The way to do businesses and their approach to prototyping and production keep on changing with the advancements made in 3D printing.
The technology keeps on becoming more and more accessible and affordable to demands, designers, and engineers. And because of this, they keep on adjusting the technology into workflows across development cycles.
This was true for FDM, SLA, and every technology that was once new. Professionals are helped by industries to cut their outsourcing costs and iterate faster than they used. They can now optimize production processes and if in need, can unlock entirely new business models.
SLA 3D printing is the technology that has undergone many accountable changes in the past years. It is today that the small format desktop printers have started producing industrial quality output at more affordable price points. But, traditionally large resin printers were the ones that did the job.
In this article, we are going to look at some of the most efficient resin 3D printers to date in the industry.
These printers have always surprised people with their ability to produce build volumes that were never seen before. And the quality of parts or functional prototypes that they produced made found them an application in some of the industries that require dimensional accuracy like no other. Before having a look at the list, let’s look at the basics of SLA 3D printing.
Basics of SLA 3D printing
Whether printers are desktop or industrial, they contain a resin tank or resin holder which serves as a substrate for the liquid resin to cure against. This is something that allows for the gentle detachment of newly-formed layers.
Descending of the build platform into a resin tank starts the printing process. This leaves space which is equivalent to the layer height between the build platform, the last completed layer, and the bottom of the tank. There is a laser that points at two mirroring galvanometers.
The role of the galvanometer is to direct the light to the correct coordinates on various mirrors by keeping the focus of the light upwards through the bottom of the tank and solidifying the layer of resin.
After the layer gets solidified, it gets apart from the bottom of the tank, and it’s the build platform of the printer that moves a little up allowing the new resin flow to happen beneath it. And this process is repeated until the part or functional prototype is completely printed.
Printers like Form 3 and Form 3L uses low force SLA 3D printing. In these printers, the optics are enclosed by a light processing unit, inside which a galvanometer ensures that a high density generating laser beam is positioned on the Y-axis.
This laser beam passes through the spatial fiber that directs it to the folding mirror and the parabolic one for constant delivering the laser beam perpendicular to the build plane and ensures accurate repeatable prints.
The printed part is generally peeled away from the flexible bottom of the tank when the low processing unit moves a little in the X-direction. This drastically reduces all the forces that are exerted on parts that are printed during the print process.
Low force stereolithography reduces forces that are exerted on parts or functional prototypes during the printing process by making use of a flexible tank and linear illumination.
This delivers incredible surface quality and print accuracy. It also reduces the forces that are exerted on parts or functional prototypes during the printing process by using a flexible tank and linear illumination for delivering surface quality which is unmatched.
Low Force Stereolithography makes available to you an improved surface quality and print accuracy at lower print forces, reducing the overall printing cost.
They also permit light touch support structures that can be torn away easily. In turn, the process opens up a wide range of possibilities for the future development of advanced, production-ready materials.
Resin Desktop Printers VS Resin Industrial Printers
Stereolithography is a technology that can be used with desktop as well as high-end industrial printers. What differentiates one from the other is the amount of price that you are willing to pay.
It is obvious that the latter costs much more than the former and tends to give its user a wider choice of materials and produce parts and functional prototypes with accuracy than the former.
All the industrial additive manufacturing systems are also designed for repeatability but with that, they also require skilled operators to ensure there is the accuracy of parts maintained.
Against this, desktop printers offer its users ease in use, although there might be parts and functional prototypes that will take much more post-processing times than industrial printers.back to menu ↑
List of large resin printers
Although people do make a conception that the bigger is also better, this rule does not apply to 3D printing. Large-scale 3D printers do offer unique manufacturing solutions that desktop 3D printers cannot achieve.
So, you can manufacture parts and functional prototypes if you wish to and these printers even let you manufacture smaller parts at a faster speed. These are the real advantages of industrial 3D printers.
Now that they have become clear, we present to you the list of best large resin printers.back to menu ↑
3D Systems’ ProX 950
Credit: ProX 950-Angle
This 3D printer is one of the largest resin 3D printers available in the market. As mentioned earlier in the article, SLA works particularly by employing a laser to solidify a vat of photopolymer resin.
This allows parts and functional prototypes to build one layer at a time. Here in ProX 950, instead of the general one, two lasers are employed to cure the resin.
By doing so, the ProX 950 produces high-quality parts up to 1.5 m in one go, so there is no need for assembling as such. The high-level surface quality of parts and accuracy can be produced to the level of making them compete with parts produced by CNC machining.
Pro X 950 is not only a solution for producing a large volume of parts and functional prototypes but also smaller parts at a speed that is unbelievable. The ability of this large resin printer to manufacture a wide range of photocurable plastics and composites.
