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Ice9: the first low cost laser 3D printer is Made in Mantova

It's called Ice9 and a completely different 3D printer compared to the ones we are used to: it uses the laser and much faster than those with an extruder.

It's called Ice9 and a completely different 3D printer than we are used to. It is a 3D SLS printer, or Selective Laser Sintering. The big difference compared to the most common models that does not work with an extruder that melts a plastic filament, but prints in 3D and at high resolution thanks to a CO2 laser.

This type of 3D printer realized prototypes much more defined, does not have the characteristic lines of the additive process and much, much faster than the extrusion systems. Ideal for those who want to realize prototypes that do not need finishing, which do not require in the design phase the study of supports and cutting points. The real problem is that SLS systems are very expensive. here the great idea of ??Norge LTD, a company based in London but founded by three Mantuan engineers, to create a low cost SLS 3D printer. And when we say low cost we mean twenty times cheaper than the models available today. Ice9 the laboratory model with its meter and a half in height, but it also has a desktop version Ice1 90 cm high and capable of making objects with dimensions of 20x20x25 cm.

Norge Ice9 Team

Lasers and powders

Ice9 and Ice1 use lasers and polymer-based powders. The laser affects the dust and in the points where it is struck by the light beam it solidifies giving life to the housing. The laser has a resolution much higher than an extruder and incredible details can be achieved. But also in the design phase it represents an advantage, because object does not have to provide supports or support points. In addition, different types of dust can be used to create objects with different consistencies and therefore prototypes suitable for different uses. You can even use Kevlar or glass. A completely new world opens up for designers, now available only to very large companies that can afford this type of technology. Ice1 and Ice9 are not yet in production, they are currently the object of a crowdfounding campaign on Kikstarter. Funders can book an Ice1 for the price of 5,000 pounds, about 6,300 euros. The Ice9 will be offered at 19,900 pounds, or 25,900 euros, but it cannot be booked on Kickstarter due to the limitations imposed by the site regarding the maximum amount that can be given by a single user. Another interesting feature that this SLS 3D printer models can use the laser also to engrave and cut, in fact it is a 3D laser-based multifunction. The three designers from Mantua are Luca Veneri, Stefano Rebecchi and Alessandro Facchini. To support the idea or to book an Ice1 you can go here, on the Kickstarter website. first deliveries are scheduled for October 2015. @ Norge3DPrinters

Ice9 Technical specificationsPrinter size: 1500x1025x410 mmBuilding volume: 300x300x450 mmLayer thickness: 0.1 – 0.15 mmAverage building speed: 10 to 30 mm / hourPowder feeding mode: Two-way powder feed systemLaser type: CO2, 40 WattsScanning system: Theta lens focusing, high-accuracy magnetic encoderScan speed during building: up to 4 m / sLaser power control system: PWM Digital signalPower Supply: 230VAC, 50 / 60Hz, 5KVAProcessing unit: Arduino DUESoftware: Manual and automatic control mode; Online real-time build parameters modification; Open Source Platforms

Ice1 Technical specificationsPrinter size: 900x300x350mmBuilding volume: 200x200x250 mmLayer thickness: 0.1 – 0.15mmAverage print speed: 8 to 25mm / hourPowder feeding mode: Two-way powder feed systemLaser type: Solid State infrared Laser 5WScanning system: Theta lens focusing, high-accuracy magnetic encoderScan speed during build process: up to 3 m / sLaser power control system: PWM Digital signalPower Supply: 230VAC50 / 60Hz5KVASoftware: Manual and automatic control mode; Real-time build parameters modification; Three-dimensional Visualization; Open Source Platforms