As with its predecessor, SeeMeCNC’s DropLit v2 is a bring-your-own-projector resin printer kit that requires a healthy dose of patience and elbow grease. However, the reward is a low-cost entry to the world of crisp, high-resolution 3D printing.
Some Welcome Additions
The white melamine and blue acrylic printer ships in the familiar SeeMeCNC flat pack-style. A few new additions are inside, including a Mini-Rambo board for the controller and a Raspberry Pi to run the printing software. The addition of a flex vat, with its FET drumhead-style bottom, brings a larger print area and an easier vat renewal process for when you wear out the surface. Assembly is fairly easy for anyone who has put together the laser-cut-wood printer kits of years past, and can be done in less than a day for new builders.
After the mechanical and electrical install comes the tough part, the software install and configuration. SeeMeCNC recommends nanoDLP, a Pi-based host and control software that can be accessed from a web browser — it’s like the Repetier-Host of resin printing. It’s a newer software package, especially for use with the DropLit, so the documentation is in flux. SeeMeCNC provided great support and had us up and printing fairly easily, but configurations are highly dependent on your hardware and resin choices.
Calibrate, Calibrate, Calibrate
For those new to resin printing, plan to spend time calibrating and dialing in the settings. Even with a recommended projector, not every resin is equal, and it takes time to adjust for new ones. We tested using a few projectors (both 720p and 1080p) and got crisp print results using common resins.
Reliable and Affordable
The DropLit v2 lived up to expectations, and the larger flex vat, electronics, and software advancements were welcome improvements. The boxy, clean exterior is good looking, but the mess and safety concerns of resin printing will likely keep this machine firmly in a workshop area. Even with the added cost of a DLP projector, the DropLit v2 is an incredible value.
Price as Tested $749 (plus projector)
Build Volume 115×70×115mm
Open Resin? Yes
Print Untethered? Yes (Raspberry Pi included for wireless printing via nanoDLP)
Onboard Controls? No
Host/Slicer Software NanoDLP (recommended)
OS Any (web interface through nanoDLP/Pi)
Firmware Vendor supplied (fork of Repetier GNU GPL V3)
Open Software? Yes, GNU GPL V3
Open Hardware? Yes, Open Source Mini-Rambo
Open style means that the user can upgrade and tweak to their heart’s content.
Why to Buy
An inexpensive way to get access to resin printing, the DropLit v2 provides an increased build size from the previous version, and an updated user experience to those willing to put in a little work.