A year ago, we announced Spark and our intention to design and manufacture a 3D printer. At the time, we didn't even have a name for the printer, but we did have a vision for providing an extensible platform and sharing the source of our work to inspire others to create new approaches to 3D printing software, hardware, and materials. Today, we're taking another step on that path, and I'm excited to share Ember's mechanical design files.
The Ember 3D printer ships with 2 liters of our Standard Clear Prototyping resin. We affectionately call it PR48, which stands for polar resin number 48. Like WD-40, is this our 48th try for a polar resin formulation? Close enough. Today we're sharing the formulation of PR48 under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, the same license Arduino uses to share their design files. We're explicitly inviting you to understand, remix, and remake our resin.
PR48 is for sale on the Ember website. Buying it from us will probably be the easiest way to get more, but if you want to make your own for any reason (and are experienced with resin formulation, or perhaps just chemical handling) you can do so.
We're open sourcing our resin for a couple of reasons:
- We have an open approach, and encourage the use of 3rd-party materials in our printer and the development of new materials on our platform. We include 3rd-party materials in the defaults for Ember's online model preparation and slicer, and are adding more as we optimize their settings for Ember: you can check them out at emberprinter.com. (You don't actually need an Ember to use the site.) This Instructable describes how to test new resins.
- Autodesk is thinking differently about 3D printing, and sharing under an Attribution-ShareAlike license reflects our commitment.
- Open sourcing our resin formulation is only the first step in the journey of opening our 3D printer and our Spark 3D printing platform.
We think PR48 is a pretty good resin: it properly adheres to the build head, photopolymerizes at a reasonable rate, clouds Ember's PDMS window significantly less than other resins, and generally works for most prints. But it's a starting point, and not specially optimized for anything. We're inviting you to understand how it works, make changes, make it better, and share those changes. Maybe you can make something awesome in fewer than 48 tries?