Lite3DP Gen 2

An advanced, hackable, palm-sized mSLA 3D printer

Limited items in stock

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Nov 29, 2023

Project update 2 of 8

Fun Facts About Us & Our 3D Printers

by Alfredo Bonini

Dear subscribers,

Thank you very much to everyone for being here, especially to all those who supported us in these first days of our campaign. We will stay in touch periodically adding technical information, details, and comments about the new Lite3DP Gen 2.

If you have a 3D model that you want us to print with Gen 2, please contact us using the Ask a question link on our campaign page, and we will include pictures of the results in future updates!

Meanwhile, did you know…

About Our Philosophy & Our Backstory

For more than six years we have been working on Arduino-compatible resin 3D printers. The development of Gen 2 took around two years and a much larger investment than its predecessors, with multiple iterations, testing, and component selection. While the Gen 2 has the same styling as the S1, no component is the same, every single part has been redesigned or improved. The driving force behind the project is our deep vocation for research and development, especially around 3D printing. This new project started from improving the display, the microcontroller and SMD components, adding working height with a longer linear guide, and improving all materials and finishes. Two plastic parts were replaced with aluminum parts (the resin vat and light cone) and from an economical stepper motor we went to the best of its kind. The last improvement introduced was the change of the UV light source, incorporating LEDs with new ceramic substrate technology, the most innovative and efficient on the market.

The demand for Lite3DP S1 was important and could not be satisfied for several reasons: logistical, technical, financial, and personal. We learned countless lessons, among which we can mention long-term production planning, having reliable suppliers, carrying out manufacturing prior to the launch of the campaign, correctly calculating margins to be able to continue operating, carrying out adequate quality controls, among others. We decided to move forward and develop a machine that surpasses its predecessor in every aspect. We just need your support to continue bringing Lite3DPs to the world!

We believe that planned obsolescence is unsustainable and very harmful to our planet. For this reason, from the beginning of the project, we aimed for backward compatibility with S1, even though this proved a challenge for some aspects of the design. It is also our commitment to maintain this philosophy, allowing those who support us in this generation to update their machines in the future, reusing a significant portion of their components.

Finally, we consider Crowd Supply to be a cradle of respectful, mostly open-source technology, and nearly all of its funded projects have delivered. No other crowdfunding site can boast these features, which is why we chose this as our home rather than seeking maximum exposure elsewhere.

About Our Displays

Lite3DP Gen 2’s auxiliary touchscreen display shares its connections with the main display (the touchscreen display has two additional lines T_CS and T_IRQ to read the touch and its position), and the same thing is displayed on both screens. The trick is that during menu navigation, the main/mask display shows the same thing as the touchscreen display, only it is not visible because the backlight is off. During the print job, the touchscreen display shows the sections of the part being printed with the same shape and size as on the main display (which can be really useful), and while the UV light is off (and the platform goes up and down to give place to a new layer) the job progress information is displayed.

When customizing the main display, we asked the manufacturer what the MOQ was so they could convert the display to monochrome (which increases the percentage of UV light that passes through the display, and therefore shortens exposure times). They answered us that 30 thousand units per year, a figure infinitely far away for us. Only a few large-scale manufacturers can reach that amount. But don’t be fooled, they are the same 3D printer manufacturers that artificially depress prices to eliminate competition (plus they have a scale that makes it very difficult to compete with them on price). These are the same manufacturers that have essentially been nourished by open source projects and there is very little that they give back and very little that they contribute (and shamefully their power of innovation is very limited, despite the fact they boast enormous staffs of engineers). Part of their business is the sale of resins, just as paper printers have the ink business. These are all things to take into account when choosing a 3D printer!

About How You Can Use Our Dev Kit to Augment Your Filament Printer

For those of you who already have a filament printer, you can teach it how to print with resin using our Dev Kit and our Standard Resin Vat & Build Platform! All you have to do is print two plastic parts (for which we have already published user-customizable CAD design files on GitHub) and do some basic rewiring. The configuration is done from the on-screen settings menu (Z axis height, motor steps, screw pitch, etc.), and does not require new firmware. A simple switch allows you to choose which machine to use, as they share the entire structure and motors of the vertical axis of the filament printer.

Below is a short demo video. Please let us know if you have any questions!

A Few More Technical Details…

Thank you very much for reading this far. See you in a few days, and have a great week!

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