DWS, Italy’s number one professional stereolithography 3D printer manufacturer, first announced XFAB system in 2014. This €5,000 system was the result of the company’s founder Maurizio Costabeber’s dream to truly bring high quality 3D printing – and materials – to a wider demographic than ever before.
In order to achieve this dream, Maurizio and the DWS team first had to build an entirely new production facility. Although it took longer than initially planned, in early 2016 the factory was ready and the XFAB finally hit the market. Since we had worked with them on the initial 2014 announcement- with an event during Milan Design Week – we thus decided that it was finally time to pay DWS a visit.
The new factory and the entire structure around it are truly impressive. Not just for the size and capabilities but also for the amount of interesting products that can be found inside of it.
The XFAB uses the same technology of professional DWS printers. It has a cylindrical working area with 80% more building volume than conventional 3D printers and a patented TTT (Tank Translation System), which increases cartridge life and allows large model building. It is a USB plug and play 3D printer, with a patented grooved building platform and easy removal tool.
However inside the DWS facility you will find a lot more than the XFABs. For example the impressive new 030 large size systems (which also use a unique and patented stereolithographic technology).
One of the reasons why leading professional stereolithography companies – such as DWS but also EnvisionTEC and 3D Systems – continue to stand out is the huge selection of digital materials they offer. Although the XFBA is currently limited to about a dozen, DWS offers a huge selection of materials, ranging from ABS and rubber, to biocopatible nanoceramics for the medical and dental sectors. A particularly impressive one is the IRIX digital stone, a liquid resin the looks and feels like stone when cured.
A large part of the rest of the facility is dedicated to R&D and to conference areas where DWS holds meetings to support and communicate the company’s vision toward the Industry 4.0. In fact all DWS 3D printers can already be networked in true, production ready 3D printer farms that can be remotely controlled through a mobile App. To show these capabilities, DWS has been producing and showing off serially manufactured eyewear from young Italian designers such as Alice Barki and FabLab Milano founder Salvatore Saldano.
Maurizio Costabeber began working on a 3D printer in the very early age of 3D printing, while he was in Japan and he founded the Autostrade company and developed the E-DARTS stereolithography system. He – and 3D printing – have come a long way since then. Judging by the growth DWS has experienced in just the last two years, there is still a long way to go.