January 24, 2014
The story surrounding most desktop additive manufacturing (AM) systems revolves around improvements in the material extrusion process, with strata lines becoming less defined in each new generation. Formlabs altered that story somewhat with the introduction of the FORM 1, a desktop stereolithography system that offered a vast improvement on print quality without a huge hike in price.
While Formlabs might have been the first, it was inevitable that another company would step up to the plate with their own version of desktop stereolithography. Full Spectrum Laser (FSL) is the first to challenge Formlabs with its Pegasus Touch, and much like the FORM 1, FSL’s system owes its existence to Kickstarter.
Formlabs had no trouble meeting (and surpassing) its Kickstarter goal, and FSL has had similar success. With a little over a week remaining on the clock, the Pegasus Touch has already surpassed its funding goal by more than $400,000. It seems as though people are very interested in getting their hands on desktop stereolithography. It might not hurt that the Kickstarter special promised a Pegasus Touch for a mere $2,000.
The Pegasus Touch is set for a larger build envelope than the FORM 1 at 7 x 7 x 9 in. (177 x 177 x 228mm), while still maintaining a desktop-sized footprint of 11 x 14 x 22.5 in. The system claims an XY positioning resolution of 16-bit precision, around 3µ, and a wall thickness of between 25-100µ. For laser and speed, here’s a quote from the Kickstarter page:
Pegasus Touch’s advanced control electronics can pulse its laser source at over 500kHz while moving the laser beam at 3000mm/sec thanks to the same special FSL real-time laser processor used in $100,000 scanning laser systems. Faster laser control allows us to tune the resin to cure more quickly without sacrificing quality allowing for up to 10x the speed of FDM printers and 3-5x the speed of other SLA printers.
The standard retail price of the Pegasus Touch is expected to rise to $3,499 following the Kickstarter campaign, but that’s still pretty reasonable. The FORM 1, FSL’s only real competition at the moment, sells for $3,399, so consumers are essentially paying an extra $200 for an increase in build envelope. FSL isn’t shy about the competition either, using an Eiffel Tower model similar to that displayed in plenty of Formlabs’ pictures. It remains to be seen if FSL will run into the same 3D Systems patent disputes as Formlabs.
Below you’ll find FSL’s Kickstarter video.