At long last, 3D-printing industry giant 3D Systems has entered the desktop SLA market with the ProJet 1200. With a sleek form factor, it is about the size of a mini breadmaker, and it packs a fair bit of technology inside.
SIMPLE, SELF-CONTAINED, NETWORKED DLP
This DLP-based system has a small resin-curing pico projector in its base, and a built-in, post-curing station, which curiously is not large enough to hold a print the height of the build area. Onboard controls are limited to a simple, two-line LCD display and a single green, glowing button. It’s possible to send files over USB, but we found it was happiest when networked and receiving files over wi-fi.
TINY MACHINE FOR MAKER PROS
At 43×27×100mm the build area is tiny, but it needs to be due to its design. Unlike the B9 and Form 1+, it does not have a layer-separating mechanism to assist in print release between layers, limiting successful prints to very small objects or ones that have a small, cross-sectional surface area. That said, it’s explicitly targeted at a maker-pro audience of jewelers and dentists who typically work small and use investment-casting processes that require clean burnout. The convenient, but costly ($490 for a pack of 10) prepackaged VisiJet FTX Green no-ash burnout resin cartridges and $4,900 price tag reflect this focus.
FIRMWARE MISHAPS AND GEOMAGIC PRINT
After installing Geomagic Print and powering up the machine, we were prompted for a firmware update, which bricked the unit. After multiple frustrating instances of unplugging, powering down and USB reconnecting, it became operational again. We also had some issues with failed prints with large flat bottom surfaces until we got the hang of the workflow.
The Windows-only software has all the simple and most of the advanced features you’d expect, but support customizability felt limited compared to the extensive support-manipulation options available in the B9 Creator and Preform software.
Advanced features aside, it’s very easy to use, and there’s no resin to pour. Pop in and lock down a resin cartridge, load the build platform, and prep and print.