The foundation of any stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer is its light source. Ember builds 3D models layer by layer by exposing light-sensitive resin to ultraviolet light from a DLP projector. Understanding how the projector’s light affects your prints and calibrating the projector to provide the proper light dosage are essential to mastering 3D printing with Ember or any DLP machine.
We often make the mistake of using hardware specs for determining a printer’s quality. That is, when we refer to a machine’s resolution, what we are really saying is what the manufacturer has told us about the quality of its components. For a laser-based printer, that would be beam diameter and for a DLP printer, that would be number of pixels in the projector. Instead, what we should be looking at is the quality of the actual prints that come from any given machine. Rather than determining a machine’s quality based on product descriptions, we should measure the smallest (positive and negative) features it can print.
Last week, we invited members of the media and the greater Autodesk community to check out some experiments we've been working on in the Ember lab.
Using Fusion 360, teams from Minneapolis, Boston and San Diego designed a handle that attaches to the top of the Ember printer, making it easier to transport. Essential to the design of this handle were the collaborative tools in Fusion, which allowed designers to easily share and modify their iterations across the team. The teams used a combination of T-Splines, direct editing and parametric modeling to create a simple and effective solution for taking Ember on the go.
Ember is a printer for individuals and businesses that require the utmost precision in their parts. As such, we have created a way that allows Ember users to make exact adjustments to their machine’s image scaling. This ensures that the parts created on Ember are sized exactly as intended.
With the Super Bowl coming to the Bay Area in a few weeks, I decided to model a coin to print on Ember. (For you non-sports fans, commemorative coins are flipped at the beginning of games to determine who starts with the ball). Eventually, I’ll have it investment casted, but for now, I want to demonstrate the technique I used for supporting my model.
CMYK + W resins for the Ember 3D Printer are now available, giving you the ability to mix and match resins to customize your color palette.