Lumi Industries, an Italian manufacturer of resin-based 3D printers, will be unveiling its latest product, the New Lumifold, at the upcoming Maker Faire in Rome. At the event, held from October 12 to 14, Lumi Industries will showcase its new system, which it calls the “most compact 3D printer ever.”
Similar in concept to the ONO smartphone 3D printer, the New Lumifold is a resin-based printer that uses a tablet screen to polymerize layers of resin to build up small objects. The compact 3D printer uses special daylight resins and works by placing a mobile tablet under the resin vat. On the tablet, users simply install a proprietary app which slices and prepares the 3D model, and when the resin vat is filled, users simply need to press “start” to begin exposing layers of resin to the curing light.
“For us, user-friendly running, affordable price range and especially compactness have always been our key values at the base of our products,” commented Davide Marin, Lumi Industries founder and CEO. “In fact, we were the first one, back in 2013 right at the first Maker Faire in Rome, to introduce the idea of portability in resin-based 3D printing with LumiFold, a maker project, for a printer which was even foldable!”
Because the 3D printer is reliant on a tablet and vat of resin, the system is incredibly compact (measuring only 18 x 28 x 8 cm when closed and 18 x 28 x 18 cm when open). According to Lumi Industries, it has been working on the system since as early as 2015, honing the quality of the print (to reach an accuracy of 25 microns on the Z axis) and to make it as efficient as possible.
In terms of what tablets are compatible with the New Lumifold, the company says it works with most tablets but is optimized for the iPad Mini model 3 or 4, which enable an XY print resolution of 78 microns. The appeal of using a tablet instead of a smartphone, Lumi adds, is that it gives a wider print area of 10 x 10 cm and does not have other distracting features like incoming calls or messages. The printer itself connects to the tablet via Bluetooth.
As mentioned above, the New Lumifold uses special daylight resins (as opposed to a more traditional UV resin). This special material is more reactive to visible light (like that emitted from a tablet). Daylight resins have sometimes been criticized for their quality and slow curing, but Lumi Industries promises its compact 3D printer has shown positive results.
“The idea of this system has been in my mind for years like an obsession,” added Marin. “Finally, in 2015 I was able to file a patent application and launch officially the idea of the New LumiFold. Since we started working at the development of an open innovation project for a multinational company, I was able to proceed in the project development only during my free time. But finally, it is here and working just I have imagined. The next step is to apply the system on an LCD version, while a filament one is also in the pipeline, compatibly with all our other projects, so we are looking for collaboration to speed up the process, anyone interested?!”
The compact resin 3D printer will be presented at the upcoming Maker Faire Rome, as well as at Smau Milan and Formnext in Frankfurt.