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article imageReview: Paladin 3D, an affordable, all-metal SLA 3D printer Special

By Tim Sandle     Jan 6, 2019 in Technology
Set to launch in April 2019, the Paladin 3D printer provides an affordable and durable SLA 3D desktop printer designed for small businesses or for the home. Digital Journal was given the opportunity to review an advanced release of the device.
The Paladin 3D printer has been developed and designed to provide a 3D printing solution for the home for under $300. This is the first all-metal SLA 3D printer to be marketed within the price bracket. SLA is an abbreviation for stereolithography, which was the first 3D printing technique involving the photopolymerization of a resin through laser (that is, a laser works to cure liquid resin into hardened plastic). This type of 3D printing is ideally suited for the form of 3D printing technology used for creating models, prototypes, patterns and production parts.
Paladin 3D printer has an all-metal body. The 3D printer’s components are made from an aluminum al...
Paladin 3D printer has an all-metal body. The 3D printer’s components are made from an aluminum alloy.
Unpacking the printer, the first things to note is that the printer is portable and it is robust, being encased in a metal body. While strong, it is also lightweight (6.5 kilos) and easy to move from room to room. Work has also gone into the design, which means that the printer does not look out of place on the desktop.
The Paladin SLA 3D printer unpacked. The printer uses stereolithography  whch is an additive manufac...
The Paladin SLA 3D printer unpacked. The printer uses stereolithography, whch is an additive manufacturing process that works by focusing an ultraviolet (UV) laser on to a vat of photopolymer resin.
The 3D printer from Paladin has a fast print speed and quality, with a 50µm XY resolution and a 60mm/h print speed.
In terms of the base material, the printer requires Kelant UV (light-activated) resin or an equivalent. The type of resin affects the end product, such as the degree of 'smoothness', strength and durability.
A useful feature is the plug and play design. Model designs can be made on a computer and then copied onto a USB. The USB can then be plugged into the printer, enabling printing to take place off line.
Close up of the Paladin SLA 3D printer LCD screen.
Close up of the Paladin SLA 3D printer LCD screen.
Adjustments to the printing process can be made via the use of a color touchscreen, based on an intuitive 'touch and play' process via a 1080p LCD.
The SLA printer also integrates an industrial-grade 1080p LCD and a patented light source design whi...
The SLA printer also integrates an industrial-grade 1080p LCD and a patented light source design which enable high resolution prints.
The build area is 2.9 by 5.1 by 6.0 inches. A useful feature with the software is it supports different layer thickness to help the user to achieve the right balance between printing quality and printing time, and for allowing models to be produced with variable precision and strength.
The Paladin SLA 3D printer  all-metal design  aimed at the home and small office environment.
The Paladin SLA 3D printer, all-metal design, aimed at the home and small office environment.
There are other useful features, such as an auto-leveling and refilling system, which is designed to save time. This automation includes a built-in pump that refills or drains resins from the tank. During the manufacturing process, the hardening of the material occurs as a result of cross-linking when exposed to light.
Close up of part of the printer mechanism in action.
Close up of part of the printer mechanism in action.
For those concerned about the odor produced by the resin, the printer comes with an air purification system, which reduces the 'chemical' smell. The additive manufacturing process is also relatively quiet.
Close up of the Paladin SLA 3D printer in operation  with resin in the tray.
Close up of the Paladin SLA 3D printer in operation, with resin in the tray.
The printer is remarkably powerful for its price. With high-resolution, auto-leveling, auto resin pump and intuitive control, plus its portability, it is well-suited to the small office or home environment, and will be popular with designers and modelers (the 3D printer allow the creation of a range of models with different properties, such as castable resins).
The end product - an example of what the Paladin SLA 3D printer can produce - a 3D resin model.
The end product - an example of what the Paladin SLA 3D printer can produce - a 3D resin model.
The Paladin 3D printer has been backed by a Kickstarter campaign and it becomes commercially available in April 2019.
More about 3D printing, 3D Printer, Printing, additive printing, additive manufacturing
 
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