2016 - Do the New Low-Cost Resin Printers Now Available Have a Place in the Jewelry Manufacturing Environment?

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2016 - Do the New Low-Cost Resin Printers Now Available Have a Place in the Jewelry Manufacturing Environment?

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The recent ending of a number of patents, along with a burgeoning maker/fab movement, has seen a huge number of new, low-cost 'home user' 3D printers arrive in the 3D printing arena. A spin off from this has been the emergence of a number of low-cost digital light processing (DLP) systems capable of printing in castable resins ideal for use in the jewelry lost-wax casting process. The first part of this paper will compare the quality of the printed outputs from two or three of these low-cost DLP printers, and examine their ease of use and operational software. The second part of the paper will examine in some detail the quality of the castings produced from the prints. This paper will also examine and record post-processing operations required as well as any additives or coatings applied to enhance the surface quality of the prints prior to casting.

Author: Frank Cooper

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