Sharebot SnowWhite, first laser sintering 3D printer produced by our company, is a project developed by our R&D deparment and it’s evolving very fast. Every day our researchers add new features, test materials and resolve problems to create amazing, complex and functioning models.
Follow the evolution of the SnowWhite project throught this page and explore all the unique features of this printer that will change the professional 3D printers market!
Read all the printers technical details here.
Further information are available by sending an email to: info(at)sharebot.it
To present this news properly, the company will show its printer during the incoming 3D printing faires european tour (the events schedule can be found on the dedicated website).
The official debut of the this product has been scheduled on September 22nd when Sharebot will open its tour at the Dusseldorf l’Euromold 2015.
Even though we weren’t in our laboratory, this August we spent a lot of time thinking (which was not so easy due to the hot, suffocating but beautiful Italian summer) about the SnowWhite project. We had to get back to work because the beta-testing phase had started and we needed to assemble 5 printers for our testers!
While assembling the new machines, we didn’t halt development on the the main project. We tested different powders, with good and satisfying test prints. Through testing and printing different materials we were able to discover that it’s possible to re-use a powder several times with limited decay.
Our Sharebot SnowWhite model passed its 1000 printing hour during this process with just a small problem with the heating system. We were able to solve this very easily. The experience also gives us better understanding of the kind on maintenance the printers need.
SnowWhite development continues on two different paths: a group of researchers work every day on the controlling software while another one is developing an automatic updating system in order to ease the updating process for our users.
We officially rgistered a new trademark: DLS, Direct Laser Sintering. This one better describes the kind of work our printer does to realize an object.
Here we are: it’s time to go on holiday! The Sharebot SnowWhite updates are suspended until August 31st. We spent a great year on this amazing project, it’s time to rest and rechanrge until new incredible challenges!
A few days ago we received the powder distribuitor shell, allowing us to follow the timeline to start the deliveries to the Sharebot SnowWhite Beta-Testing program subscibers in September.
As we always said, the slicing software development continues. We tested two different path (Simplify3D and an internal developed software) to be able to have the perfect layer management : both of them are very good, without any significant difference. Now we will start a comparative test phase.
We revealed a big news: Sharebot SnowWhite finally has a beautiful and stylish dress!
The story continues…
We’re now printing with 3DS Duraform ProX powder and the results are great! We used 30% of the laser power and 70% raster speed to realize these objects (five stars have been printed in a printing process).
Software development is crucial: we always knew this but now we are truly convinced. We’re working simultaneously on two different slicers: Simplify3D produces a very good printing quality but using our own software (which is in development phase) we’re free to change more parameters and the printing quality it’s almost as good as with Simplify3D. The philosophy of these two programs could not be more different: the way they work on the LASER–>POWDER–>RASTER process is diverse and it has a great bearing on the final printed model.
The software is the focal point and gravity centre. Having consumed litres of coffee, sleepless nights and no Sundays or holidays free, we are still on the path, but the goal line is clearly in sight…
From a hardware point of view, we have the right Sharebot SnowWhite “candidate release” so that we have started the first small-batch production of the printer dedicated to special beta-testers. The first prototypes machine have already clocked-up more than 100 printing hours and the mechanical part can be deemed to be ready.
During next few days we will announce the beta-testing program: 5 Sharebot SnowWhite laser sintering 3D printers will be ready to be tested by our partners.
As we told you last month, we’re also working on the heat controlling software; we decided to add new parameters and we immediately saw the improvement on the models’ quality. Printing with PA12 powders gave us great results on each printing process.
We dramatically altered the heat radiation system inside the object building camera; we choose to use a softer, more delicate and easy to handle temperature control system. The software development goes on – we want to be able to have full control of every printing parameter.
During the next months we expect to work intensively on the software becuase this is key to achieving the kind of high quality result we’re looking for.
During the Fall faires tour Sharebot researchers received a lot of different opinions and ideas to improve the “pandino” (this name recalls the one of a famous italian economy car and it’s a tender nickname given to the printer during the deveoping process) and take it to new unexplored results.
They decided to modify the atmosphere where the sintering process happens by changing it from a cold atmosphere to an hot one because of the possibility to reach new technological hights. Now the printer could work with the PA12 material and the laser doesn’t require manutention.
