An evolution of the exceedingly popular Peopoly Moai, thebenefits from hardware upgrades for better reliability and ease of use. Read on as we examine the specs.
After breakout success on Kickstarter back in 2017, the Peopoly Moai has cemented itself as the go-to for affordable desktop SLA 3D printing. In that original machine — which was available assembled or as a DIY kit — you got access to a previously prohibitively expensive 3D printing technology in a simple to operate device outputting high-quality prints, all without putting too much of a dent in your wallet.
Two years have passed since the Moai’s launch, and its creator, Shu ‘Mark’ Peng, and his team have been hard at it improving the machine’s usability and reliability through a slew of optional hardware upgrades. So many that the team saw fit to roll them into a new offering as standard, creating a new member of the Peopoly family in the process.
Called the Peopoly Moai 130, this new iteration of the printer keeps the same build volume of the original — 130 x 130 x 180 mm — but polishes the experience with the addition of a quick leveling FEP vat, sensor controlled print chamber heating, and a print curing UV LED lamp.
Read on as we explore the ins-and-outs of this desktop SLA 3D printer.
In the Peopoly Moai 130, you get the same glossy black acrylic shell wrapped around an aluminum extrusion frame of the original Moai. And as before, simply pop a side panel off to gain full access to the printer’s innards for easy maintenance and, well, sating your curiosity.
At the time of writing, we see the Peopoly Moai 130 retailing for $1,395 — $100 more than the original Peopoly Moai kit. Considering the sum of all the upgrades separately would run you at some $300 or so, it certainly appears to be a solid proposition.
The same 130 x 130 mm print plate as found on the original Moai returns, here again riding up and down a lead screw driven Z-axis that is stabilized on a linear guide rail. It’s possible to print up to 180 mm in the Z-axis.
Fundamentally the Moai 130 is the same machine as the original Moai, meaning a laser spot size of 70 microns, coming from a galvanometer-directed 405nm laser firing up from the base of the printer. This also means that material compatibility is indistinguishable between the old and new machines. The same 405nm- sensitive resins will work. SLA specific resins will work best with the least amount of fine-tuning, but it is possible to print those formulated for masked SLA (LCD) printing, too.
A clutch of hardware additions set the Moai 130 apart from the original Moai.
For starters, the silicone-like PDMS vat of the original Moai is gone. Now you get the easy to use and easier to replace FEP film vat. Offering better longevity if you’re a bit ham-fisted with your printing, this addition should cut back on the consumables you need for the Moai.
Also new in the Moai 130 is the self-leveling print plate. Previously, one would have to crack open the side of the Moai to reach nuts for adjusting the bed level — a clumsy and time-consuming procedure. Now it’s a simple case of loosening four screws on the print plate itself, lowering the plate to the vat, and then tightening the screws.
Another issue addressed with new hardware in the Moai 130 is temperature control. Resin performs better when warm, so printers in frigid climes are likely to have a tougher time nailing their prints every time. The Moai 130 ships with a chamber heating unit that should keep the resin toasty enough for optimal printing performance.
Post-print curing gets a shot in the arm too, with the Moai 130 shipping with a UV LED curing module. Comprising six high-powered LEDs, it should make short work of baking your prints to stiffness.
That pretty much wraps up what’s new for the Moai 130. As a proposition for those looking to get into resin printing, it’s a solid option backed by a thriving community and development team continually working to improve it.
The laser settings are entirely open for experimentation, making the Moai an easy sell for research applications and power users that know precisely what to manipulate to achieve their goals.
Similarly, the recent development of Asura, Peopoly’s software for print preparation, provides a simple to navigate pipeline for taking 3D models and prepping them for the rigors of bottom-up SLA 3D printing.
We’ve yet to go hands-on with the Peopoly Moai 130, so couldn’t say whether the upgrades are worth the extra moolah. For complete newcomers to Peopoly’s printers, the math alone works out with you blagging some $300 worth of extras for only $100 extra over the barebones original Moai machine. Owners of the original Moai looking to upgrade, however, get a slightly raw deal, having to shell out extra to bring their machines in line with the new Moai 130.
Printer: Moai 130
Printing Technology: SLA
Laser: 150mW 405nm
Build Volume: 130 x 130 x 180 mm
Z-Layer Resolution: 5 micron (resin dependant)
XY Resolution: 70 micron
UI: Color LCD, scroll wheel
Build Platform Leveling: Assisted leveling
Materials: Most 405 nm compatible resins
Software bundle: Asura
File types: STL
Available both as a kit you must build yourself and fully-assembled ready to run, the Peopoly Moai 130 can be bought from the retailers listed below.
License: The text of "2019 Peopoly Moai 130 3D Printer – Review the Specs" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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