The USA-based startup company Wave3D is preparing to launch its first product, the Wave3D Pro industrial stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer.
The Wave3D Pro has been in development for over two years and its prime objective is to make large-scale SLA 3D printing affordable for SMEs, specifically in the design and prototyping fields.
The printer provides a 15.5 x 8.5 x 22 in (394 x 216 x 559 mm) build volume and 50 μm resolution. The company is said to have ‘re-engineered many aspects of the bottom-up SLA process’ in order to achieve the large-scale, high-precision prints afforded by the printer.
An example of this is the incorporation of a proprietary build tray featuring an optically clear film as oppose to the silicon film used on the majority of other build trays for similar desktop 3D printers.
An advantage of the film is that it affords no hazing and virtually no sticking, enabling straightforward printing of large, flat surfaces. Furthermore, it can be quickly and easily replaced by users at minimal cost if damaged.
The build tray also features built-in resin circulation, meaning that the resin is leveled and temperature-controlled so that users can have a large, or as small as 1.5 l, external resin supply for any print. This eliminates the issues of having to settle resin and invest in multiple, expensive trays.
The materials as well as slicing and support generation software have been kept open to best accommodate users’ various design requirements.
‘In our early market research, large size, high quality, reliability and affordability remained a combination that was just not available,’ said Ajay Deshmukh, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Wave3D. ‘Compromises needed to be made on either size, or materials available, or even with the orientations of prints in order to get the types of industrial output needed for enterprise applications. We simply asked ourselves, how could we deliver a final outcome that rivaled all aspects of an industrial printer, with the simplicity of a desktop.’
Wave3D has produced a working demonstration model of the Wave3D Pro that it intends to manufacture at ultra-small scale in a pilot program. The company expects the ultra-small-scale version to be made available for 60,000 USD.
A number of pre-orders have been placed and Wave3D is actively seeking a partnership, strategic investment or an acquisition to ensure enterprise testing, support and quality for any products brought to market prior to a formal launch.