Stereolithography, in its 30 plus years of existence, has come quite a long way. Alternatively known as SLA, this technology has rightfully established itself as the premium option amongst the additive manufacturing technologies predominantly available today. Engineers have built everything from custom-shaped LCD screens to children's pills using SLA machines, relying on their high resolution output for such precise jobs.
The latest advances by the technology's inventor, Chuck Hull, and his team at 3D Systems have been particularly astounding: the SLA 2.0, spiritual successor the the original device Hull referenced in his patent on the technology, is a fully automated, SLA production line, replete with post print polishing tools like solvent baths and part washes. The speed it moves at is breathtaking, churning out small, intricate parts in mere seconds.
Considering this formidable landscape, it is no wonder that entrants to the SLA end of the 3D printing industry have the most to live up to. The market leader, Formlabs, has swept industry groupies off their feet with their latest product, the Form 2. This extremely high precision machine is replete with gadgets and addendums that improve the printing experience, all at a price that one might expect for all those amenities. The high price of the Form 2 leaves some room in the space for competitors to slide a less tricked out but highly functional option out for a significant markdown -- and perhaps steal a slice of the SLA pie in doing so.
Sadly, Makex' M One+ doesn't quite make that happen. Essentially a knock-off of the Form 1, the price point of the M One is undercut mightily by well-appreciated contenders such as the XYZ Nobel. Launched via Kickstarter, the Makex team is allegedly a young Chinese bunch, eager to please, long on potential, but unfortunately short on experience. Whether Makex and 3D printing prove to be the golden opportunity for these young entrepreneurs is immaterial; in the M One+, the team has put to market a good (but not great) product, an experience both worthy of commendation and packed with life lessons.
The machine has potential, but is not as easy to use as they claim. It is definitely not a one button press to get a print. You need to find the origin, prep models, etc.