Hi Moai Community,
This is Mark from Peopoly. I would like to share with you what happens next for the Moai / 200, especially with the announcement of new LCD-SLA / MSLA based printer. Both Moai and Moai 200 continue to be our core printers. Their 67um laser spot size and 15um galvo step produce stunningly-smooth results. The laser source, with thousands of hours of life, can run for years – so there are no LCDs to periodically replace. We have many users who have been running Moai almost daily over 2 years. Evan Morgan has one of the earliest Moai ever shipped and it is still running on original laser / galvo.
One of the best benefits of laser-based SLA printers is that they allow for resins that, while they may need more energy to activate, have more interesting material properties. For example, we have developed a new resin for fast printing on the Moai at an impressive 200um layer height, while still having a smooth surface and good resolution. Even at 200um, the X-Y resolution of a Moai is still the same as it is printing at 40um layer height. This is possible because the laser beam does not diverge and the energy is delivered in much higher density. This resin will be released on Oct 2019, and we are working to reduce all resin prices, and for them to be more available locally.
Moai’s laser light source runs efficiently, and being far away from the vat means that it can print resin that requires a higher temperature. This allows a heated vat that can go above 40C and opens possibilities for stronger, more advanced materials. We are working on both the hardware and the chemistry to make this happen.
The Moai beta firmware that we previewed back in April will be released this year. In addition to bug fixes, the custom gcode function allows users to change laser power, pause, etc. via gcode - even during mid-print. This sets the stage for even more optimized printing such as path-dependent laser power/speed (different curing for walls, infills, support, and base layers). Also along the software front, we will continue to add functions and fix bugs to Asura, especially with the new firmware commands.
It has been over two years since we launched the Moai project, and we could only make it this far with the community’s support and impressive contributions. We have added three people to our team this year that you might already have met in the group or via pm/email. We are growing and will continue to push forward with even more Moai enhancements that we can’t wait to share with you later.