Objet Geometries has upped the ante in desktop 3D printing with the launch of its latest machine, the Alaris30. The office friendly machine is small enough to fit on a desk but still manages to offer a build volume of 300 x 200 x 150mm. Like Objet’s other 3D printers, it utilises the company’s PolyJet Photopolymer Jetting Technology, meaning it can print parts with fine detail (0.1 – 0.2mm accuracy), including “finished-quality” smooth surfaces, and moving parts. The sample parts we have seen are testament to this.
To achieve such high accuracy the Alaris30 squirts Objet’s proprietary FullCure photopolymer material at 600 x 600dpi in 28 micron layers. Similar to an inkjet printer, the jetting head moves back and forth along the X-axis depositing a single layer of photopolymer onto the build tray. Each layer is immediately cured and hardened by UV light, producing fully cured models that can be handled immediately without additional post-curing.
The machine also builds support structures with a gel-like FullCure Support material, and this enables complicated geometries, such as cavities, overhangs, undercuts, delicate features and walls as thin as 0.6mm. When the build is finished, the support material can be removed by water jetting or by hand, and the model is ready for fit, form and function testing. According to Objet, it can also be painted, drilled, chrome-plated or used as moulds for tooling.
In terms of operation, the Alaris30 is designed to act like a network printer and its four cartridge loading permits up to 36 hours of unattended printing. CAD data is prepared using Objet’s Studio software.
Unlike Objet’s Connex500, the Alaris 30 doesn’t offer the ability to print multiple model materials with varying mechanical properties simultaneously.
Look out for a full review soon.