Photocentric introduces LC Maximus, the largest LCD 3D printer for mass production - 3D Printing Industry
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Photocentric introduces LC Maximus, the largest LCD 3D printer for mass production

Photocentric, a Peterborough-based 3D printer and materials manufacturer, has introduced the largest LCD 3D printer. The Liquid Crystal (LC) Maximus is designed to be used for mass production and large-scale prototyping.

The British manufacturer is known for pioneering 3D printers which use light from LCD screens to cure resin layer by layer.

Sally Tipping, Sales Director at Photocentric said, “LCD screen-based 3D printers have been the fastest growing area in 3D resin printing; this machine cements our position as the leading innovator in this exciting sector.”

The LC Maximus will be ready for commercial release in the second quarter of 2019.

A platform of shoe soles printed using Daylight Hard Black resin in the LC Maximus. Photo courtesy of Umair Iftikhar.
A platform of shoe soles printed using Daylight Hard Black resin in the LC Maximus. Photo courtesy of Umair Iftikhar.

LCD 3D printer

Photocentric’s technology is referred to as Daylight Polymer Printing (DPP). DPP uses a low energy light source to polymerize liquid resins, in contrast to a high-intensity UV laser or a light projector used in SLA/DLP methods.

The light source in SLA/DLP is purpose-built, whereas Photocentric’s 3D printers use mass-produced LCD screens from mobiles, tablets, and large screen televisions. For this reason, LCD 3D printers tend to be cheaper than SLA/DLP printers but offer the same print quality.

As the DPP uses LCD screens to harden the resin, the chemistry of the liquid material needs to be different from the one used in UV printing. Photocentric manufactures and sells specific daylight resins which harden with exposure to LCD screen light.

Arturs Gribs, Photocentric’s 3D Optimisation Manager with the fully assembled prototype motorbike engine, 3D printed in the LC Maximus. Image via Photocentric.
Arturs Gribs, Photocentric’s 3D Optimisation Manager with the fully assembled prototype motorbike engine, 3D printed in the LC Maximus. Image via Photocentric.

Photocentric LC Maximus 40” LCD 3D printer

Photocentric printers offer high quality and affordable alternative to SLA/DLP 3D printers. This year, the company’s Liquid Crystal Precision was also shortlisted for the 3D Printing Industry Award in the category of personal 3D printer of the year.

The latest 3D printer from Photocentric, the LC Maximus, uses a 4K 40” LCD screen to cure each individual layer at an interval of 15 seconds with XY resolution of 230 microns.

The massive 700 x 893 x 510mm build size of the printer makes it ideal for mass producing parts, such as dental models and manufacturing large-scale prototypes. To demonstrate these capabilities, Photocentric is currently running a Facebook campaign.

Photocentric is prototyping a life-size model of a motorbike. Every Sunday at 6 p.m (GMT) leading up to formnext 2018 Photocentric’s team 3D prints and assembles a motorbike prototype part.

With the rear wheel, exhaust system and the engine 3D printed, and assembled, the project is now 45% complete. The finished bike will be exhibited at formnext 2018, where Photocentric will be in Hall 3.1, Stand A10.

To gain speed over its competitors, Photocentric has also announced a partnership with Germany’s BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world. The collaboration will see the development of photopolymers and 3D printers for mass production.

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Featured image shows Photocentric’s Liquid Crystal Maximus LCD screen 3D printer. Photo courtesy of Umair Iftikhar.