At PartMaker, we constantly search for ways to innovate and improve what we do. Our latest endeavour is a foray into the world of 3D printing. We recently obtained a 3D printer that uses stereolithography (SLA), which is the process of curing a polymer resin using ultraviolet (UV) light layer by layer.
Why 3D printing?
3D printing is an extremely useful manufacturing tool that gives us the ability to easily conceptualise and visualise our future products. The manufactured 3D prints can be used to manufacture and test fit sizes without sacrificing precious material and time. Furthermore, we can use 3D prints to showcase larger versions of our products to customers who are interested in what we produce, and would like to have a clearer look at the products.
Introducing the Phrozen Shuffle 4K
After extensive research we decided to choose the Phrozen Shuffle 4K as our first 3D printing machine. This printer was chosen because it employs Masked Stereolithography (MSLA) as its 3D Printing method which is suitable for PartMaker’s purposes. This technology allows us to make detailed prints in a short amount of time with ease.
MSLA utilizes an LED array as its light source together with an LCD photomask in order to shape the light image from the LED array.Scott Frey in the article : https://theorthocosmos.com/laser-sla-vs-dlp-vs-masked-sla-3d-printing-technology-compared/
This article above outlines the differences between Laser, DLP and Masked SLA 3D printing which help highlight the functionality and strengths of MSLA 3D printing.
Resin 3D printing safety
Moreover, SLA 3D printing involves the use of resin that is harmful to our skin when uncured. As such, proper steps are taken to ensure the safety of our staff and the surrounding work areas. This video by Makers Muse clearly illustrates the right way to manage SLA 3D printers and has some great tips on how we can produce a beautiful 3D print.
The 3 pictures above showcase some test 3D prints that we have tried so far. As you can see, the 3D prints are detailed and were completed in a short amount of time. Furthermore, they were dimension accurate and thus easily applied for our purposes.
3D printing at PartMaker is a new endeavour and we have many avenues to explore with this technology. As always, our focus at PartMaker will be to provide our customers with the best experience possible.