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$145 SparkMaker - The Most Affordable SLA 3D Printer ?

Posted by roland 
$145 SparkMaker - The Most Affordable SLA 3D Printer ?
August 11, 2017 11:33AM
Wondering why no one wants to discuss the [www.kickstarter.com]

I am backing it because I finally have come up with a concept to turn the SparkMaker into a SMD multilayer PCB maker. And for this i would happily invest $200 and even a resolution of 0.2mm = 200 microns would be all that is needed for that outstanding great use case. With the proper resin even flexible circuits should be possible. The small build size would be absolutely okay and as SLA printers do a complete layer within a few seconds, you could really produce a PCB under 5 minutes.

The campaign had a good start but then the creators were so nice to stage a 12 hours live print with multiple objects printed. Some prints did not show many details because creator indeed seemed to be very nervous and choose to over-cure in order to not take any risks of prints failing.

That event killed most of the momentum. It is slowly recovering now but these young Chinese creators do not really understand how important it is to connect to their backer community.


We mostly are only FDM experts, so i dream that some SLA experts give a comment here.

This little $145 printer is somehow a kind of its own. It for now only has a 480 x 854 lcd display whereas most of the $500+ printer come with 1440p.
480p only yields a resolution of no less than 120 microns, but to my knowledge there is no printer in between $145 and $500+

So it does not really makes sense to compare the SparkMaker to any existing SLA printer ?
Question rather is: Can this printer indeed be useful for beginners ?

It is not impossible to reach the $1M stretch goal to get a better lcd which would increase the resolution to 50-80 microns. 720p or 1080p ?

But the campaign is now having hard times because no-one really knows what to think of the printer.

And the young creators are so happy that they have already hit the funding goal 1700% that they are fully busy preparing for production.
Kickstarter is not really for us backers but for the creators. So we can NOT rule how they should treat us. They have their dream and live it.

So what do some SLA experts say ? Would a 150 microns SLA printer to print little figurines still be worth $205 (inkl. worldwide shipping)

Ideas welcome :-)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/11/2017 12:05PM by roland.
Re: $145 SparkMaker - The Most Affordable SLA 3D Printer ?
August 31, 2017 03:04AM
Looks interesting, the lack of open source might be why it's not getting attention here. In their campaign they mention they made a deliberate choice to steer away from an open source controller. I'd love to mess around with an SLA printer but it seems like the sort of thing you'd need to run very often to make it worth your while. The resins have a short shelf life and can stink up an environment from what I hear. Being a student working two part time jobs I'm both broke and busy, so my 3d printer is an occasional tool and hobby rather than something I get to use regularly so I'd end up having a lot of resin go to waste. That and I don't have a place I can put it where the smell wont be an issue.

I think it's cool resin printers are finally dropping to a hobbyist price point (no, I don't see the form labs printers as a 'hobbyist' price point) like FDM did. However I don't think they'll get to the same level of adoption as FDM printers. Resins are smelly and have a short shelf life, plus all the necessary post process. A spool of filament is much more user friendly.

On a personal note, I see FDM as considerably safer. A hotend can burn you, sure, but you have to stick your fingers on it and that requires some idiocy and even considerable effort on some printers. You can't see how hot it is but you can see where it is, it can't burn you unless you touch it. In any case you get a small burn and learn your lesson. Lasers are dangerous, they can reflect off things and the danger doesn't stop at the lens like it does at the heater block. What's more, UV is invisible to the naked eye. I know this printer uses an LCD but still, looking at it while it's in operation still isn't good for you, and I guarantee some idiot will do it or someone will get a glance accidentally. Part of the reason electricity is so dangerous is because it's an invisible threat, and you don't know you're in the danger zone till it hits you. You can feel heat coming off the hotend before you touch it and know to stay away, you wont know an invisible laser is shining in your eye till it causes damage.

To put it this way, I'd more or less trust schoolkids with a hot glue gun. They know it's hot and don't want to get burnt, even if they've never used one before they can feel the heat before they touch it and know to be careful. On the other hand, I wouldn't trust them with moderately powerful lasers, let alone UV lasers.

Ok, personal PSA is over. I do think resin type printers are quite cool, and are much more sci-fi than FDM printers.
Re: $145 SparkMaker - The Most Affordable SLA 3D Printer ?
September 22, 2017 05:29AM
No need for open source. If it works it will be copied by others in Shenzhen and offered at a reduced price. smiling smiley

"A comical prototype doesn't mean a dumb idea is possible" (Thunderf00t)
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