Speed and Ease of Use at the Core of Desktop 3D Printing

By Clare Scott

The 3D printing industry is a sizable and ever-growing one, which, while largely a positive thing, can make choosing a 3D printer an overwhelming task. This is particularly true for those new to 3D printing, but can also be the case for more experienced professionals looking to add new tools to their toolboxes. When considering desktop 3D printing, ever-better offerings and a wide swath of choices make the task even harder.

What do users look for in their 3D printers? There are some obvious attributes that nearly all customers see as must-haves, regardless of the type of technology. Speed of printing and quality of the finished part are obvious priorities, but what about the 3D printing experience itself?

The quality and ease of the user experience are significant, especially for those without expert backgrounds in 3D printing. An overly complicated, messy, slow, or “buggy” process can turn anyone off to the technology. Our engineers put a lot of thought into creating a smooth user experience for all of our 3D printers, but particularly for the new desktop XiP, which is designed to be our most accessible and universal printer. They know what it takes to make a good print – and they know what the pain points are.

So how does yet another resin desktop 3D printer actually differ from what’s already out there? More importantly: what could that mean for you?

Designers and Engineers

For designers and engineers in every manufacturing sector, speed is key – as industries become more and more competitive, it is vital to be able to get quality products to market in as little time as possible. The XiP utilizes LSPc printing technology, which is significantly faster than other resin 3D printing technologies (you can learn more about how it works here), and also features a 4.8L build volume, larger than other desktop resin 3D printers on the market. This allows not only larger parts but more parts to be produced in one build. When it comes to getting products out fast, this is invaluable.

Speed and productivity, however, begin before the “print” button is pushed. Time spent preparing a print adds up quickly, from uploading and orienting the print file to loading the resin. The XiP makes all of those steps faster and easier. Our NexaX software is quick and intuitive, making print preparation simple whether you’re printing one part or twelve. Loading and changing the resin, which can be messy and frustrating processes when using other printers, is as simple as snapping the vat and the cartridge into the XiP.

The XiP can handle a wide range of resins, which means that manufacturers can print both prototypes and production parts on the same machine. The open material system gives users a variety of choices, including the option to design their own resins for their specific needs – or be immediately up and running with a validated material.

In short, the XiP offers numerous features that allow for faster design turnaround, from the start of its workflow to the end.

Educational Settings and Makerspaces

Schools, universities, and makerspaces are host to people of all skill levels when it comes to 3D printing. The XiP’s simplicity makes it an excellent learning printer as well as a printer that creates production-quality prints; therefore, a new student of 3D printing can operate the XiP with ease while also seeing what a true industrial-grade printer can accomplish.

One thing that educational settings and makerspaces have in common is that they are not typically flush with cash, meaning that those in charge of procuring equipment must plan carefully. The XiP’s price point alone makes it more accessible than other resin 3D printers. Its ease of use makes it accessible on another level – it isn’t intimidating, even for those who haven’t used a resin 3D printer or any 3D printer before.

The XiP’s speed is also well-suited to makerspaces and educational institutions. In a shared workspace, turning over prints quickly allows users to avoid long, backed-up logjams. The user-friendly vat enables students and makers with differing print needs to quickly switch between resin types without mess, excess time, or waste. A sturdy aluminum frame also ensures more peace of mind in busy areas with multiple users.

Small Dental Labs and Clinics

Being a dental or orthodontics patient used to involve a lot of waiting and general unpleasantness. While some of that unpleasantness is inevitable – no one likes getting a cavity filled – a good deal of it can now be avoided, thanks to digital dentistry technologies. Rather than having to take messy impressions to create a retainer, for example, an orthodontist can now use an intraoral scanner to take a digital image of the patient’s teeth. That scan can then be converted into a CAD file.

That file can be sent to a dental lab, where a retainer can be 3D printed based on the patient’s dentition. This can still take time, however, especially when a busy dental lab has numerous devices that need to be printed. The XiP’s speed dramatically improves turnaround time, as does its relatively large build volume. Where other 3D printers can print from one to a few devices at one time, the XiP can print more dental parts in the same build.

For even faster turnaround time, the XiP can be used right in a dental clinic. A dental or orthodontic professional who invests in even a single XiP 3D printer can rely on it for “chairside” production. A scan can be made and a device produced while the patient waits, eliminating the need for an additional visit.

Saving Time, Money, and More

The term “push-button” may be overused, but in the case of the XiP, it’s appropriate. In addition to the simple resin system and intuitive software, the XiP includes other features such as a modular, replaceable LCD module and a two-part vat system for easy cleaning of failed prints. This vat is comprised of the proprietary Everlast-2 membrane and an aluminum frame, which fit together neatly, easily, and tightly. It can be used repeatedly, unlike other resin 3D printer vats or trays that need to be replaced regularly – again saving users both money and frustration.

We want 3D printing to be not only fast and productive but easy as well. One shouldn’t need to be a seasoned 3D printing expert to be able to take advantage of this technology. 3D printing can benefit everyone, so everyone should be able to use it. That’s what true accessibility means. Just XiP it.

Request a sample XiP part here.