Lots of tests have been done on Photon 2 to clarify its resolution, quality and capabilities. If you haven't been following the Ilios Facebook page then make sure to check it out as prints are being always posted there first for everyone to see and discuss. I really tried to push the new 3D printer to its limits to see what is possible even with a 1280 x 800px UV Projector, without upgrading it to the HD version at full 1080p. The results speak for them selves so check out the images and their description below.
The prints started at 50 microns per layer since there was no reason printing with anything higher than that and even at those resolutions the 3D printer performed very well, with consistent layer alignment and detachment from the VAT. Each material is different and exposure settings may vary but it isn't an issue with the Ilios 3D Suite since you can make your own exposure values to tweak the quality and print speed. Faster curing resins will give much faster prints, where slower cure times will result in more detail on smaller models when needed. Also the pigmentation plays a large role when printing with SLA resins since blocking unwanted light for higher detail is something within the Red spectrum where something simple and fast may be a blue or green.
First up is the most familiar model which many use for comparison. The Bird in a cage. It demonstrates very well the layer separation and quality over a small model for fast results. This model was printed with the Spot-GP resin and Red Opaque pigment. Photon 2 tried very hard to merge the layers although we have to be fair as the layer resolution at 50 microns isn't that tight to smooth them out. Overall the layer consistency and contrast are very good for 1280x800px of resolution which were not scaled down. This means that this resolution per voxel is available on the entire build area.
Next Up a more demanding model was printed, which demonstrates the contrast and layer separation even better as the model has many holes at very small diameters. Once again the printer did better than anticipated, without clogging up the holes and even at lower layer thicknesses the model still came out smooth without taking up too much time to be printed.
For a slightly larger model of the scull the resolution of each layer was reduced a bit along with the resolution of the projection for a faster print, however even with a red pigment which brings out all the detail, the model still held up nicely and without deformation, while keeping the complexity and clarity.
Even though the printer was not set to its highest layer detail at 6 microns (0.006mm), a model with much more detail was printed at 25 microns. Again without scaling down the projection area. The model came out very sharp, with thin details showing up clearly and without overexposing the model or thickening it to keep it from crumbling. Have in mind that the model was printing and supporting it self by supports and features much thinner than 1mm without breaking as the VAT detachment is very gentle and does not put strain on even the smallest features.
As it turns out, the same model was printed with the same layer height with a Form 2 so it is only natural to compare the two. Check out the images above and feel free to compare the two models. On the Left is the model printed with Ilios Photon 2 where on the right is the one printed on Form 2. Note that the model on Photon 2 was printed with a 1280x800 projector.
PS: To all the wonderful wemen reading this article i wish a happy International Woman's day!
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