Kickstarter Spotlight – Moai Laser SLA 3D Printer

The Moai SLA Laser Printer joins a crowded space - what makes it different from the others?
By Ben Jackson   April 3, 2017 8:14 pm UTC

Moai-3D-Printer-33D Printers are generally speaking, expensive. Sure, they’re also awesome and can help you unleash a level of a creativity within yourself that you didn’t know existed, but they’re expensive. For those of you considering purchasing one, the choices are quickly becoming endless. Choosing which 3D printer to splurge on can seem like a difficult decision. There are so many makes and models out there – most of them promising ease-of-use, and an awesome experience. If you’re smart, you’ll find one that’s both high-quality and not outrageously priced. One that suits many needs, solves a few problems, and serves a wide variety of functions. Equally important is making sure the 3D printer comes with a world-class companion software, because you’ll be designing your objects on your computer.

Finding the right one requires a fair amount of in-depth research, since 3D printers are not yet as common as shopping for a high-definition TV. Plan to dedicate at least a few hours researching what each are capable of, and definitely read as many reviews as you can. Watch YouTube videos, and make sure you’re getting one that meets both your requirements and skill-level. After all, the benefits could save you a lot of time and money, depending on what you need the printer for. Take a look at some of the most popular 3D printers including the BCN3D SIGMA, LulzBot Mini, heck even Stanley Black & Decker has a Model 1 3D Printer coming out later this week.

We’d also recommend you take a look at a 3D Printer currently being featured on Kickstarter right now. The Moai Laser SLA Laser 3D printer hails from Peopoly, a company based in Los Angeles. This printer provides a class-leading 70-micron laser spot size and they’re marketing it as “very affordable”.

What’s up with the Moai 3D Printer?

The Moai laser printer was built to work in a very simple way: It moves the focused laser spot on the resin quickly and forms a shape by solidifying it: When a layer is finished, it moves up the build platform a little and cures the next layer. While Moai’s laser printer delivers the energy for curing, the laser beam makes precise movements with the guidance of its galvanometers (galvos). You can think of the galvos as a fast-moving, tiny mirror that reflects light. With the help of the two galvos, the Moai laser printer is able to draw any shape on a two-dimensional plane; this is how it frames the shape of every design.
Moai-3D-Printer-4It’s ability to produce elaborate structures with beautiful finishes that open up new possibilities for artisans and designers and also saves time. This machine prints with a lot of speed and precision thanks to its galvanometers and UV laser. The 150 mW Moai laser printer has a spot size of just 70 microns and delivers more than enough energy to cure light-sensitive resins.

Full Control for the Control Freak

One thing that makes Moai laser printer different from other laser SLA printers on the market is that the user has complete control of all its settings. You can adjust everything from exposure, power level, and movement to nail your perfect 3D print. You control how you want things to be printed! (And of course you’re then responsible for how awesome or awful it turns out).

Another clutch feature of the Moai is that the machine prints with G-code input via SD card. This makes Moai the first SLA printer to incorporate this strategy. Users no longer have to connect their computer to print, and can instead leverage open-source software.

Final Thoughts

You’re probably not a rocket scientist. That’s unfortunate, but okay – the Moai laser printer is straightforward to put together; you don’t have to be an engineer to build it. There’s no mirrors to install other than the galvos. There is no soldering involved, and tools are included. Moai’s build time is about 4 hours, and testers have described it as very easy to assemble.

With 3D Printing becoming increasingly more prevalent, the Moai has a chance to make some waves by focusing on simplicity and a lower price point. Think of all the insane, unnecessary things you’ll be capable of manufacturing in your own home. The possibilities are endless.

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