December 20, 2017
Things pop up in the news that grab extra attention. No, not the omnipresent Kardashians. EnvisionTEC unveiled three new 3D printers and upgraded enterprise software recently. But one 3D printer, the Aria, is the oh-ho offering. More in a sec.
Background: EnvisionTEC's cred is professional-grade 3D printers from the desktop to factory-floor units. Their footprint is large in manufacturing, particularly in industries like consumer goods, medical devices, bio-fabrication and jewelry. They're at the core of many companies' digital manufacturing, mass customization and production strategies.
Good example: Swiss hearing care maker Sonova uses EnvisionTEC's Perfactory printers to produce more than a million custom-fitted hearing aid shells a year. There's a neat case study video linked off of today's Editor's Pick of the Week about how Sonova uses its Perfactory 3D printers. Watch it.
Suffice it to say, EnvisionTEC makes serious stuff for serious designers, engineers and manufacturers.
So, they unveil the Perfactory 4 LED XXL production-grade 3D printer and the high-speed Vida 3D printer in November. Next was version 3.2 of their Perfactory Software Suite for production-wide print monitoring and control. Good stuff. These are covered in today's main write-up. Lots of links to deeper details.
Then there's the Aria 3D printer. EnvisionTEC says this entry-level unit brings premium reliability and performance to the desktop. At two c-notes over 6,000 bucks, this desktop-sized system, weighing just 35 pounds, is fast and capable of making accurate parts with real nice surface finishes. A key there is that you can set Z-layer resolution at 25, 35 or 50 microns, depending on material.
Speaking of which, Aria can use four materials. Two are for casting. One is for lost wax casting; the other for castable parts with fine details like thin walls and intricate features. Aside: My contact mentioned that users looking for a more reliable 3D printer for casting provided some impetus for Aria's development. Company responsiveness to user needs is a good thing. A third provides you prototypers a material for quick design verifications. Highly interesting is a high heat-resistant material containing ceramic. It'll make tough parts look like rubber mold masters.
You can learn more technical details about the Aria 3D printer as well as all of EnvisionTEC's new products in today's Editor's Pick of the Week write-up. Make sure to visit the Aria page. Scroll down to see some pics of parts it made with various materials. Impressive results.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, DE