While there are many desktop 3D printers on the market, most of these printers use a FDM method, not SLS. SLS is often more expensive than FDM machine: a professional 3D SLS printer starts around 200,000€. However there are some inventors out there who want to build their own affordable laser sintering 3D printers.
UK based company Norge Systems started working on their project two years ago. Their goal is to build "the world's first low-budget but high quality SLS printer that even a small or medium design studio can afford. Easy to use, small and with a nice design."
In the last eight months, team member Lica Venri, Design, electronics and laser optics experts; Alessandro Facchini, 3D artist and software developer, and Stefano Rebecchi have been working hard on developing software and optimizing supply chain and assembling process. They have finally come up with two new SLS 3D printer: Ice9 and Ice1.
What makes their SLS printers interesting, apart from price/technology ratio, is the build volume. The Ice9 has a working area of 30x30cm, and a "z-axis" of 45cm, and the small Ice1 has a 20x20x25cm build volume which are big enough to print lots of full-scale prototypes without the need to resize them to fit the printers volume limits.
The Ice9 SLS 3D Printer
The Ice9 is a low-budget SLS 3D printer designed for printing plastics models (nylon or Ployamide based materials). One interesting feature of the Ice9 SLS printer is the engraving/cutter function. You will be able to draw or cut materials such as wood, paper, foam, or even felt.
- SLS 3D Printer with 40W tube lase
- Works with polyamide or nylon powder
- 30x30x45cm build volume
- Arduino 2 powered controller
- Multifunction display for quick operations
- USB port
- SD card reader
- Sleek design, solid rock build, UK assembled
- Navigator software for sending prints to the machine
- Printer size: 1500x1025x410mm
- Layer thickness: 0.1 - 0.15mm
- Average print speed: 10 to 30mm/hour
- Powder feeding mode: Two-way powder feed system
- Scanning system: Theta lens focusing, high-accuracy magnetic encoder
- Scan speed during build process: up to 4 m/s
- Laser power control system: PWM Digital signal
- Power Supply: 230VAC，50/60Hz，5KVA
- Software: Manual and automatic control mode; Real-time build parameters modification; Three-dimensional Visualization; Open Source Platforms