MakeX, a fresh startup based in Ningbo, China, with marketing offices planned for the USA, has launched a DLP SLA printer on Kickstarter this morning called the M-One. The first ten backers got the Super Early Bird Special for just $1,699. At the time of this writing, there were still more than a dozen Early Bird Specials left at $1,849, but they are going fast. More than a third of the way to its goal in just three hours, the campaign looks certain to get funded.
It can print layers as fine as 20 microns with a 140-micron minimum feature size. Print speed is software adjustable, but 1" per hour is suggested for most applications. The printer's build volume is 145 x 110 x 170 mm (5.7" x 4.3" x 6.7").
In order for it to be easier to use, the MakeX team has written its own software to control the M-One. It has the ability to hollow a model and set the shell thickness, saving material expenditure. It includes support generation with manual editing. After making adjustments, the model can also be moved and duplicated within the vat. The supported OS platforms are Windows, Mac and Linux.
The M-One has a tilt mechanism and patent-pending soft vat system. The vat tilts slightly to one side between layer creation, a maneuver intended to eliminate the vacuum force in the demoulding process. The Flex vat aids in this regard, maintaining the required tension while providing elasticity via a replaceable silicone layer on the membrane making up the vat's base. The silicone layer's estimated print life is 20-30 prints. Instructions for replacing it will be made available on the MakeX web site.
The M-One is designed with an open source control system on an Arduino-based board. MakeX plans to make modification parts and instructions available to supporters, allowing them to use their own DLP projectors if desired.
The printer supports all third-party materials and MakerJuice's SubG+ is included with the rewards.
All backers will receive a finishing kit, including a tray and accessories to help clean up finished prints.