About this project
(Production Prototype In Action)
Color Voting Update - 06/11/12 at 6:11 AM MST
The Voting is Over, we have a winner! Black - 32, Blue -11, Clear - 9, Red - 2, Gold - 2, Green - 1
A 3D Printer that delivers the resolution you crave.
Right from the beginning I wanted the B9Creator to be different. Anodized aluminum construction, stainless steel hardware, many thoughtful features that enhance normal operation... all these things set the B9Creator apart from the DIY 3D Printer herd. But when it comes to printing complex, detailed and fragile objects, this is where the B9Creator really shines bright!
DIY 3D Printers based upon the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) concept simply can not match the higher resolution capability of the B9Creator. We utilize a powerful Digital Light Processing (DLP) projector to shine a 1024 x 768 pixel image onto a layer of photo-initiated polymer resin. The result is a quick solid cure of the entire layer in one operation. The layer thickness is typically 100 microns but your model can be sliced even thinner if you need even higher resolution. Note that 100 microns is .1 mm or about 0.004"
How about speed? Anywhere from 12-20 mm per hour and that's independent of the object's x-y density (unlike FDM which slows down as the x-y fill density increases).
"But how much does that resin cost?" The Eiffel Tower model pictured here weighs about 12 grams. Our resin costs about 10 cents per gram, making the material costs to print the Eiffel Tower just $1.20!
As you will see below, the project development is already well along and is about set for production. All we need now is your support and a large initial order to keep the costs reasonable.
So... What will you create?
(Eiffel Tower model printed at 100 micron resolution)
Here's "The PLAN"
1 - Develop a new type of high resolution 3D Printer... DONE!
I began working on this concept last fall. At times it felt like it might never work... but it did!
(Working on resin development)
(Trying out different ideas)
(Youtube video describing early design concept)
(Final R&D prototype.. it works!)
2 - Engineer a solid production design based on the R&D... DONE!
(Production design using CAD)
(Final production design, CAD rendering)
3 - Fabricate and assemble a production prototype... DONE!
(The assembled production prototype)
4 - Secure professional vendors to fabricate components, bag the hardware kit, build circuit boards and wiring harnesses... DONE!
(Custom components fabricated by my US based vendors)
- Order everything needed to build 10 demo units to verify the quality, labeling, fit & finish of vendor supplied components. DONE, waiting for parts to arrive.
- Once vendor components arrive, assemble the 10 production units and test, test and test again! Feedback any required changes to my vendors and finalize product. Estimated completion: May 31st.
- At the completion of our Kickstarter campaign (June 12th), order all required components and materials. Begin shipping Resin to customers NLT June 30th.
- Assemble and ship kits and completed units starting as soon as components arrive. Priority will be in order of pledge date with early backers receiving their items first.
- Complete shipping of all items no later than August 31st, 2012.
- Once obligations to supporters are met, I will post all original hardware (CAD) files and software (source code) publically under an open source license.
Our supply chain is forged from strong links!
The key to successful completion of this project is our excellent partnerships with experienced and reliable vendors, which are based here in the US. From hardware to electronics to fabrication, we enjoy "time tested" relationships with our suppliers. This foundation will ensure we deliver a quality B9Creator 3D printer or kit just as promised. Check out our past project testimonials: http://www.lostinspacerobot.com/testimonials.html
Read the FAQ
We have started a FAQ on our website and will do our best to keep it up to date as questions arise. More FAQ's at the bottom of this page too!
Vote for you favorite color scheme!
"I love it when a plan comes together!"
All the objects below were created on the B9Creator prototype or pre-production prototype machines.
More images... (visit the Gallery on our website for more)
Want more images... visit the Gallery on our website!
Build volume varies, depending on resolution.
Resolutions in the x/y plane (horizontal) of 50 to 100 microns are possible by adjustment of the projector’s position and focus.
Resolutions in the z (vertical) build axis from 100 to less than 10 microns are possible via software selection. Using higher resolutions in the z-axis may result in slower build rates. We suggest using the same z axis resolution as the x/y plane.
At the 100 micron x/y pixels setting, the build area is 102.4 mm (4.03″) x 76.8 mm (3.02″) x 203.2 mm (8.0″).
At the 50 micron x/y pixels setting, the build area is 51.2 mm (2.02″) x 38.4 mm (1.52″) x 203.2 mm (8.0″).
100 microns = 0.1 mm = 0.00394″
B9Creator will ship with a basic software suite that allows you to import a model stored in standard .stl format. This software will allow you to slice the model and manually position simple supports, if needed. The software will also control the actual print process. The software will be available for current Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
Developers should note that our printer has an open API, anyone interested in writing or modifying their software to work with our printer is welcome to do so! Please contact us to learn more.
In general, assembly of the kit is very straight forward and requires only a few basic tools (Screw drivers, hex and crescent wrenches, etc.). The electronics do not require any soldering.
The most challenging portion of the assembly is construction of the acrylic vat and casting of the special coating within the vat. We will be making and posting detailed instructional videos for the entire process and encourage users to become proficient at the process of re-coating the vat as this coating is considered a consumable and may need to be replaced after extended operations. We plan to offer a replacement service, but it’s really a straight forward procedure once you learn it.
Weight: ~30lbs (13.5 kg).
Height: 31″ (79 cm)
Width: 18.5″ (47 cm)
Depth: 12″ (30.5 cm)
The hardware is controlled by the included Arduino Uno with a custom shield (printed circuit board).
A host computer (not provided) drives the printer via a USB connection with the printer’s Arduino.
No. You must use Kickstarter to purchase the machine. We will not be shipping any orders for the B9Creator until after ALL the Kickstarter rewards are filled.
I'll look into this possibility, it would save about $450. Keep in mind that the projector mount is designed to work with the Vivitek D535. Other projectors may not fit or require modifications of the mount.
I used Alibre Design Expert for CAD and Keyshot for renderings.
We will be creating and posting assembly, operation and maintenance videos during the course of this campaign. After all the rewards are fulfilled we will post the original CAD files and source codes.
We believe so, but are waiting to see it actually used. The Ignition temperature (for direct to sacrificial casting) is 330 – 370C, (fully post-cured).
NO! There seems to be some misinformation floating around on the net. Our projector's bulb axis is parallel to the axis of rotation (pitch). In our case, the bulb won't even know the projector is pitched up 90 degrees. And because the exhaust is on the front of the projector, we should enjoy better cooling than the normal position. We should have normal ~3000 hour bulb life.
Under normal use and best practices it is very safe. See the MSDS for detailed information: http://b9creator.com/MSDSB9R1.htm
No, we only extend the lens assembly a very small amount, 3.2 mm (1/8") to allow the projector to focus up close. This modification is performed here and tested before shipping.
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