The printing area has been expanded to 100x100x130mm with a new and better design for the powders distribution system. The system has been changed also by introducing a new spatula.
Even the powders loading system is changed: now there is a double piston system to allow the printer to reach a higher speed than the one reached during the first phase of the develping process (less than 10 second per a single layer!). Changing the loading system the researchers studied a new way to gather together the powders.
The entire R&D working process has the aim to improve the printing quality to have the more detailed, functional and resilient objects.
Observing and touching with hands these projects, Sharebot is persuaded and entusiast about the project whch started a long time ago without exposition with the first studies about the sintering technology and it’s become an high proficiency 3D printer.
2 months full of pronblems, errors, calculations and then, suddently, here it is: Sharebot SnowWhite n° 6, finally working!
We assembled the hot chamber and the the powder distribuition system with 3 rectangular boxes and asymmetrycal measures. Printing results are like we wanted. The changes we deceided to do months ago are giving us great quality. Now we can go on with the tests and with software improvements: it’s too important for us to have a good software, which allows to manage the hot chamber. The road is not over yet, but we can see the horizon.
January is the worst month in the history of Sharebot SnowWhite project. Just problems and doubts. Problems and doubts.
All these doubts and January pasted while we were doing calculations, drawings, mistakes. We knew the road we choose was hard, but we now see just climb in front of us.
No way! We need to completely change everything. We deceided to remove the not modified atmosphere to work in a heated chamber, changing the working area and drawing a new powders distribuition system. These changes probably will cost us to do again the entire project. New Sharebot SnowWhite is going to be very different from the one we presented last Summer and Fall.
The tour is over, it’s time to go back to the laboratory to work, test, improve. The first doubts are getting powerful: what are we doing? We have the first problems: printing without being sticked to the printing bed seems impossible. Maybe we choose the wrong path deceiding to work with just 2 tanks (one for the powders and the other for the printing bed).
Probably we’ll need to redesign the entire loading system to improve both the production times and the printing quality. Full of doubts, but we can still produce the first low-cost laser sintering 3D printer.
Sharebot decided that the official italian presentation of SnowWhite will be held today at Maker Faire Rome; this the first 3D printer with powders laser sintering fully projected and realized in Italy and Rome is the perfect place to present it.
The machine has developed a lot from its first prints. In these pictures you can notice the improvements we made in terms of definition and precision: it’s a long road to perfection, but we want to provide for the best and we are working a lot on it. The Sharebot research team is working hard on last details to be ready as soon as possible to put the printer on production.
Our researchers have done a great job with the management of CO2 lasers and with the software: thanks to some new optimization algorithms in less than 10 seconds the printer turns the Gcode (which is accepted by the printer) in the language required for the SnowWhite’s operations. Even the nylon powder has been modified and responds better to the demands of the laser.
Here a couple of usefull technical details:
– print in cold not modified atmosphere
– CO2 laser
– Printing area: cylinder with a 9 cm diameter and 3,5 cm high
– Print time: 3cm per hour in high
– laser scanning speed from 20.000 to 60.000 cycles
– available powder Nylon SH-1
Today the Sharebot’s R&D department has a big annouce: sugar has been sintered with SnowWhite. After the sinterization of powders of nylon and graphen, this time wa the sugar the center of their studies!
Thanks to our 3D printer with powders sintering laser system it’s possible to create wonderful and highly defined objects. This process opens new and unexplored roads for this technology. And Sharebot is trying to do its best!
But we think that these pictures can be better than a thousand of words.
We are not only having fun, but we also printed high professional mechanical parts. We printed the same parts with graphene, nylon and sugar: quality, definition and resistance are the same.
Sharebot SnowWhite is a printer based on selective laser sintering this process take place in a not modified atmosphere and it is “cold”.
Compared to the FFF, this printer uses a system of thermoplastic powders that, starting from a digital file in CAD, creates three-dimensional objects thanks to the sintering and fusing of a thin layer of polymer powder at a time. This procedure enables you to create small objects with a great definition (as you can see in the accompanying pictures) and with a great resistance. All materials used in this process are developed by our R&D department in our Nibionno headquarters!
This new printer will be put into production and sold in the coming months and here are the other big news:
Sharebot SnowWhite will be available at a price less than 20,000 euros. This price fully reflects our desire to provide a professional and economic product suitable for anyone is looking for a printer that can produce small and complex objects with high definition.