A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Laser SLA 3D printing produces high-resolution results with smooth finishes that you cannot get from FDM printers. In the past, SLA printing can be very expensive to own with high operating and repair cost. We like to change that.
Moai is an affordable high-resolution SLA printer designed for makers, creators and researchers. It uses precise UV laser and galvanometers to cure photosensitive resins into 3D objects with smooth finishes. We design Moai to be very open so that users can use any types of UV resins and researchers can experiment with new technologies. The cost of Moai resin and consumables are only 50% of what other laser SLA printers are charging. And with the option of using even lower cost resins, it will make laser SLA printing even more affoardable.
- 70-micron laser spot - Print via G-Code. Compatible with existing FDM slicers and software - High resin compatibility, means access to lower cost resins as well as specialty resins - Full access to laser exposure settings. Perfect for researchers and developers - Prices start at only $1000 - Moai resin is only $70 per liter. Vat can last to 4 liters of resin with running at recommended settings.
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Jewelers and dentists have used laser SLA printing for years to make beautiful and intricate objects, and now you can access this technology at a fraction of cost. Check out this beautiful print from Moai which would be impossible to recreate on a regular FDM printer:
Let's compare the results between Moai and a standard FDM 3D Printer. The difference speaks for itself:
Even when printing at the same layer height resolution, Moai’s results are much cleaner:
Wax and Cast!
Moai can also print wax resin and use it to create jewelry via investment casting. The ability to produce intricate structures with smooth finishes that saves time and opens new possibilities for designers and craftsmen.
Thanks to its 150mW UV laser, Moai can print with precision and speed. Here is a graph comparing Moa’s laser spot size to a typical 400 micron FDM printer's nozzle head.
Moai scans the laser into the vat and solidifies resin into objects:
After a layer is finished, it raises the build platform slightly and cures the next layer. Here is a time-lapsed video of what Moai printing looks like:
Full timelapse video can be found at the end of the page
Unlike some of the SLA printers on the market, Moai’s laser is driven by precise and rapid moving galvanometers. This ensures fast and accurate prints while giving user significant control on printing.
Users can adjust the power level, exposure, and movement to get the best results based on the precise resin being used and application of the finished product.
Affordable Resin and Tray
A laser SLA printer is only as good as the resin it uses. To make sure Moai users get great print quality at an affordable price, we have developed a new line of resin specifically for Moai. This resin is designed for laser SLA printers and has a higher polymer content than typical UV resins for DLP with better mechanical properties. We will initially launch a multi-purpose resin for general us and we will add more resin options later on. Moai's resin vat is made of acrylic with PDMS layer. More details
For the kit, we will include 1 liter of the Moai resin for most countries. Some countries that are difficult to ship will not get resin in the initial shipment and we will offer alternative solutions.
Moai is compatible with many UV resins already available on the market. With full laser exposure control, you can adjust Moai to get the best results for each type of resin. You can use the special dental resin for a surgical guide, or with a wax-resin that fits your workflow. You are free to choose what resin to print and how you want to print it; you have complete control. If you are an aspiring chemist or bio-engineer, Moai is a perfect tool for research and for developing new resins.
We will provide pre-tested printing profiles for Moai resin as well as selected brands .
G-code and work flow
Another very useful feature is Moai prints with G-code input via SD card. While this is common for desktop FDM printers, Moai is the first SLA printer to do this. You no longer have to connect your computer to print, and you can use some of the most beloved open-source software.
We will provide a workflow involving much beloved free software that you have been using with FDM printers. In fact, you will be surprised by the similarities and how easy it is to prepare a print. My preferred workflow is generating support via Autodesk Meshmixer and slicing using Cura by Ultimaker. You are not limited to our recommended software and can use what is comfortable for you.
*Above is a design by Heon Jung Kim from Korea.
The way it works is that Moai translates G-code to laser and galvo movements line by line. We hope the transparency of G-code will stimulate software development for laser SLA printers.
Easy to assemble
We want to make Moai easy to put together so that you don’t have to be an engineer to build it. That is why Moai has no mirrors to install other than galvos and plenty of room for hands to work. There is no soldering involved, and we will include tools. Moai's build time is about 4 hours, and our testers have described it as very easy to assemble. To make sure we will get it right, we took Moai prototypes to several user events to get user feedbacks:
Customization and Upgrades
Makers and creaters are all about customization. We plan to share details about some of the Moai’s structural details so that, as you use it, in the future, you could customize it. There will also be new parts in the future so you can easily upgrade by swapping older parts for new ones.
Additional Video by Jim Spencer:
Why are we doing this?
Laser 3D printing technology has been a great prototyping tool for major corporations, jewelers, and dentists for many years. Many other people have not gotten to use it, however, because of the associated costs. By creating an affordable laser 3D printer that gives professional results, we hope that more people can use laser 3D printing for work and for play. By opening up laser control and using standard Gcode, we believe it will empower users to create and experiment in new ways. It is our hope that Moai will stimulate the development of new resins and algorithms in the open source community that can benefit everyone.
The development of Moai is inspired by the maker movement and would not be possible without the maker community. We have shown Moai to Maker Place in San Diego, CA, 23B Labs in Fullerton, CA and Hackaday @ Supplyframe in Pasadena, CA in order to get as much feedback as we can from our user base. The event in San Diego was a build event where we put together a Moai from parts in just 4 hours.
We are also building an online community so that users can exchange printing tips and customization ideas.
Why we believe we can pull this project off
We brought Moai to local makers because we want to show that we are serious about making this project a success. We also built several working prototypes and sent them to well-known makers around the world to prove Moai is real and that it works. Last but not least, both founders have experience building and delivering hardware products. We believe we can do this.
Shu Peng - Math geek, programmer, hardware developer by day. HAX accelerator alumni. Started 3D printing as a hobby from work five years ago and never looked back.
Richard Li – Mechanical Engineer. Ten years of experience developing medical and industrial equipment.
Why we need you
Moai has gone through two major revisions, and the prototypes are being tested by well-known makers since January. We are now ready to finalize the development and take it to production. The delivery schedule is tight so we will order the parts right as soon as we received the money from the campaign. We need a decent sized order to source the parts at cost-effective prices and take Moai to full production. By working as a community, we can launch this. We will keep you updated with timely information as production progresses.
23b Shop, Fullerton, CA Maker Place, San Diego, CA Supply Frame Design Lab, Pasadena, CA OpenSLA community and prior 3D printer projects on Kickstarter that paved the way.
Currently, we are only shipping to selected countries. We plan to use FedEx, and DHL to ensure speedy delivery to countries and will send tracking numbers once shipped. Due to different custom and duty in different countries, we will do our best to comply and may need your help regarding your country. We will not be responsible for any potential duty or tax due to local customs rules.
For following countries, rewards do not include resin due to shipping difficulty. Shipping rate is adjusted accordingly.
Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brazil.
Trademarks and Copyrights:
Trademarks and Copyrights mentioned below to respective owners. We do not claim ownership or legal rights for Meshmixer, Cura, 3D Designs shown above or anything that we may have missed here.
Risks and challenges
Several prototypes have been developed to test the technology and the build. We are confident we can create a working product, but as with any hardware product, supply chain and production can have unexpected surprises. Both founders are experienced with hardware development and manufacturing, thus lowering the risk for our backers. Shipping can be also delayed due to weather, local events or other factors. We pledge to update our supporters regularly to keep them informed of the latest situations as they develop.