It’s exciting to see desktop 3D printers proliferate in waves, corresponding with the patents that expire with each technology. The FFF/FDM 3D printers that exploded with the expiration of Stratasys patents are responsible for the existence of this website and the subsequent boom in the technology, spurred by media attention and the resulting investment that attention brought. At the beginning of this year, desktop stereolithography and DLP machines began to hit the scene at lower and lower prices, including the FSL3D Pegasus and the MakeX M-One. Over the course of the past few weeks, after SLS patents expired earlier in the summer, (more) affordable laser sintering printers have started coming to market, including machines from Norge and Sharebot. The latest low-cost laser sintering printer comes from Sintratec and its creators believe they’ve got the price down to €3990.
Swiss start-up Sintratec is made up of three electrical engineers who have been working on their desktop laser sintering printer for the past two years. Now, the company’s founders – Joscha Zeltner, Christian von Burg, Dominik Solenicki – have decided that their printer is just about ready for the public. Available as a ready-to-assemble kit, The Sintratec machine has a build volume of 130x130x130 mm (about 5 x 5 x 5 inches) and is capable of sintering layers as thin as 40 microns and as thick as 150 microns at speeds of up to 70 mm/s. The whole machine, itself, stands at 500x500x300 mm (20 x 20 x 12 inches). Right now, Sintratec is working with black nylon power to make strong, high resolution strength, but they’ve printed with wax, too. It sounds as though the laser they’re using necessitates darker colored materials.
The exact specs of the technology being used – what type of laser and wattage, etc. – hasn’t been made known, yet. They plan to release those details in the coming weeks as they polish the third generation of their prototype machine. After that, they’ll go to Indiegogo next month, where they hope to sell at least 60 kits, in order to get the Indiegogo price of the machine down to €3990. With that low of a price, I don’t see how they won’t be able to pull it off, especially when looking at the quality of the prints. Check out the Swiss Army tool they printed below:
If you want to stay on top of Sintratec, head over to their website and sign up for their mailing list.