Darlington-based rapid prototyping specialist Paragon Rapid Technologies has bought the first professional stereolithography (SLA) system designed, developed and manufactured by RPS engineers in the UK.
The Neos 800, made by Buckinghamshire-based SLA equipment service and support supplier RPS, offers a large 800 x 800 x 600mm-build envelope, designed to meet the requirements of modern digital manufacturing. It can also be supplied with medium 300mm or short 120mm resin holding vats sleeved into the standard full vats.
The Neos 800 features an open resin system, which allows the use of current commercial materials designed to cure at a wavelength of 355nm, and will facilitate the development of further functional materials. The Neos 800 employs a two-watt solid state frequency tripled Neodymium-doped Yttrium Orthovanadate (Nd:YVO4) laser, at 355mm which will also allow the system to process highly filled materials requiring high laser powers.
RPS says the Neos 800 has proven itself in a manufacturing environment, producing highly accurate, detailed parts, with a scanning resolution to within one micron. It has an overall machine size of 1,350mm (w) x 1,630mm (d) x 2,300mm (h) and with a full vat of resin weighs approximately 1,590 kg.
It adds one of the key design objectives was to produce a stable high power system, capable of delivering enhanced sidewall quality in order to reduce post-processing and part finishing times and ultimately part cost.
RPS says: “Superior components have been carefully selected to achieve a robust reliable system, capable of continuous production at high scan speeds. Easy-to-clean recoater blades, a modular design and an in-built webcam all contribute towards this system, designed and manufactured here in the UK.”
The Neos 800 software, Titanium, also designed and built by RPS engineers, is designed to work with Windows 10 and takes many of its themes from the easy-to-use tiled display of the Microsoft operating system. The workflow is logical and the user is able to change the build parameters while the machine is building. Email notifications of the build progress are sent along with a photograph of the 3D print once the job is complete.
David Storey, executive director at RPS, says: “This is an exceptionally well-engineered system, designed and developed by people who understand the product. It has a truly open resin system that is adaptable to meet different customer's resin requirements.”
Steve Moran, director, at RPS, says: “We believe we can drive stereolithography technology further and provide manufacturers with hardware solutions to meet their future manufacturing challenges.”
Paragon purchased the Neos 800 after encountering size limitations with its previously used SLA technology. Before the investment, it sometimes had to print larger models in separate sections and bond them together post-print.
Ian Jobling, Paragon's commercial director, says: “The 3D-printing market is becoming saturated with small printers and start-up companies offering models, but very few rapid prototyping organisations have the size and investment capital to go large. I am delighted that we have both. This means we can now offer the market rapid high definition SLA printing on a big scale for the first time. We have already seen significant interest in this new solution and delivered a number of exciting projects to national and international clients.”