Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cool Tool: Cheap(er) 3D Printer

I have been using the Stratasys Prodigy Plus 3D printer for the last few years with good results for several of my robotics projects. The new $14,900 uPrint from Dimension/Stratasys is the newer and smaller replacement for the old Prodigy Plus model.

The overall specifications are similar for both printers. The ABSplus material should be a slight improvement from the ABS material used on the Prodigy and the resolution of 0.010" for the uPrint is comparable to the 0.007" resolution of the older Prodigy. The software used by the uPrint is called Catalyst and unlike Insight you can not edit the toolpaths, but I have never needed to edit the toolpaths in recent versions of Insight so this should actually be a good thing.

According to Stratasys, the smaller 8"x6"x6" print envelope handles 80% of all of the parts they have ever printed and is only slightly smaller then the 8"x8"x12" build volume for the Prodigy.

Buying a new uPrint looks like a great deal compared to buying a used Prodigy Plus

Click here for free example parts, and you can talk to my local distributor to get a quote for printing individual parts from .stl files.


solid printing said...

With the 3D printer printing objects as layers it also allows for some very unique shaped objects to be created from a single mould rather then 2 more more moulds attached together.

I Heart Robotics said...

The most interesting idea I have heard for how to use a 3D printer is to print the part then cast plaster around it. After the plaster has cured you heat the plaster until the ABS melts out and now you have plaster mold that can be used to cast aluminum parts with really crazy geometries.

I want to see the part quality on the printers that do laser sintered titanium. They seem to be used a lot by the biomedical types so they can print you a custom titanium hip joint.