microArch S240

Why We Created The microArch S240

BY Laura Galloway

At BMF, we are continuously looking for innovative ways to evolve our 3D micro-precision technology and product offerings as the needs of industrial designers and manufacturers—across a variety of industries—progress.

For example, as the electronics in our hands and pockets become smaller and smaller, so do the tiny parts nestled inside that do all the hard work. As the medical field advances into new forms of microscopic exploration and implantation, the devices that they use must also advance and scale.

And though the parts themselves are small, the amount of time, money, and effort it takes to design, prototype, and test them is quite large. With micro injection molding for instance, the smaller and more detailed the part, the higher the cost and the longer the wait. These issues are further amplified—and repeated—when the prototype part doesn’t exactly replicate the intended end-use part and you have to start over.

That’s why we took our best-in-class family of micro-precision 3D printers, all powered by our innovative PµSL technology, and pioneered to make a new model that is even faster, with higher throughput and the ability to higher viscosity materials enabling the production of end-use parts.

Enter the microArch S240.

Now, thanks to the S240, end-use parts that previously needed more time-consuming and expensive forms of production and approval can be 3D printed in much less time and for much less money.

What Sets The S240 Apart?

Just like our other 3D printers in the microArch series, the S240 uses projection micro stereolithography (PμSL) technology, a technique that allows for rapid photopolymerization of a layer of liquid polymer using a flash of UV light at micro-scale resolution. The superior production of intricate, exact, and replicable parts makes PμSL the optimal prototyping process for various use cases.

And, as we touched on above, there are a few attributes of the S240 that place it in a 3D micro-precision printing class all its own.

  • Speed: The printer has an added advanced roller over the top of the membrane that helps to spread layers at greater speeds. This allows the S240 to build parts up to 10 times faster than ever before.
  • 3D printed ceramic partMaterials: The printer’s open material system is able to handle higher viscosities, which results in the production of stronger parts. With the ability to print higher molecular weight materials, such as industrial-grade composite polymers and ceramics, the printed parts are functional, opening the door to many new applications. For instance, using ceramic affords you properties such as high-temp and high-abrasion resistance, as well as better dielectric properties.
  • Build Volume: The S240 touts a larger build volume than its predecessors, with build capacities measuring in at 100 × 100 × 75mm / 750 cm3. This gives it the ability to do one of two things; it can print parts that are much bigger than ever before, or it can accommodate a much higher throughput of smaller parts.
  • Attention to Detail: With an exact replica of the intended use-part in mind, the S240 takes zero shortcuts when it comes to finishing details. Printed parts have sharp edges, a mirrored finish, and smooth channels to accurately represent the desired part to be manufactured.

How It Works

As with each printer in our microArch series, the S240 starts with a vat of resin with a build plate laid on top of it, and then a membrane stacked above the plate. The printer is calibrated using high-precision optics, a camera, and a laser. This, in concert with the precise XY movement of the build platform, allows BMF to obtain ultra-high levels of resolution, accuracy, and precision.

As printing starts, cross-sections of the part are imaged from the 3D file onto the build plate through a DLP projector. The light from the projector then selectively cures the resin based on the image, layer by layer.

In order to achieve faster print times, the new S240 is equipped with a roller that quickly spreads each layer evenly within just seconds, making print speed up to 10 times faster.

When imaging is complete, the final piece—which mirrors the end-part seamlessly—is removed from the resin.

Final Thoughts

All of our microArch 3D micro-precision printers have one thing in common: They’ve set a new industry standard for the level of resolution, accuracy, and precision of 3D printed parts.

However, we must admit, the S240 has raised that bar even higher.

As the industries that benefit from 3D printing continue to evolve, so will the needs of 3D printing itself. BMF is dedicated to the ongoing investment in the discovery of new forms of technology, production, and most importantly, materials to best serve the needs of its customers and continue to be a the global leader in the micro-precision 3D printing space.