So I'm going about my day and I see a Discord link to this video:
Now, looking at the logo and material that looked like red paint, my expectation was that there was some marginally new resin technology and BCN3D was trying to make a new buzzword out of it. However, everything changes when I get to the 30 second mark of the video and it's revealed that the camera actually isn't upside down and that the resin is suspended somehow. As soon as I see that the resin is stuck to a film, I'm like "AGHHHH!!! That's so simple, so obvious now that I've seen it! How has Me In The Past or anyone else in the hobbyist 3D printing hobby not thought of this?!"
I'd love to end the thought there, but the thing is that I've been thinking about what could solve the single material and uncured resing handling issues of SLA, and what could bridge the gap between hobbyist machines and PolyJet. The reason I've never gotten an SLA printer is because, unlike FDM, the majority of my planned prints would be multicolour, the uncured resin is toxic and the parts aren't ready fresh out of the machine.
- I thought of a multi vat approach where one of the vats would be filled with a liquid to clean off the resin there would be 3 or 4 vats and the centre Z column would rotate around to switch to them.
- "ahh but cleaning and moving would take so much time over the print job"
- Ok what about a floating resin solution, where the cleaning fluid is denser than the resin? Then the part can just move down and be washed and cured while waiting for the previous resin to be sucked back to its reservoir and the next material is pumped in. This also means that you don't need much more space or more screens to add support for more materials available in a print job.
- "ahh but how would that deposition stay consistent. And isn't that a fair bit of plumming work? And top-down approaches are suseptible to the machine being shaken or unlevel"
So then this video comes out and I'm like "That's it! That's the solution!!! Ouwh but I don't want to wait until 2042 and beyond [to use this technology]. And it doesn't even seem like they've unlocked its full potential yet. I'm thinking like 8+ materials and washing during (or after) the print process before internally curing the part.". So this "project" really is mainly for me to do something, anything, to spur someone with the ability to build the printer to further look into making this kind of printer a reality. Other reasons are so that I'm not keeping ideas in my head, giving Future Me some documentation if there isn't a better option in a situation when I can take this project on, and so that these ideas are in the public domain so that any future patents can't be too vague and overreaching.