I’m hosting an event tomorrow night here in the DC area, a salon at Artisphere, looking at the artistic, cultural, and technological import of 3D printing and desktop fabrication. In doing research for the event, I wanted to bone up on the state-of-the-art in selective laser sintering (SLS) printing, a form of 3D printing that has, thus far, been cost-prohibitive to consumers and prosumers. I was delighted to see that the first hit I got had “Maker Faire” in the title. This weekend, Polyforge, Inc. will unveil their new SLS printer at Maker Faire Bay Area. Likely to cost in the neighborhood of $10K, the company is saying that, during their pending crowdfunding campaign, they’ll be offering their backers discounts as high as 50%. An SLS printer for $5,000? Now that would be exciting.
From the 3DPrint.com article about of the company’s Maker Faire unveiling:
It seems as though it was just a year ago that the idea of seeing consumer-level selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printers come to market was only a pipe dream. These types of 3D printers have long been reserved for large corporations with equally large budgets. However, as with all technology, as time goes on and innovation takes place, prices begin to drop.
We have already begun to see several consumer-level SLS 3D printers announced in the past few months, some of which are priced at under $20,000, making it entirely feasible that one day soon, SLS machines could take the place of FFF- and SLA-based printers on the desktops of artists, designers, and hobbyists.
If you’re coming to the Faire this weekend, look up the Polyforge booth and check out the next generation of 3DP.
6 thoughts on “Polyforge Unveiling Affordable SLS Printer at Maker Faire”
this sounds GREAT… until you see the limiting size of 7″ x 7″ x 7″
what a disappointment that part was!
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It was my understanding that SLS systems have to run in an inert gas bath so that they don’t explode like a flour mill, and that this has historically informed their design, from their sealed hoods to (I imagine) using the galvanometer-mounted mirrors in place of an X/Y stage. In reading both this and the 3DPrint.com article I see mention of safety in terms of laser/eye safety with interlocks, but no mention of inert gas baths or the explosion risk from kicking up the powder? Has this been solved in some other way with this system, or is the first person who mounts a fan inside their chamber going to inadvertently create a rocket ship?
20 watts only and no serious ventilation. I wonder if that’s good enough to cook some of the plastics that CRP USA is showing off at the faire, for SLS use. They’ve got an F1 engine exhaust they’re showing, SLS printed, and several components of an electric motorcycle. Impressive toughness, for 3D printed parts.
If it’s not enough yet, I wonder how hackable it is…
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