15 October 2007

Notes on 3D Systems V-Flash Desktop Modeler

There's been a lot of buzz regarding the V-Flash 3D Printer. Here are a few notes passed along to me from the 3D Systems World Conference, held at the end of September in South Carolina.

As anticipated, the introductory price is about $10,000. A 1.8 kg supply of build material will go for $850. Replacement bulbs are pegged at $800. Each build requires a disposable platform, and these run $95 for a pack of 20.

If you put this all together, you get a V-Flash production cost of about $10/cubic inch. This puts it about twice the cost of ZCorp printing, and around the same cost as FDM. By comparison, Desktop Factory is promising build material at about $1/cu in, but details have yet to be released.

It's also reported that the machine will have three operation speeds - proof, regular, and high-res - with the machine building about 1/2" per hour. (Not clear from the report I got, but I assume that's the "regular" speed.) The machine is designed to be low-maintenance, and the machines and cartridges will be built by Canon.

We're told they hope to have 100 machines in the field by the end of 2007, and we're working on trying to get one of them here at Art Center.

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