Great gobs of gravy! If you think you can launch a highly technical project on Kickstarter and get funded with $2,000 pledges, in less than 24 hours, you would be RIGHT. Your name would also be Michael Joyce. Mike’s B9Creator kickstarter project has met the $50,000 goal and is nearing $100,000 after less than two days in. With the B9C’s large print area and high resolution it’s not at all surprising. Here’s a look.
The B9Creator 3D Printer
Mike’s B9Creator is a resin-based 3D printer that can produce higher quality parts than regular FDM 3D printers (like the Makerbot Replicator, for example.) The B9Creator is akin to Junior Veloso’s 3D Printer, as in they both utilize a light projector to cure a light-sensitive resin to produce, well, anything you want… Only the B9 is MUCH BETTER.
How much better? Well the average DIY FDM printer can hit 200 microns. The B9 Creator can hit 50 microns no sweat. It’s speed is a bit pokey – only 1 inch per hour, but remember, that speed is independant of the size of your object. You could fill the entire build platform of 3″x4″x8″ with a giant Yoda head and it would print just as fast as your… mini-Yoda head. An Arduino and a custom shield runs the whole printer, encased in a case that you can either leave free-standing or mount to a wall (nice touch, Mike).
Joyce went through great lengths to keep the costs down – he won’t have any trouble if his campaign keeps on the rampage. For a contribution of $2,375 you will receive a DIY kit, complete with electronics, parts, modified projector and resin. The resin is surprisingly cheap – 10 cents to the gram – more than regular 3D printer plastic (1.5 -7 cents per gram), but who cares – the quality is what matters.
High-Def Resin-Printing is going to be the new standard – the B9Creator is going to be the first of many examples I think. With this sort of quality, it becomes possible to make parts within parts. For example, we could print a set of intermeshed gears, ready to go, or a clock that works as soon as you pull it out of the printer. Assembly would be a matter for the CAD designer and/or manufacturer, not the end-consumer.
But don’t throw your allen key away just yet! You still have to build the 3D printer first.
Update: The KeyShot blog also has some details on Mike’s Project. The B9Creator 3D renderings were done using KeyShot with the 3D model being created in Alibre.