal with printing schedule, or once or twice a month.I have been on 3dhubs for about a year, few orders, not enough to pay for a machine of any caliber. I have asked for some kind of report from Hubs detailing most used printers, and best used hubs to see what the best of the best are doing. Nothing has resulted from that inquiry.

 

Hope this helps, follow up any questions you wish. Will answer best possible.

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Thank you for your accurate reply, i have one more question, how you compare the Solus with the b9? Is the Solus more reliable?

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Hello, I had the need to buy an SLA, because they asked me in my business parts with very small details or very small pieces. but if you are not currently customers ask you that, do not recommend it because the material is 3 times more expensive than a FDM and more delicate work.

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The materials are most of the time more expensive, but the reasoning is casting and burn out for the jewelry process. Additionally the ROI is greater accordingly. You can get 30 parts printed on FDM, if they are direct use parts, in a lower quality for $30.00 plus shipping. But those parts are not castable into fine jewelry pieces.

 

Do a simple experiment, design a piece for any other market and one for jewelry, have a 3dhub print it in FDM and Resin, compare pricing and castability. You will see the results first hand the the choice will stand clear.

 

I will post pictures at The_Jewelers_Bench on Instagram by noon with the same parts printed on FDM and SLA machines and you can see the print quality for yourself.

 

Toddmichael

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Is the Solus as good as the pictures on the Reify website?

I am looking into buying, but I see some DLP prints with rather rough surfaces. That seems to be absent with the solus. Now I have had years of tinkering with FDM printers, and I hate it, I just need the prints. So I am torn between Form2 and something with a finer resolution, but I really want these smooth surfaces. Thanks, Maarten

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I have been using the Rapid Shape printers for about a year now and all I can say is that its awesome in every way. My 50 micron prints are better then any SLA or print head style printer out there even the 16 micron prints from the projet cannot compare. For those of you that want high detail and fast builds look at the Rapid Shape you wont regret it. 25 micron XYZ just cannot be beat. 

 

 

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Hi. I have a Titan 1. When I got the printer I immediately inherited a whole bunch of problems regarding their printing vat and platform. I spent weeks re-inventing the vat as well as the print platform. I am now able to print into a glass petri dish with teflon held by a special rubber/acrylic bracket. I had to corona treat the teflon to epoxy it down on to the glass, since other self adhesive teflon sheets, in my opinion, are utterly useless. I always print onto a roughened acrylic base plate which is screwed to the original print platform. I got to say, I got pretty frustrated with resin prints not adhering on the platform. This problem has now been totally eliminated. I agree with what someone else said, this was not just a 'plug and play'. I think the makers of the equipment were too rushed in releasing the equipment even with major faults.

On the brighter side, I can now print predictably and successfully in high detail using the correct resin all the time, and this with a fairly low priced printer.

If you are after a casting, you can always approach a dental lab for a quote. Most labs have sophisticated casting equipment and very accurate materials for detailed castings.

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We have a DLP printer and a castable resin.  The Z resolution is 25 micron. Build size is set at 160 mm x 100 mm, which gives X resolution about 160/1920=0.083 mm (83 micron), and Y resolution of 93 micron.  We can print a few parts for you to help you evaluate the quality of small details. You can also look at the pictures in our hub as well. 

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Hi Nacot,
I'm the former sole worldwide dist. For B9 and both a current B9 and Solidscape distributor. Also the author of many tech articles. Call me anytime for straight info on anything AM. Each platform has strengths and weaknesses and the game is rapidly evolving. Gary- +1-541-729-2531

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Hi,

I do not recomend Fromlabs printers. I bought Form 1+ in July last year. First prints were awsome, but after  few months it print worse then cheap FDM printer. Simply terrible. Stops in the middle of print, blistering, wholes etc. See pictures below.(should be architecture).  I read formlabs forum and a lot of people have the same problems. At the beginning super quality after few prints really terible - especially bigger prints, which sometimes are impossibile to print without failure.

That product has simply bad design and catch a lot of dust from outside, which is impossible to clean after without disassebling. Warraty say - when you open you lose it .

It happend in December, i still didnt get new product or money back. Support want me to open printer by myself, there are not normal service just online. They dont take responsibility for thier products.

Really worst purchase ever.

Good luck guys with yours printers,

Piotr

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I have taken apart my form1+ twice, per their instructions for mirror cleaning, they took the machine back for service, and then replaced the printer with a new one. I guess everybody has different results.

 

As for a sealed chamber, how would you dispense the heat generated by the laser other than air flow. I added a air filter to the outside of the air intake after the cleaning the mirrors twice, no issues since. 

 

Additionally the Solus uses an external projector, so the air flow through the printer to dissipate heat is not an issue. 

 

The biggest issue I have with the form1 is the print quality for jewelry. If you get away from the notion of it being a printer for fine jewelry, micro pave, and less than .8 mm detail work your fine. I have found for heavier jewelry, and making pieces to be molded with resins other than the Castable Blue. Your Golden.

 

I would like to work with someone to try resins other than Formlabs to print on the form1. I believe their biggest "Jewelry" fall back in the resin, not the machine. I can get exceptional 25 micron results with any of their resin other than their castable.

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I see... sorry for that. In the new Form2 they should have solved that problem making the laser chamber sealed. I was oriented toward the Solus DLP Printer

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I had a Form1+ on here for 6 months and I think I got 3x as many orders for my extrusion machine. It didn't justify keeping it even though I really loved it.

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From what i see 3dhub community is more oriented on fdm extrusion printing 

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Hello, 3D printing very Resin works well. I have lots of resin printing order .The investment of a resin printer is good Bests regards

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My idea is to start with 3dhub as source of first works and then  build my own website, dedicated mostly to jewelry with dedicated services. On 3dHubs the resin printers adoption is low, i think for high resin and printers prices, and because this printers are dedicated for specific works.

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This statement completely confuses me, please clarity?

 

Toddmichael

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Hello

This is the best way to get started in 3D printing.

You will not find better as a showcase.

Regards

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I interested in everyone's response as well. I'm considering taking the plunge and buying an SLA printer (I already have a couple FDM printers) but I'm curious as to the market for SLA prints.

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