Anyone who has paid attention to the 3D printing market, especially the high quality and resolution DLP/SLA section, has heard about the Korean startup Owl Works. Back in August of last year they unveiled their new liquid resin desktop printer, the Morpheus.
Unlike its competitors, the Morpheus was neither a SLA, nor a traditional DLP machine. The Morpheus was something new. Using a combination of LCD and LED technology, it did away with the digital projector beam that most DLP machines used, which allowed it to have a bigger build area than most DLPs. They called their new process “LIPS” which stands for “light Induced Planer Solidification”.
Because a digital projector beam is a single point light source, it projects in a large circular pattern, like any movie projector. To compensate and keep our movie pictures sharp, and rectangular, the diffused edges have to be “masked off” by the projector. In a DLP machine, this means that the build areas have to be fairly small. If the projected pictures that are used to create our 3D objects became fuzzy…well, so do the objects.
LIPS fixes this by using a true planer light source, that is, a flat rectangular light source made of hundreds of Infra-red LED lights arranged in a rectangle, or any shape really, to create a massive single bright light source. That light source then shines through a LCD mask which creates the images that are solidified layer by layer to create the object we are attempting to build. This allows Owl Works to create a DLP-like machine of, theoretically, unlimited size…that just happens to be faster and has as good, if not better, resolution than most other machines.
Not happy to sit around on their laurels, and knowing that resin printers allow for far better resolution than FDM does, the guys at Owl Works created a new machine of the size/price that normal people could afford. Their results can now be seen in their new Morpheus Delta printer, set to go live on Kickstarter this week.
Knowing that the Morpheus printer’s capital advantage is its size, I spoke to SJ Park at Owl Works, who told me they chose to build a smaller desktop resin printer as they wanted to help grow resin printer usage, as it is the “next level of 3D printing experience,” for most people. He noted that “many people who want a resin printer cannot afford a $5,000 machine.” He said he hoped that this new printer would open up a wider audience to the benefits of resin printing and stimulate innovation within the industry.
You can check out the whole project on Kickstarter very soon, for now check out their Kickstarter teaser:
They want to grow the market and stimulate innovation, and with an early bird price tag of just $499.00, they very well may do just that!