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Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer

Posted by Gr3ymatter 
Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
December 12, 2016 09:18AM
Hey Guys,

This is an update to my original post here: [forums.reprap.org]

I have also posted this on reddit if you guys wanted to check it out there: [redd.it]

Here are some more details regarding the printer as well as pictures of the internal electronics and housing: [imgur.com]





BOM COST

The number one ask has been about the BOM cost. Right now everything for this DIY printer costs roughly $800. We hope to bring this number down and thus are revising the BOM and trying to finding sources for cheaper components. As an open source platform we want this to succeed and since the number one concern about SLA printing has been about price, this is an important metric for us.

How It Works

Printy is an SLA 3D printer that has a print volume of 100mm x 100mm x 100mm. Its a top down printer which prints by curing resin with a laser beam. The beam is focused on the resin through an acrylic sheet that is at the base of the VAT which contains the resin. The beam is controlled with the use of mirror galvonometers.
Printy runs on open source software - currently we use Repetier Host and use Slic3r for slicing. We have built upon the existing marlin firmware and modified it to work in polar coordinates for the laser beam.
Currently it takes around 6 hours of build time to construct it and around 30-40mins of calibration.

Our Ask

Based on your interest i want to spend the time and make this printer become a successful open source project.
But i can't do this without your help.
So i have one ask - to help me understand what you guys would like to see in Printy. It would suck if i put in the time to write instructions, put together a BOM with sources and put it up and it not being something you guys were looking for and all that work be for naught.

  • What are your pain points with SLA printing? What sucks about it?
  • If you could prioritize only one of the following what would it be? Print Quality? Speed? Price?
  • As i mentioned earlier - our current build time is 6 hours. How do you feel about that?
  • What about affordability? i can't guarantee i will be able to bring the BOM cost down as it all depends on the various sources i can find that work with the printer. How do you feel about the current price? What would you like to see?
  • I also really want to understand what you guys currently use 3D printing for. Its fun way to learn about what you guys are into and it'll also help us decide if we should mess with various parameters such as build volume etc for those of you who do larger prints.

I am really proud of the design and the way the first few prints are turning out (I haven’t even started optimizing settings yet). I firmly believe in open source (heck, most of my learning experience has been through open source projects) and I really think with a few tweaks this could be the best damn open source DIY SLA desktop printer out there. If you have any input, nows the time to share to influence this project.
So i hope you can help me out by participating in this experiment smiling smiley

On to the fun stuff!!! MOOAAAREEEE pixxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [imgur.com]
Re: Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
December 12, 2016 12:20PM
Love it! I have been looking into SLA for a while and have been considering DLP but this looks like it may be a winner. Would love to see more on the electronics.

Personally for me, The price is great at £800. You have to be reasonable about the cost, and going much less than that you may as well make an FDM machine. So for me, print quality is the number 1 factor. I have cheap FDM machines if I need low quality / fast turn around.

Have you considered 'flexivats' ? A lot of DLP diy builds now use them, and you essentially make the vat base out of FEP film and treat the vat as a consumable item.

What sort of print times do you get? I know DLP can be quite fast since it cures an entire layer, but I'm not a fan of the loss of resolution as you make bigger items. Until cheap 4K projectors are a reality I think DLP is not for me.
Re: Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
December 12, 2016 06:03PM
Quote
Gr3ymatter
What are your pain points with SLA printing? What sucks about it?
If you could prioritize only one of the following what would it be? Print Quality? Speed? Price?
As i mentioned earlier - our current build time is 6 hours. How do you feel about that?
What about affordability? i can't guarantee i will be able to bring the BOM cost down as it all depends on the various sources i can find that work with the printer. How do you feel about the current price? What would you like to see?
I also really want to understand what you guys currently use 3D printing for. Its fun way to learn about what you guys are into and it'll also help us decide if we should mess with various parameters such as build volume etc for those of you who do larger prints.

