It’s baffling just how far 3D printers have come in the last year. While wearables and 4K television sets seem to dominate the show floor at CES 2015, an abundance of 3D printers line the column-clad interior of the Venetian, carving out significant space with their plastic wears. And among them, XYZprinting has become a force to be reckoned with, touting traditional 3D printers and those catered for your kitchen.
However, its the company’s Nobel 1.0, debuting at CES 2015, that stands out among the pack. Whereas most 3D printers rely on fused filament fabrication to melt plastic and create 3D objects, the Nobel 1.0 is one of the few that uses Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA). The printing method utilizes a liquid ultraviolet-curable photopolymer — called resin — in conjunction with an ultraviolet laser to craft 3D objects, slice by slice. The laser traces a cross section of the desired object’s pattern on the liquid, which then gradually cures and hardens when exposed to the ultraviolet laser. Then, it’s simply a matter of wash, rinse, and repeat until the object is fully formed.
XYZprinting was quick to make note of a few other hallmarks aside from the 3D printer’s commendable speed, though. The pre-assembled device touts a print resolution of up to 25 microns, and moreover, can print objects ranging in size up to 5 x 5 x 7.9 inches. The increased resolution provides noticeably more detail than what most SLA 3D printers offer, too, and the sheer size of its offerings dwarfed most on the floor.
To top it off, the equipped resin-filling system also eliminates the need to constantly feed liquid resin into the machine throughout the printing process. The Nobel 1.o is also one of the cheapest SLA 3D printers on the market at $1,500, but unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until the third quarter of 2015 to get your hands on one.