Ilios Photon 2

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Compact and very Versatile SLA 3D Printer with high accuracy and rigidity
Ilios Photon 2 provides multiple options for printing with different materials while consistently building layers with the highest accuracy.

Photon 2 was designed to provide not only a very consistent print cycle but also to produce results with materials from different manufacturers without locking its software to a single brand. The fact that the entire 3D Printer is made from quality metal parts gives it a completely rigid motion assembly with a solid build platform and a new VAT surface which needs much less maintenance than traditional PDMS alternatives.

The projector use on the Ilios Photon 2 is also not your traditional product. A specifically designed for 3D printing UV DLP projector is used, with a UV LED light source. This means that there is much less heat on the projection system and unlike a traditional Arc Lamp, it doesn't need replacement while providing the same output and power throughout its entire life cycle.

Besides the projector, there also is an automated movement of the entire projection system which can move the projector closer to the build area by using predefined presets so that even more resolution and detail can be printed based on your specific needs. This eliminates the need to readjust the projector distance every time and will always move the projection exactly where it needs to be to produce great results. The movement can be controlled through the user interface on the printer and the additional resolution can be selected within the Ilios 3D Suite.

Bird in a cageThe software which is available on all Ilios 3D printers was specifically tuned for Ilios Photon 2 so that the machine can produce the best possible result while using its hardware. Specific Anti-aliasing filters were added to smooth out the exposure for each layer as well as print without it for even sharper results. The fact that Ilios Photon 2 can produce layers as thin as 6 microns (0.006mm) is truly unique since in order to print that accurately, a very rigid and accurate movement is required so that each layer is repeatable every time without abnormalities, something that Photon 2 can deliver.

Due to all the above mentioned features and many more, Ilios Photon 2 is truly a useful and valuable tool for any Architect, Jeweler, Artist, Dentist or general DIY'er. The 3D printer was made to last and produce great results every time. With constant updates from Ilios 3D as well as the Forum and our support, you are bound to create great results from few first tries after receiving the 3D printer as it is fully assembled, tested and ready to print out of the box.

Main Advantages

01. Affordability

Even though quality parts are used on Ilios Photon 2 and it can produce results which most competitors cannot or cost much more to achieve the same quality, we try to keep final costs as low as possible so that more people and organizations can use our creations while keeping some of their budget for other aspects of their project.

02. Compact Design

Ilios Photon 2 was developed in such a way that it can sit on top of your desk, at a comfortable height while you pour material in it, remove models or operate its User Interface. Smaller machine also means less shipping charges and much easier handling. Its construction allows simple servicing and easy part replacement.

03. Variable Resolution

You are not bound by a fixed position of the projector and only one resolution. The closer the projector is to the build area, the higher the resolution becomes while the build area becomes also smaller. This is done automatically by the 3D printer and can be set through the Touch Screen interface with a press of an icon. Additionally you can also choose an even higher resolution projector when ordering Ilios Photon 2 which will give you the full 1080p capabilities.

04. Unique Software

Ilios 3D printers come with a very unique software architecture which allows you to print SLA models without the need of a PC connected to it, provides internal memory which means you don't even need a storage device connected to the 3D printer, control Ilios Photon 2 through the web as well as upload files remotely through WiFi or Ethernet. You can even monitor the status of the printer through its internal Camera while making snapshots mid print. There are many other features which our software provides since the 3D printer is equipped with a complete embedded system and hosts a custom Operating System as well as HTML server and many other packages.

Key Features

Some of the features, designed specifically for Ilios Photon 2 are worth mentioning, since these are the features that make the machine stand out from the rest. The mechanical components that make the Ilios Photon 2 unique are invaluable for any DIY'er or professional. The fact that the projection can be increased or decreased automatically as well as print without a computer connected to the machine or print without an additional external device due to the available internal memory make a strong case when selecting a product to purchase.

The Motion

Motion AssemblyOne of the most important parts for any 3D printer is its motion. How accurately it can move to any location, without loosing its path and keeping the distances as close to what the computer thinks they are. This becomes especially important when you are building a 3D model where every millimeter or even a micron can make a difference for your end result and the correct dimensions are all that matter when you are building a mechanical part.

The spindles used in Ilios Photon 2 are made from hard metal and polished to a mirror finish. All connections made between the motion and the static surface of the machine are transferred through ball bearings and produce rigid and accurate movements. Besides the fact that the model Lift assembly is held by the ball bearing spindles, which in most cases would be enough, it is also being held by two ball bearing slides. Together, the motion that is produced is so rigid that there is virtually no flex (deviation from the predefined path) in the movement when opposite forces apply.

Besides the highly accurate motion, another factor is just as important. The backlash of the motion can mean everything when it comes to 3D printing. Since each layer is built with a constant motion of the lift back and forth, if the motion it self cannot come to the same spot every time and deviates even by a minuscule amount, your entire build shall not be accurate anymore, mo matter how good the rest of the equipment is. It is this repeated accuracy that Ilios Photon 2 provides and creates a solid stepping stone for the rest of the build process.

Software

To remove the need to an additional computer for the 3D printer and add unique features to the entire printing process, we designed a Self-Contained processing unit which we call the Ilios UI. The Ilios UI is powered by a fast ARM processor with enough memory and hardware to provide features such as a Touch Screen interface on a color display, give the Ilios 3D printer the ability to connect through WiFi as well as Ethernet to your network and much more. Connection to the Control Unit is made through one of the available USB ports on the UI Unit and it is plugged directly into the USB port on the Control Module, which also provides the necessary power for the UI Unit. This way we eliminate the need for additional power cables or non-standardized connections.