-I personally think that SLA is much better at everything over DLP (ok maybe not speed).
-Print quality,then price and speed last.
-6 Hours is pretty fast for machine build time and sounds like a fun learning process working with galvos smiling smiley)
-800$ is pretty good for a reliable SLA printer, i want to +1 Origamib on his comment about using flexvats(unless you are not using them FEP rockssmiling smiley)

I was actually looking at those galvos the other day on ebay and wondering if they would be any good for a SLA machine grinning smiley!I hope you release the SW/BOM for this build looks very nice, i bought an acer hb6510 for making a DLP system but the limited build area(bad focus) and uneven UV distribution of DLP projectors just kind of seems unreliable .... Congrats on the build and please keep us updated smiling smiley)

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/12/2016 06:05PM by lukaCX.
Re: Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
December 12, 2016 06:26PM
You should post this in the DIY SLA google plus community

[plus.google.com]
Re: Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
December 13, 2016 04:16AM
Projects like this are always exciting and encouraging!

I have a LittleRP, which I love, but I often need to print larger objects. 100 x 100 x 100 is an improvement, but I am sure that I will want more eventually. Increasing the Z height (as an option) would be a great idea: in a pinch, I can put the largest dimension in the Z and give it a try. I am seeing more SLA printers which can print larger objects, but only at a decrease in resolution. The LittleRP has a resolution of 30 microns; when a printer (not yours) specifies 200 microns, I worry that I will get "FDM quality" (stair stepping). Right now, I depend on the LittleRP for "near-perfect" surfaces.

I am happy to build a kit, but less happy to purchase all of the parts from a dozen suppliers. I hope someone will step in and provide a kit of parts.

The assembly manual is always an issue. I try to read them before purchasing, both to get an idea of what I'm getting into, but also to understand how organized the project is. I would be happy to Beta assembly instructions if you need that.
Re: Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
December 13, 2016 09:59AM
800$ is not bad, but how about the running cost? Do you have to throw away all the unused resin?
From the pics the details and surface are great. Also support isn't required. thumbs up

What is the typical use case for SLA printed parts?
Can I use parts for anything else than chess figures and vases?

If I'd consider building one, it would have to have at least 200x200x200mm print volume. How would the price scale up then?
Re: Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
December 13, 2016 10:42AM
Is the BOM available someplace

post address?
confused smiley
Re: Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
December 13, 2016 12:12PM
Quote
Origamib
Love it! I have been looking into SLA for a while and have been considering DLP but this looks like it may be a winner. Would love to see more on the electronics.

Personally for me, The price is great at £800. You have to be reasonable about the cost, and going much less than that you may as well make an FDM machine. So for me, print quality is the number 1 factor. I have cheap FDM machines if I need low quality / fast turn around.

Have you considered 'flexivats' ? A lot of DLP diy builds now use them, and you essentially make the vat base out of FEP film and treat the vat as a consumable item.

What sort of print times do you get? I know DLP can be quite fast since it cures an entire layer, but I'm not a fan of the loss of resolution as you make bigger items. Until cheap 4K projectors are a reality I think DLP is not for me.

Thank you! I will post more details soon. The printer is not without its fair share of bugs at the moment and some minor inconveniences - such as there is no auto-fil for resin etc (but then again this is something for others to iterate on), but this shows the potential. I am compiling a Build of Materials and writing instructions. I think good detailed instructions would be key instead of just providing a BOM as its easy to get lost.

Currently the VAT we made is constructable by the user using an FEP laminated acrylic which attached to the bottom of plastic cut pieces that make up the VAT (you use silicone for adhesion). if you have links to the flexivats i would love to see them. They might be what im looking for.

Regarding print times, at the moment i have the settings pretty slow as i am testing consistency. I am slowly bumping up the speed, most of the time is spent during retracts but i managed to print a 3D benchy in 45mins or so atm

Quote
lukaCX
Quote
Gr3ymatter
What are your pain points with SLA printing? What sucks about it?
If you could prioritize only one of the following what would it be? Print Quality? Speed? Price?
As i mentioned earlier - our current build time is 6 hours. How do you feel about that?
What about affordability? i can't guarantee i will be able to bring the BOM cost down as it all depends on the various sources i can find that work with the printer. How do you feel about the current price? What would you like to see?
I also really want to understand what you guys currently use 3D printing for. Its fun way to learn about what you guys are into and it'll also help us decide if we should mess with various parameters such as build volume etc for those of you who do larger prints.

