Azul 3D Launches LAKE Printer 

With throughput and an array of materials, the Lake printer will enable manufacturers to consider 3D printing for a wide range of manufacturing applications.

With throughput and an array of materials, the Lake printer will enable manufacturers to consider 3D printing for a wide range of manufacturing applications.

Azul 3D, a 3D printing startup, has launched its first commercial product: the LAKE printer.

Powered by Azul 3D’s high-area rapid printing (HARP) technology, a version of stereolithographic printing that converts liquid plastic into solid objects using ultraviolet light, LAKE prints complex geometries at rapid speeds, using materials suited for a wide range of products.

With a print area of 10x12x24 inches, the printer’s interface dissipates heat, enabling continuous high-speed printing over large areas. LAKE is powered by a custom, high-intensity LED light engine that allows users to address 16 million independent pixels, the company reports.

“For the first time, we are combining throughput and materials at a price point that enables 3D printing to revolutionize many types of manufacturing,” says Chad Mirkin, Azul 3D co-founder and chair. 

Azul 3D was spun out of the Northwestern University lab of Mirkin, an internationally renowned expert in materials science and nanoscience. The LAKE printer is bolstered by Azul 3D’s chemistry group, which designs resins that are strong, durable, customizable, and compatible with high throughput printing.

LAKE has already brought a new level of speed and customization to the industry. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Azul 3D used the LAKE printer to print 5,000 face shields in 60 hours for healthcare workers. 

Azul 3D also partnered with Wilson Sporting Goods to use LAKE to print new pickleball paddles that are completely customizable. This partnership unlocked new features such as removing dead spots, increasing punch and silencing ball hits that could help the game grow even more popular.

For manufacturers interested in incorporating 3D printing, Azul 3D offers a full stack solution, partnering with them on design, materials, printing and post-processing to ensure the process is optimized for their factory floor.

“In the past year, manufacturers have been throttled by supply chain disruptions,” says Cody Petersen, CEO of Azul 3D. “At the same time, everyone is demanding more highly engineered solutions immediately. The LAKE printer offers a revolutionary solution to both problems and is the first step in industrializing additive manufacturing at scale.”

The LAKE printer is the first in a series of printers that Azul 3D will unveil in the coming years. The next-generation printer, called the SEA, will offer four times the print area, allowing manufacturers to print even bigger parts or products.

Azul 3D is actively taking orders for LAKE, with delivery expected in 2022. SEA will be ready for pre-sales in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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