To use the phrase "intricate detail" in the realm of desktop prototyping is to express a belief in magic. Anything finer than 50 microns is beyond the capabilities of thermoplastic extrusion, and even that is asking more than most fused filament fabrication (FFF) printers can realistically deliver. Short of calling on the elves and fairies to step in and complete the sort of builds that jewelers, figurine enthusiasts, and other microscale artisans dream up, there are essentially two choices; and the B9 Creator is the only one of them actually geared toward consumers. The sole alternative, Formlabs' Form1 stereolithography apparatus (SLA), is more of a "prosumer" machine, aiming to fill the broad gap between less-expensive consumer models and the extravagance of commercial production systems.
Using digital light processing (DLP), South Dakota's one-man-show Michael Joyce imbued the B9 Creator with the mythical power of creating objects with an XY resolution of 50 microns and a Z resolution of 25 microns. Even the pricier Form1 tops out at a coarser 300 microns for the XY axes, although it matches the B9 Creator's Z axis resolution. To custom jewelry designers and other creatives, the ability to fabricate mock-ups and molds in miniature with a level of accuracy normally reserved for systems that cost more than most makers earn in a year is worth its weight in gold. More affordable and accessible precision prototyping could be a boon for industry, too — reducing turnaround, downtime, and production costs for minuscule replacement parts.
The way the B9 Creator produces itty-bitty builds with impressive speed and precision, it's easy to envision breathless elves throwing up their tiny hands at the futility of keeping up with the device's mystical use of light projection to recreate minutiae out of colorful pools of resin. However, some aspects of the creative process are better left to the imagination — the B9 Creator's steep learning curves and suboptimal software, for starters. Labor-intensive processes for bed leveling and changing resolution can also suck the wind out of dreamers' sails as surely as Scrooge can "Bah-Humbug" the holiday spirit.
But in spite of all the extruder-clogging gremlins and fractious hobgoblins that have stood in the way of our wildest additive manufacturing fantasies, we can't help but marvel at the ability of human imagination to come up with a 3D printing needle of light that spins humble resin into artisanal gold.
Excellent printer, but not for all... Some efforts should be made in order to run excellent printing jobs. Maintenance is really boring.
The first high resolution DLP-printer for the consumer market, and still one of the best.
Quality of the printed parts appears to far surpass its competition...difference is most noticeable when it comes to small, detailed parts...or highly detailed models.
Build volume...is quite limited and dependent on the resolution...it is best used for small and detailed prints...great performance, but with a steep learning curve.
It took many tries with lots of tinkering and fine-tuning to get successful prints; we often ended up with a bunch of partially cured resin floaties in the resin tank.