-I personally think that SLA is much better at everything over DLP (ok maybe not speed).
-Print quality,then price and speed last.
-6 Hours is pretty fast for machine build time and sounds like a fun learning process working with galvos smiling smiley)
-800$ is pretty good for a reliable SLA printer, i want to +1 Origamib on his comment about using flexvats(unless you are not using them FEP rockssmiling smiley)

I was actually looking at those galvos the other day on ebay and wondering if they would be any good for a SLA machine grinning smiley!I hope you release the SW/BOM for this build looks very nice, i bought an acer hb6510 for making a DLP system but the limited build area(bad focus) and uneven UV distribution of DLP projectors just kind of seems unreliable .... Congrats on the build and please keep us updated smiling smiley)

Yeah speed isnt amazing right now. DLP is way faster, but hey thats why this is open source and in kit form so that people can build on it and make it evolve into something better.
Haha yeah! I am slowly realizing how hard putting something out there is.... the internet can be a ruthless place. I cant just put a BOM out if its not easily sourcable and without good clear instructions, so working on both things at the moment. I will definitely update this forum again with another post soon!!

Quote
lukaCX
You should post this in the DIY SLA google plus community

[plus.google.com]

Will do!! Thanks so much for another source. This reallys helps to get more eyes on this!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/13/2016 12:16PM by Gr3ymatter.
Re: Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
December 13, 2016 12:30PM
Quote
jon_bondy
Projects like this are always exciting and encouraging!

I have a LittleRP, which I love, but I often need to print larger objects. 100 x 100 x 100 is an improvement, but I am sure that I will want more eventually. Increasing the Z height (as an option) would be a great idea: in a pinch, I can put the largest dimension in the Z and give it a try. I am seeing more SLA printers which can print larger objects, but only at a decrease in resolution. The LittleRP has a resolution of 30 microns; when a printer (not yours) specifies 200 microns, I worry that I will get "FDM quality" (stair stepping). Right now, I depend on the LittleRP for "near-perfect" surfaces.

I am happy to build a kit, but less happy to purchase all of the parts from a dozen suppliers. I hope someone will step in and provide a kit of parts.

The assembly manual is always an issue. I try to read them before purchasing, both to get an idea of what I'm getting into, but also to understand how organized the project is. I would be happy to Beta assembly instructions if you need that.

Thank you soo much! We do have some room on the Z-axis, i think i could make the build platform a little bigger too, a lot of people have been suggesting a larger size. The idea initially was that people wouldnt want to spend relatively expensive resin on larger prints, but mostly on detailed work. But it seems a lot of people want a larger build volume. Your suggestion for Z-axis is a good one - less work involved.

Regarding supplying parts.... thats a whole new beast. Im considering it but the main focus is to make it open source (have a BOM thats easily sourcable etc). Definitely something im looking into, but i want to make the distinction clear that this is a project rather than a product. So its got its set of hiccups which we are ironing out and will continue to do so throughout release. And since everyone will have access to the build files, they can modify as needed. I hope offering it in kit form doesnt make people view it as a product that needs to be perfect.

You are exactly right when you mention the assembly manual. Build instructions are key and i am not comfortable releasing the BOM without them as then a small percentage will be able to complete the build and then this initiative might not succeed. I am currently working on the build manual, considering recording the build process as well. Do you have a preference between video or text?


Quote
o_lampe
800$ is not bad, but how about the running cost? Do you have to throw away all the unused resin?
From the pics the details and surface are great. Also support isn't required. thumbs up

What is the typical use case for SLA printed parts?
Can I use parts for anything else than chess figures and vases?

If I'd consider building one, it would have to have at least 200x200x200mm print volume. How would the price scale up then?

