The Alfawise W10 LCD 3D printer from Alfawise is available for pre-order on Gearbest at a price of $309.99 (excluding delivery costs). Until now, main stream 3D printing has mainly used the technique of fused deposition modeling (FDM). This technique, developed in the 1980s, has proved its worth. Despite continuous improvements, FDM 3D printing still has many disadvantages (at least for consumer 3D printers).
The printing speed is expressed differently from 3D filament based printers. Whatever the shape and volume of the object, the printing speed (manufacturing) is imposed by the displacement of the vertical axis (extrusion). The Alfawise W10 can reach a speed of 30 mm/hour. The printing volume is also much lower than a 3D printer.
In the 3D Printer section there is currently little new to see. The resin or synthetic resin printers are usually a bit more expensive and sometimes did not work as promised. But I could see the Alfawise W10 live in China in the Gearbest Office, as well as some printed, small but very detailed figures. But the process with a resin UV 3D printer is more or less more complex, because the resin liquid is filled into the, let’s call it “pressure bowl” or into the container. The printing platform is immersed in it and thus layer by layer an object with very fine filigree details is created that cannot be achieved with a normal 3D printer without further ado. After that you have to clean the object with an alcohol if possible, because the liquid is a little sticky and does not drip off completely. The post-processing at the printer is accordingly important and a little more complex.
In the world of 3D printing, the technology known as FDM melt deposition technology with a filament and a nozzle is particularly well known. This is not to mention the SLA//DLP/LCD technologies that transform a liquid photosensitive resin into a solid object via a laser (SLA) or a screen (LCD/DLP) and this layer by layer.
The really fine, almost filigree 3D prints with great details compensate for this. Only those who put a lot of work into the slicer software and make the necessary adjustments or install smaller nozzles can achieve something similar with PLA 3D printers. All this is not necessary with the Alfawise W10 3D printer. The software is kept simple, very fast and actually only needs to be adjusted for the respective print resolutions. The finer, the longer it takes, of course. Here, the resolution is between 0.025 and 0.1mm. Commercial printers work with a 4mm thick nozzle that is set to 0.2 or 0.1mm layer height (sometimes even finer) for halfway bearable printing times.
The possible printing quality in terms of detail is excellent and these machines are rather suitable for precision parts. Resin will cost more than just filament but it is not as you will have understood the same expectations.
The accuracy of the X/Y axis is 115μm, the Z axis 0.625μm. The UV laser wavelength is 405nm. The platform itself is quite tiny compared to conventional printers with 98x55x140mm. The main application will certainly be Pen & Paper, Tabletop or the Warhammer universe. The printing speed is 30mm/h, the time required is accordingly very high, but the figures hardly have to be reworked and could be painted directly after priming. Some information about the printing process can be read on the small 2,8″ large color LCD touch display with a resolution of 854×480 pixels. As usual, the data (G-code, .STL) are processed on the PC with an appropriate software. With one keystroke the support can be switched on and the resolution can be adjusted. The transfer of the data takes place as usual quite comfortably on an SD card.
In any case, the market is becoming more democratic and it is once again on the ALFAWISE side that things are moving. The manufacturer has shaken up the market for quality FDM 3D printers with its Alfawise U30 and U20 that I currently recommend.