Need for Speed

New on Kickstarter: NX1 Claims Super-Fast 3D Printing Speeds

NX1

The NX1 is promising 3D printing speeds of 1cm per minute, dramatically cutting back on waiting times. Is this Kickstarter campaign too good to be true?

Last week, Italian company Nexa3D launched a Kickstarter campaign for their NX1 3D Printer. Describing it as “The First Fast 3D Printer”, they’re making bold statements about revolutionizing the world of desktop additive manufacturing.

How revolutionary, exactly? The NX1 can supposedly fabricate objects at the speed of 1 inch (25,4mm) in height in about 3 minutes, and at a high resolution, too.

The NX1 is a resin 3D printer based on their patented self-Lubricant Sublayer Photocuring (LSPc) technology. It has a sleek unibody design and — with pledges starting at 1,399 euro for a unit — is affordable too.

But it’s the speed of the printing time that’s the selling point here. As the campaign video boasts: “While everybody else was thinking about how to keep users happy as they waited hours and hours for their 3D objects to print, we focused on simply eliminating the wait times in the first place.”

nx1

How Does the NX1 Work?

Unlike conventional “bottom-up” 3D printing systems like stereo-lithography (SLA), LSPc interposes a transparent self-lubricating film between the bottom of the tank, the photo-curing resin and the light source.

Supposedly, this gradually releases a layer of oil, enabling the finished resin to solidify while suspended on the substrate.

The heart of the NX1 system is the oil, because it creates an inhibitor sublayer that prevents newly formed layers from sticking to the build platform.

The “engine” at the heart of the machine imparts a central thrust force to a build platform, using four mechanical arms, and the NX1 tank is built with the linear bearings of the four arms to ensure an alignment between build platform, tank, and light source.

nx1

Features of the NX1

Nexa3D claim that their technology makes 3D printing usable in everyday contexts and by everyday users thanks to their refill process, which replaces the complications of many DLP and SLA printers.

Their system is designed, for example, with an integrated resin cartridge to eliminate the need for complicated refills during printing.

Other features include an NX1 Cleaning-Cartridge to clean the resin tank and all the NX1’s internal circuits, and a build platform which uses magnets to anchor the build plate.

The target audience for the NX1 is broad, ranging from professionals and hobbyists to makers and families. “NX1 is simply magical,” they state. “For the first time ever, you can use your 3D printer on your desktop or in your living room, it can easy be part of your everyday life.”

At the time of writing, the NX1 has raised €59,891 towards its €160,000 goal, with 49 backers.

What do you think? Does the NX1 sound too good to be true, or are you excited by the possibility of shorter build times?