No, you dont have to throw it away. You need to cover it from UV to prevent curing. So either you drain the resin from the VAT (there is a small drain hole on the side) or you keep it in the VAT. There is a plastic piece that you can slide over it to protect against light when your storing it.

Currently i havent built anything that requires supports, so i wont claim that we can do that yet. Definitely the direction we want to go, but at the moment its still very much a work in progress.

Usually SLA printed parts have finer detail and are smaller finer pieces such as jewelry or intricate designs. This is probably because for rough prototyping people stick with FDM since its less "messy" and cheaper than resin. As an example, a 500ml bottle from makerjuice would cost you 33 bucks. How much you can build with that depends on a lot of factors such as infill etc.

I think increasing the build volume wont scale up the price too much, maybe the build platform would be the only thing that would shift in price. I think it wont be noticable, it'll just be more to do before we can offer a build of materials.

Quote
cozmicray
Is the BOM available someplace

post address?
confused smiley

Not yet cozmicray! But soon, we are trying to get a decent set of assembly instructions written and maybe even video. Also double checking if everything on the BOM is easily sourcable. If either of those two things is lacking, then a large majority of people wont build it. But itll come soon smiling smiley

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/13/2016 12:41PM by Gr3ymatter.
Re: Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
December 14, 2016 01:34AM
Increasing XY-size without loosing resolution would benefit from 4 galvo-sets and lasers in a 2x2 pattern working quasi-simultaneously ( like multi extruder printers )
Is that possible with your Marlin version? Is there a slicer that can do that?
At a price below 100$ per galvo set, this wouldn't hurt much..

BTW: How do you adjust an UV laser & driver/filter a.s.o? Do you need some special equipment for that?
Re: Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
December 14, 2016 07:02AM
thumbs up Nice project!
Re: Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
December 14, 2016 03:28PM
What is Printy's resolution?

(littleRP (DLP) 30 micron)

Laser dot size and interference pattern around it
determines line size

Blue laser I use for engraving has to be focused
Good laser lenses expensive
can’t see uv to focus

To get bigger laser field --- move laser farther away
perhaps field flattening optics or software.

I don't understand 4 galvo method --- twice as much to control / fail?

confused smiley
Re: Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
December 15, 2016 07:00AM
Quote
I don't understand 4 galvo method --- twice as much to control / fail?

No, 4 times as many galvos and lasers as there are now for a 400x400 VAT. Do they fail often?
Re: Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
January 23, 2017 07:46PM
Graymatter,

First let me say, thanks for all your effort. Here is my 2 cents. I am nowhere near an expert, just my opinions here.

#1 It seems to me that you could increase max height for Z to 300 or even 400mm for just the cost of longer rods and a lead screw, but maybe I am missing something. But I think this would be money well spent.

#2 - again I am no expert, but it seems to me that the LCD instead of DLP offers a lower cost option. Why not use a 19 inch panel, even if you don't plan the bed that big, you can mask around what you don't want to use, but you could easily do 200x200 using a LCD and either a LED UV, at least that is how I feel.

#3 - if you did #2, then your VAT needs to be larger, but you could offer small or large VATs and if you only need to do a small item use the small vat and put a mask on the outside of the LCD.

#4 - $800 seems high now that I know PhotoCentric has introduced the liquid 10" for about $875 USD.
Photocentric
I am wondering after looking a lot at the web and youtube, why someone can not opensource/self build one of these closer to the $500 mark. Perhaps less.

#5 - Seems the above Photocentric offers some lower priced daylight resins to be used with LCD based printers. I think they also said they would be opening up US distribution, so we in the US would not have to pay large shipping fees.

#6 - Quality is most important to me.

Again thanks for your work, and I am sure there are many things I do not fully understand, so feel free to educate me and possible a few other readers in the process. smiling smiley
Re: Printy Update: An Open Source DIY 3D SLA Printer
February 05, 2017 10:47AM
What happened to Printy?

nothing since Dec?

sad smiley
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