Hey Jesse, I’m aware of the Kevvox. Hands down the best quality I’ve seen on an “affordable” professional dlp printer. However we still have the problem of it costing as much as a compact car, and resin is very expensive. It’s good for people who can afford an envisiontec. Hopefully formlabs is at their final stages of testing and releasing the castable resin, so that we stop looking at alternatives. More and more of them are popping up.
Hey Monger, yeah the Kevvox looks like a tidy unit and there software looks very nice as well. After trying multiple ring prints at different orientations etc, something you said quite a while back that the preform support doesn’t really help out us digital jewelers. I have finally got my head around manual supports in the b9 software and it has generated the best print so far and less material wasted which it great. Formlabs now boasts 25 engineers, surely…surely someone must be working towards creating a castable resin!? Anyway all the best for 2014.
Hey Monger, You seem to have heard if every 3d printer under the sun Just wondering, if you had a budget up to 25k and the purpose of the printer was mainly for jewelry, what would you buy and for what reason? Thanks as always for sharing your knowledge with us and wishing everyone the very best (and a castable resin) for 2014!!
Glad to hear that you are getting the hang of the manual supports using the b9 software. Hopefully form labs will soon start implementing these features that many of us asking for.
If I had 25k to spend, I would first ask myself a few questions.
What am I going to use the printer for? Is it for production? Prototyping? Rings? Do I need to print larger items such as bangles?
How long would it take me to make the money back for that purchase? If it will take more than a year, chances are by the time I’m done paying for it, something better and cheaper will be on the market.
Am I doing my own casting, or outsource it? In my experience, most casting places are currently staying away from casting RP resin. They just don’t want the risk of messing up your prints. They all ask for wax. There are some place that cast the RP resin, but they want to be the ones to print it on their own machines.
Service fees? Most of these high end machines require expensive service contracts?
Resin? Most of these high end machines have resin that cost more than 10 times what the form1 resin costs.
Do I really need an expensive 3d printer? For 25K you can print many many rings at a service bureau, and even more if they are doing the casting also.
So as you can see it’s not a simple question to answer. If it’s just about “I have to have it”…I would probably go with Envisiontec or the Kevvox, or if I need problem free casting, the Solidscape wax printers (these may be more than 25k)
What I love about the Form1, B9 creator, and similar printers… they give us relatively great quality for incredibly low prices. And that way you can work less to pay off your machine, and focus more on creativity and ideas.
I know lots of jewelers in the Downtown LA area who have the most expensive EV printers, the DWS, Solidscape… and they now look like idiots, because the “guy down the street” can print rings for $15 a pop for them, rendering their machines useless.
Stick with the Form1 for now. Unless they don’t release a castable resin in a month or 2. The b9 is a great option too, especially of the high resolution and with the castable resin.
If you want problem free and cheap 3d printing…the answer is simple…outsource it.
I tend to agree with you, ive used service bureaus a lot, although I haven’t had the best experience with many of them (shapeways, i.materialize, etc).
Im using my form1 right now mostly for prototyping. I have my doubts that, even after we get castable resin, the form1 can truly be used as a production machine. The support problems (loss of detail) and overall surface quality are not up to par so far (although you’re experiments with the b9 resin show promise, but if tis not castable then whats the use…)
Im about to try kraftwurkz which prints and sends you a solidscpae or envisiontec print straight from the printer, which is one of the only ones ive found does so. Will post about it.
What are your favorite bureaus? It sounds like you have some local ones that do the printing and casting for you, which is great. One of my main problems with bureaus is the turnout time to get your print, which can be a 3 weeks to a month in some cases… (living in Mexico and getting them shipped from belgium… not cool on the taxes either. But LA might be a better option!)
Hoping not to sound blasphemous here but have any of you guys heard of the Revo 540 CX? I actually called them up and sent them some of my most complex models and they came out surprisingly well. Never thought a mill could do that. It is pure wax of course and the surface quality cant be beat. Also the price is not so bad considering…
Give these guys a try http://www.starrwax.com/
They print using wax. It casts like wax. Anyone can cast it.
I already sent them a model and their quote is very reasonable. Thanks!!
Glad I could help. Heard about them through a friend of mine. They use expensive 3d systems wax jet printers designed specifically for jewelry.
