Stereolithography rapid-prototyping 3D print machines – in distribution

October 24, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
The first stereolithography-based 3D printer available from RS enables high-quality fine-detail plastic prototyping and building of production-ready parts. RS Components (RS) has added the small-format production-quality micro-SLA ProJet 1200 from 3D Systems to its range of rapid-prototyping 3D printers, enabling printing of sacrificial originals for mould making.

The ProJet 1200 low-cost professional-grade printer is the first product in the RS 3D printer range to use stereolithography (SLA) technology, which delivers a smoother finish and builds layers that are less visible compared to alternative low-cost 3D printer technologies such as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF).

In addition to building prototype concepts, the ProJet 1200 is ideal for small, precise and detail-rich casting patterns. Factory calibrated for reliable and accurate operation, the micro-SLA ProJet 1200 integrates enhanced LED DLP (Digital Light Processing) laser technology to print 30-micron (0.03-mm) layers at a resolution of 56 microns (effective 585 dpi), which results in extremely fine feature detail and smoothness and makes it suitable for building production components such as electronic connectors. The printer also boasts a diverse range of uses outside of engineering markets, such as jewellery making or in dental applications.

Designed for bench-top use, the low-maintenance printer measures 230 x 230 x 356 mm and offers a build volume of 43 x 27 x 150 mm and a vertical build speed of 14 mm per hour. The printer integrates a UV curing station and an all-in-one material cartridge with built-in print window. The printer uses 3D Systems' VisiJet FTX Green material, which is a durable and rigid material that was created especially for the ProJet 1200 for high-quality plastic prototyping and casting patterns. The material burns out cleanly in the UV curing process to leave ash-free castings.

The machine is simple to set up with an installation process on a Windows-based PC much like a standard 2D printer with easy connection to LAN networks. The software also offers built-in STL CAD file format verification.

The 3D Systems ProJet 1200 and VisiJet FTX Green cartridges are priced at £2860 for the 3D printer and £258 for a pack of 10 cartridges.

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