Also, Pro X 950 features a material delivery module for fast material changes so when you are printing with multiple materials, making changes in the printer won’t delay the print time much. Parts and functional prototypes produced by this printer include casting patterns, jigs and fixtures, medical models, and functional prototypes.
The build volume of parts and functional prototypes produced by this large resin printer is 1500 mm * 750 mm * 550 mm. Materials with which you can print using this printer are ABS-like, propylene like, they are castable, can withstand high temperature and composites. The price of this printer is believed to start from $200,000.back to menu ↑
Union Tech’s RS Pro 800
Made by UnionTech, formerly known as Union-Tek, the UnionTech RSPro800 is an industrial SLA 3D printer. The company is based in China and has its headquarters in the USA and Germany.
This printer features CE certification. Using SLA technology for producing 3D prints of parts and functional prototypes, the UnionTech RSPro 800 has a powerful laser beam that selectively solidifies layers of resin one after the other for forming objects. RS Pro 800 has a large build volume of 800 mm x 800 mm x 550 mm, where users can 3D print objects of up to 150 kg.
It offers a minimum layer thickness wherein it can generate very thin layers of 0.05 mm. The printer’s closed-loop system regulates laser power, resin level, temperature, and accuracy. It is possible to operate this printer remotely and users who wish to change the resin vat can do it with this printer.
Amongst other interesting features of this machine, is the build plate which can be seen from the rear end of the machine. The build plate is a gigantic slab of granite that can provide immense stability and flatness which is required during the ongoing printing process.
Also, what this build plate assures is the ability to print without warping. The company has a series of printers by RS Pro prefix, all of them include an automatic pump that can provide resin refilling with the usual manual method.
It is completely the user’s choice to operate in whichever manner that they wish to. The fact that they can be operated remotely also implies that they can remain unattended while printing large and longer parts.
All of the machines in the RS Pro series comes with one year of warranty service after which you have to pay the standard cost as usual maintenance.
The machine can print with standard resins in various colors such as grey, white, translucent, clear, and black, they are castable resins and are medically certified.back to menu ↑
DWS X Pro S
DWS is an Italian 3D printer manufacturer that developed this large resin printer that offers build volume of parts and functional prototypes in order of 300 mm * 300 mm * 300 mm.
The machine is aimed towards industrial prototyping in medium and large companies. The XPRO S’s compatibility with a wide range of DWS proprietary resins makes it a suitable large resin printer for investment casting, molding, functional prototypes, and also nano-ceramic resins for 3D printing of end parts.
A laser beam selectively solidifies resin into parts and functional prototypes. DWS is known as a trusted SLA pioneer that is a leader in making additive manufacturing technology 4.0 which was always in talks, come for real.
When everyone is taking bolder steps for the development of this technology, the company already has hit large printers like X Pro S to its name. This printer is one of the first-ever fully automated high-speed all-in-one large resin printer.
DWS has also revealed details of its ground-breaking partnership with one most dynamic additive manufacturing leaders XYZ printing. The latter is an expert in designing professional desktop 3D printers.
Hopefully, an association of both these giants would produce some amazing medium level printers that would benefit the complete market of SLA 3D printing as well as large resin printers.
DWS also shared how it has decided to move decisively for expanding its geographical coverage by teaming up with XponentialWorks and opening a new facility and showroom in California to immediately expand its reseller network and provide local sales and marketing coverage throughout North America.
X Pro S has the ability to produce with materials that are like ABS, like poly-propylene, like rubber and other transparent materials, nano-ceramic materials, and materials that are used to make investment casting models. The price of this large resin printer is $132,000.back to menu ↑
After its emergence in the year 1980, SLA technology has kept evolving and building cost-effective tools that can be implemented in making parts and functional prototypes with more dimensional accuracy.
Its invention was a gift to every manufacturer that was tired of producing parts and functional prototypes of the quality that the FDM 3D printer produced. SLA was a huge step in giving the consumers apart and a functional prototype with dimensional accuracy and smooth surface finish.
With that, the technology also offers great material flexibility, a wide variety of plastic materials available to print with.
The printing process on which these large resin printers function uses vat photopolymerization technology. Wherein during the production process, a vat of liquid photocurable resin is particularly used for curing a UV laser layer by layer, causing the resin to solidify.
And once the printing is complete, the object can then be removed from the build plate, supports removed and the part additionally cured in a UV oven to ensure that it has completely solidified.
Large resin printers mentioned in this article are industrial SLA printers that are specialized for producing parts and functional prototypes of quality in a short span of time.
They are used by manufacturers all around the globe who can afford to spend more on satisfying the on-going needs of customers i.e. to produce high-quality parts in less time.