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Desktop 3D Printer Built for Premium Performance

Two new production systems and updated monitoring/control software for network sites also debut.

The desktop-sized Aria 3D printer has a 2.36x1.77x3.94-in. build area and offers users the ability to set Z layer resolution at 25, 35 or 50 microns, depending on material. Image courtesy of EnvisionTEC Inc.

EnvisionTEC recently announced its new Aria desktop 3D printer as well as two new full-production 3D printers, the Perfactory 4 LED XXL and the Vida. In a related announcement, the company released version 3.2 of its Perfactory Software Suite for 3D printing.

EnvisionTEC describes the Aria as an entry-level desktop 3D printer that delivers reliable and premium performance, adding that Aria delivers best-in-class surface finish and accuracy. Priced at $6,299 and built on EnvisionTEC’s Micro platform for professional 3D printer users, Aria, the company says, is ideal for such applications as industrial parts, jewelry and such consumer goods as toys and miniatures.

EnvisionTEC describes its entry-level Aria 3D printer as built to be a reliable, premium performer. This desktop-sized 3D printer is intended for a range of applications such as industrial parts, jewelry and consumer goods, including toys and miniatures. Image courtesy of EnvisionTEC Inc. EnvisionTEC describes its entry-level Aria 3D printer as built to be a reliable, premium performer. This desktop-sized 3D printer is intended for a range of applications such as industrial parts, jewelry and consumer goods, including toys and miniatures. Image courtesy of EnvisionTEC Inc.

Aria features an industrial-grade UV LED light engine, a dual-axis Z slide, touch-screen interface and a material tray constructed of optical glass rather than plastic. Z-layer resolution can be set at 25, 35 or 50 microns, depending on material.

Aria comes equipped with firmware and software offering gray-scaling and exposure strategy techniques. It has a 2.36x1.77x3.94-in. (65x40x100 mm) build area. Aria also comes with EnvisionTEC's Perfactory software for handling 3D print operations and EnvisionTEC Magics software for STL file repair.

EnvsionTEC offers Aria with a choice of four of materials, including EC500 for lost wax casting as well as PIC100 for castable parts with such details as thin walls and intricate features. Also available are QView for quick design verification and RC90, a high heat-resistant material containing ceramic for building tough, stiff parts such as rubber mold masters. Materials swap in easily without waste, according to EnvisionTEC. The company adds that Aria is an open materials system; however, materials must be certified for use by EnvisionTEC.

Both the Perfactory 4 LED XXL (P4 LED XXL) and Vida are designed for direct printing of final end-use parts, functional prototypes, molds and tooling as well as investment casting patterns. The company envisions the P4 LED XXL as suitable for such applications as manufacturing aids, medical devices, commercial goods and the like.

The desktop-sized Aria 3D printer has a 2.36x1.77x3.94-in. build area and offers users the ability to set Z layer resolution at 25, 35 or 50 microns, depending on material. Image courtesy of EnvisionTEC Inc. The desktop-sized Aria 3D printer has a 2.36x1.77x3.94-in. build area and offers users the ability to set Z layer resolution at 25, 35 or 50 microns, depending on material. Image courtesy of EnvisionTEC Inc.

The P4 LED XXL is the 16th member of the company's family of Perfactory DLP (digital light processing) technology-based 3D printers. (Editor's note: Click here to see how DLP 3D print technology works.) The Perfactory model line comes in several configurations with XY resolution down to 10 microns. Members of the family can print using a wide range of EnvisionTEC materials, including materials that are castable, durable, heat resistant and biocompatible. The P4 LED XXL offers a large 9×5.7×7.9-in. (230×143.75x200 mm) build area and XY resolution of 60 microns with the company’s pixel-shifting ERM (enhanced resolution module) technology.

The new Vida cDLM (continuous digital light manufacturing) 3D printer offers a build area of 5.7×3.2×3.9-in. (145×81.5x100 mm) and an XY resolution of 76 microns. Its introduction extends EnvisionTEC's series of high-speed cDLM machines to three desktop models. EnvisionTEC describes cDLM as “our twist on” DLP technology. The cDLM process allows for continuous motion of the build plate, which is said to deliver exceptional build speeds. According to EnvisionTEC, the three desktop models in the series deliver build speeds ranging from 10 to 20 minutes per inch in the Z axis across the entire build envelope.

The Perfactory 4 LED XXL DLP (digital light processing) technology-based 3D printer can make end-use parts, functional prototypes, manufacturing aids and investment casting patterns. Image courtesy of EnvisionTEC Inc. The Perfactory 4 LED XXL DLP (digital light processing) technology-based 3D printer can make end-use parts, functional prototypes, manufacturing aids and investment casting patterns. Image courtesy of EnvisionTEC Inc.

Perfactory Software Suite version 3.2 (PSS 3.2) supports EnvisionTEC’s full range of 3D print technologies as well as enterprise volume 3D print production. Key 3.2 enhancements include a new Observer feature and support for 3MF (3D manufacturing format) files.

PSS 3.2's new Observer feature allows users to prepare, monitor and manage multiple print jobs across 3D printers in a smart, networked production environment. It identifies EnvisionTEC 3D printers on a network by name and type as well as displays a print progress bar with an estimated completion time for each print job. Users can also rearrange and abort print jobs.

In addition to its 3MF file support, PSS 3.2 contains exposure strategy enhancements for circular patterns, contours, shells, internal support structures and high-speed continuous 3D printing. It also offers a variety of new tools, such as the ability to re-scale part size and clip prints in the X, Y and Z axes. A new job inspector feature lets users inspect layers and show which features were applied. PSS 3.2 has specific software controls for high-speed 3D printing with EnvisionTEC's cDLM 3D printers.

EnvisionTEC's new Vida 3D printer offers high-speed cDLM (continuous digital light manufacturing) 3D printing technology, a 5.7x3.2x3.9-in. build area and an XY resolution of 76 microns. Image courtesy of EnvisionTEC Inc. EnvisionTEC's new Vida 3D printer offers high-speed cDLM (continuous digital light manufacturing) 3D printing technology, a 5.7x3.2x3.9-in. build area and an XY resolution of 76 microns. Image courtesy of EnvisionTEC Inc.

Of note for current users, PSS 3.2 maintains all the functionality of EnvisionTEC’s RP software. For 15 years, RP has allowed users to translate a digital part in the STL file format to a print job through a “Build Style” that controls how an object is built on a certain printer in a specific material. EnvisionTEC’s Build Style approach controls about two dozen machine parameters, each optimized for specific printer and material combinations, according to the company.

Click here for more on the Aria desktop 3D printer.

Download the Aria technical data.

Click here for more on the Perfactory 4 LED XXL 3D printer.

Download the Perfactory 4 LED XXL data sheet.

See how Sonova uses Perfactory 3D printers for full production.

Click here for more on the Vida 3D printer.

Download the Vida cDLM 3D printer data sheet.

See why DE's Editors selected EnvisionTEC's new desktop Aria and production 3D printers as their Pick of the Week.

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

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About the Author

Anthony J. Lockwood's avatar
Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering’s founding editor. He is now retired. Contact him via [email protected].

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