Since the UI Unit is using a custom Operating System, we provided the ability to read your 3D print files from most USB Memory devices such as a USB Memory Drive, USB SD Card Reader or even an external USB Hard Drive if needed. As long as the file format is among the commonly used ones like FAT, NTFS and others, Ilios UI can read it.

Besides the Color Display interface, the UI Unit can also be accessed remotely through your network. An HTML server hosts a Web Based User Interface which also provides additional settings and parameters for your 3D printer. You can access the Web Interface through your private network or forward the port through your Router and access the same interface from anywhere in the world as long as there is an Internet connection.

Through the available WiFi connection the Ilios UI Unit acts as a WiFi Hot Spot and can also share an internet connection just like any other Hot Spot if a connection is provided through Ethernet. Additionally an Android or iOS device can connect to the same Hot Spot and through the Ilios Apps for each system you can control the 3D printer once again as needed. The apps also provide notifications based on the status of the 3D printer and can be configured as needed.

VAT Protection - Viscosity Adjustment

Since almost any SLA resin can be used on Photon 2, it is important that the printer can protect and adjust it self to cope with different material viscosity, without delaying the print or damaging it self. Viscosity is an important factor during 3D printing since different liquids react differently and have different flow properties. The flow properties are especially important since if viscosity is too high then the resin will spread slower over the build area, especially when the lift is squeezing the VAT surface during the initial layers. If the printer doesn't give enough time for the resin to spread, the material will cure at a higher layer thickness and all consecutive layers will grow one on top of the other, resulting in even greater strain on the VAT surface. This effect usually dissipates when the lift is high enough and the model doesn't take too much flat area on the glass, however if the model has large enough areas which require more material to solidify, then this may strain the glass or even break it over a long print.

Ilios Photon 2 already has all the hardware as well as sensors to cope with this effect. Besides the spring loaded VAT which will soften the lowering of each lift layer, the printer can also sens if the VAT has been pressed too hard and delay the secondary layer before solidifying it. This results in a controlled print with any resin since there are safety functions which can be implemented to ensure the VAT is protected and is not damaged over a prolonged print. These safeties and functions also make sure that each layer has the same thickness regardless of the material viscosity used.

Projection System

UV ProjectorUnlike a traditional DLP projector which uses a large Arc Lamp and produces a large variety of wavelengths while printing, the projectors within Ilios Photon 2 use a UV LED light source which is tuned to 405nm wavelength at which most SLA resins cure. The fact that the projector is specifically designed for 3D printing also eliminates the unnecessary filters and other bulky assemblies, leaving only the needed hardware and making the projector much smaller in the process. Since the projector uses an LED as its light source, it shall deliver its full potential for much longer while spending much less power.

The projection resolution of your layer is yet another important factor that can distinguish a detailed model from a very poor one. Based on your budget you have the ability to choose what type of objects Ilios Photon 2 shall be building by choosing the default 1280x800px or the 1920x1080px Projector within the product options.

Even if you choose the lower resolution projector for your Photon 2 you will cover 90% of 3D printing that may be needed. Most models on our Facebook page and Gallery were printed with the lower resolution projector so the HD upgrade is something that perhaps although may sound nice, may not be needed if you have a limited budget. You can always upgrade your Photon 2 in the future to a different projector since both UV projectors in our shop can be mounted with ease to the 3D printer and have the same connections for controlling it.

Variable Resolution

Resolution TestNot many 3D printers can provide variable resolutions with the same hardware capabilities and do it automatically without tweaking, adjusting or tinkering with the software. Ilios Photon 2 was specifically designed so that you can increase the resolution of your model by simply pressing an icon on the User Interface while the projector moves closer to the build area. This movement is completely automated and repeatable, which means that when it moves from one setup to another, your scale and aspect ratio will remain unchanged no matter how many times the same motion is repeated.

This feature can be especially useful for Jewelers or Dentists where smaller models are needed but with much more detail. Artists can also print smaller items with higher clarity and sharpness without upgrading their setup. This feature is truly unique and has been very useful even within our workshop when testing the limits of the printer so rest assured that it has been used many times and can be a valuable function to have.

Exterior Features

  • Fully Assembled
  • Rigid Construction
  • Compact Design
  • Enclosed & Protected
  • Versatile Resolution
  • Accurate Motion

Hardware Features

  • LED UV DLP Projector
  • Removable VAT
  • Service Free VAT System
  • VAT Glass Protection Sensors
  • VAT Area of 165mm x 105mm
  • Build Height of 230mm
  • Build speed: 3 - 10 seconds per layer (depending on material)
  • Layer Resolution of 0.006mm (6microns)
  • Variable Projection Resolution
  • Metal Ball Bearing Motion
  • Dual Lift Metal Ball Bearing Spindles & Slides
  • Repeat Accuracy of Less than 0.003mm on 300mm
  • Layer Accuracy of 0.002mm
  • VAT Flex under 616grams of 0.006mm
  • WiFi & Ethernet enabled
  • Nema 23 Motors for High Torque
  • Printer Dimensions 53.6cm(H)x40cm(W)x30cm(L)
  • Power Supply: 110-230vAC 240W, Output 24vDC/10A, 92% Efficiency
  • BS EN ISO 9001 and AS9100 Parts
  • DIN 69051, Tolerance class 7 Spindles

Software Features

  • Automatic Resin Viscosity Adjustment
  • Color Touchsreen Interface
  • Internal Memory
  • External Memory through USB
  • Resume a halted print
  • Transfer files remotely
  • Control the printer Remotely
  • Print from a USB drive directly
  • Ilios 3D Suite Compatible
  • No PC required for printing
  • Change Resolution with a press of an Icon
  • Change almost any parameter on the printer
  • Update Firmware over the Web
  • Controllable through the Web
  • Controllable through an Android App

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