Hey Monger, I sent Kevvox and email and I got a response from Junior Veloso a.k.a 3dhomemade.blogspot.com which was a very promising DIY 3d printer, now have you had a look at their castable resin which they claim requires no special investment or burnout? http://kevvox.com/materials/castable/
Well aware of the Kevvox, but did not know that Junior Veloso is behind it. I remember seeing the video of his DLP printer and I was very impressed. Unfortunately it looked like it didn’t go anywhere.
The print quality on the kevvox looks insane, but it is on the expensive side. Close to $20K I believe. Not sure how much the resin is, because I couldn’t find any sales info on their website, nor any dealer info here in US.
Also, regarding those claims of “no special burnout, etc”… even Envisiontec, and Asiga claim that, but it turns out to be far from reality.
Yeah I was really surprised to get an email response from him because pre-form1…excuse the pun ; ) I was looking to his DIY printer and one of the most promising options. Anyway from what I gather he’s gone from DIY to Commercial. I hear you on companies that claim their materials burnout, I have used Envisiontec’s WIC100 and PhotoSilver (ceramic/polymer) the WIC100 was still reacting when casting and I would have to dip it in acrylic sealer to stop it reacting. Also the Kevvox software looks amazing, lots of choices for supports etc and 10 micron finest layer is sick.
For me… the support and a community behind a product is almost as important as the print quality. That’s why I wouldn’t buy any of those “professional” printers at the moment. There are more cons with them than pros with those printers. You have to pay a yearly support fee usually, the replacement parts are expensive, consumables are expensive, resin is expensive, not every casting house can cast those resins, there is almost no community behind them so if you have a question good luck finding an answer.
For large production places, it makes sense for them spending about 30K on a printer and 5K a year on support and another 15K on resin and consumables, but I think I’d rather stick with the Form1 for now and continue looking for a castable resin. I may even purchase a B9 and use that for casting jewelry and use the Form1 for prototyping (if the castable resin search yields no results).
Hey Monger, I hear what you’re saying and regarding your “If I had 25k to spend…” spiel to Isaac I fully agree. That is what I love about the whole Form1 is that we have witnessed the development of it over time and to some degree are involved. I had a chance to buy an Envisiontec Perfactory Mini Multi secondhand which may or may not have been awesome? Would have cost over 25k but lots of other things bundled together. The manual was as thick as a phone book and the materials with freight, import tax and exchange rates worked out to be $1000/liter which is way to much for me. On top I would have had to borrow the money, so you could add interest on top of that too. I must say that the results were a thing of beauty, no stepping even on very fine details. Anyway do love having a Form1 without the stress of $$$ hanging over my head.
Has anyone tried mixing the B9 cherry resin with FormLabs white resin? I’m curious how that compares to the 50/50 grey/cherry discussed above. And if nobody has actually tried it, theoretical pontification is welcome, too. (I don’t have a printer yet).
I’m guessing you will then get a Pink resin mix that performs similar to the grey/cherry mix.
I don’t have the white resin, so haven’t tested. For me this experiment mainly started as a way of maybe getting a castable resin out of it, however it turned out that even the slightest mix of the form1 resin was causing problems when casting.
You should be able to use the b9 red or cherry resin with the KEVVOX if they let you dial in the settings. Also, I read in the Asiga forums that someone is already using the B9 resins on the ASIGA PICO, which is a nice machine for about $7,000. Although the print area is pretty tiny, but enough for about 4-5 rings.
I had something printed on the ASIGA and the quality and the resolution were really high, but the resin was not easily castable. So if it works with the b9 resin, it’s looking like a good option as a Form1 replacement, if they don’t come out with the castable resin any time soon.
Just got my cherry red on the mail today
So im wandering, is there any special way you mix the resins? Im assuming you dont do it on the tank itself but on some other recipient outside and then pour it onto the vat? Any special pitfalls I should know of? Any guidance on this will be very helpful…
I mix it in a measuring cup really well with a plastic spoon. For about a minute at least. Away from direct light obviously.
Hey MD, I set this ring up as you suggested and I am very pleased with the result. Also I have found a local jeweler who has a Kevvox machine so I am going to check it out.