3D Printers

Zortrax enters vat polmerization market with Inkspire 3D printer

Polish 3D printer manufacturer Zortrax has released a new 3D printer: the Inkspire. Unlike Zortrax’s existing range of 3D printers, including the M200 Plus that was released earlier in 2018, the Inkspire uses vat polymerization technology rather than fused filament fabrication (FFF).

With this, Zortrax is tapping into a whole new range of materials, and resolution capabilities of its 3D printers. Rafał Tomasiak, CEO of Zortrax, comments, “An individual pixel in the Zortrax Inkspire measures 50×50 microns, with the layer’s minimum height just 25 microns. The printer can create details that are only visible under the microscope.”

“The Zortrax Inkspire’s speed and accuracy opens up new possibilities in precision engineering, dental prosthetics and jewellery.”

3D printing on the Inkspire. Photo via Zortrax
3D printing on the Inkspire. Photo via Zortrax

Inkspire technical specifications and pricing 

Still aimed at the desktop 3D printer market, the Zortrax Inkspire has a max build envelope of 74 x 132 x 175 mm. At present, no specifications have be released about the 3D printer’s exact resolution or print speed, but the company has confirmed that the machine is using UV LCD technology.

Compacted bed of Inkspire 3D printed components. Photo via Zortrax
Compacted bed of Inkspire 3D printed components. Photo via Zortrax

An alternative to laser-based SLA and projection-based DLP technologies, the Inkspire uses an LCD display to cure photopolymer feedstocks, aided by an ultraviolet backlight. With this combination, the company expects to rival the precision of SLA and the speed offered by DLP.

An Inkspire 3D printed dental model. Photo via Zortrax
An Inkspire 3D printed dental model. Photo via Zortrax

Furthermore, as expected with light sources of this kind, 3D printing on the Inkspire 3D printer is performed within and enclosed orange chamber to guard the user from harm.

The system is set for market release Autumn 2018, at a retail price of $2,699.

The Inkspire 3D printer. Photo via Zortrax
The Inkspire 3D printer. Photo via Zortrax

3D printer brands diversify

The Inkspire follows a collection of research and releases that suggest that companies providing singular 3D printing technologies need to diversify in order to survive.

In June 2017, Formlabs added SLS to its traditionally SLA 3D printer portfolio with the FUSE 1. Recently, there has also been rumors of FFF 3D printer brand Lulzbot introducing a new light-based 3D printing.

According to the latest research from London-based supply chain solutions provider CONTEXT at least, “Shipments of Personal/Desktop 3D printers saw their first ever year-on-year drop in Q1 2018 with 3% fewer printers shipping globally than in Q1 2017,” though the industry was eager to disagree.

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Featured image shows the Inkspire 3D printer. Photo via Zortrax

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