Priced at $450, the system is primarily aimed at hobbyists, enthusiasts, and newcomers looking for an economical alternative to the less accessible professional-grade printers out there. The San Diego-based company has stated that the crowdfunding campaign is set to run through into January in a bid to ramp up production.
Resin printing with the IBEE
Characterized by its generous throughput capabilities, the IBEE features a build volume measuring 192 x 120 x 200mm, which is significantly larger than most of the competition in its price range. The company hasn’t cut corners in terms of print quality either, as the machine prides itself on a minimum feature size of 0.2mm and an XY resolution of 49.8 microns, ensuring details are precise and crisp. When it comes to connectivity, users have the option to go with Wi-Fi, ethernet, and a USB port, and much of the printer’s functionality is controlled via the 4.3” touchscreen.
The driving force behind the IBEE’s high-performance capabilities is its 8.9” 4K monochrome LCD screen, which the company initially developed back in 2018. Since the single-source UV light diverges at a tighter angle than conventional dot matrix light sources, a higher degree of dimensional precision is maintained. The system’s printing engine delivers over 90% light power uniformity, and features an impressive print speed of up to 80mm per hour.
Furthermore, UNIZ has also developed a whole new resin vat for use with the IBEE. As well as being durable, the tray has a very helpful volume marker running along the interior of the back wall. The company also claims that the replaceable films will cost less than their previous iterations, and users will be able to substitute in a brand new film in just a matter of minutes.
Additions to the ecosystem
To complement the printer, the company is also launching a newly developed UNIZ Maker slicing software, which claims to provide a ‘user-friendly yet powerful’ print preparation experience. The program supports one-click printing, whereby users simply select their desired model and hit the print button. UNIZ Maker will automatically orient the model in the most optimal manner, ensuring supports are not under or overdone, and initiate the print with no other human input.
Completing the ecosystem, UNIZ is also now offering its first consumer-level resin, zMUD, developed primarily for use with the IBEE (although it is compatible with most of the company’s printer models). The beige material is described as being both economical and performance-centric, with a focus on rigidity and toughness. Parts printed with zMUD will reportedly have a smooth matte finish.
Technical specifications and pricing
Below are the technical specifications for the UNIZ IBEE. Readers interested in backing the machine can do so on the Kickstarter page, with prices starting at $450. Deliveries are expected to begin in January of 2021.
|Build volume||192 x 120 x 200mm|
|Layer thickness||25, 50, 100μm – customizable|
|Print speed||Up to 80mm/hour|
|Printer dimensions||325 x 325 x 510mm|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, ethernet, flash drive|
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Featured image shows the UNIZ IBEE. Photo via UNIZ.