Britain-based 3D printer and materials producer Photocentric has just unveiled their plans to release the largest LCD 3D printer on the planet. Aside from its size, it is also capable of mass production volumes and large-scale prototyping. Photocentric have been producing light curing LCD screen technology and resins but the LC Maximus is their largest project yet. The company is looking to release it in the second quarter of 2019.
“LCD screen-based 3D printers have been the fastest growing area in 3D resin printing; this machine cements our position as the leading innovator in this exciting sector.” Explained Sally Tipping, Sales Director at Photocentric.
The printer will boast a 700 x 893 x 510mm build size and 4K 40” LCD screen. It will cure each individual layer at intervals of 15 seconds with XY resolution of 230 microns. For contrast, their previous largest printer was 82 x 49 x 74 cm with 23.8” LCD. Unlike SLA and DLP, the company uses LCDs derived from phones, tablets and televisions. While the LCDs are quite ordinary, it’s the resin that has the high reactivity to photo-stimuli. It also allows them to make the printers on a far cheaper scale.
Liquid Crystal Printing
LCD-based printing works with the same basic principles as DLP and SLA, just with different hardware setups. The process is actually called Daylight Polymer Printing. It uses a low energy light source to polymerize liquid resins and form objects. In contrast, DLP and SLA high-intensity UV laser or a light projectors. The use of LCD screens also means that DPP uses very specific “daylight” resins that harden in contact with LCD light.
The company has also announced a partnership with BASF, one of the largest chemical producers in the world. The collaboration may just give the company an edge over its competitors in terms of producing mass production polymers for 3D printing. Since Photocentric also distribute resins, this could also be a great way to expand their own portfolio of items.
Featured video courtesy of Photocentric and image courtesy of Umair Iftikhar.