I received an email from Geeetech with some specials. In it was this SLA printer for $99.00. Right now they are averaging $200.00 so of course I had to order it! (Don, ignore this!) They did add $26.00 shipping from New Jersey but still a great price. I will show and tell when I receive it.
Received the printer today. Unfortunately it does not come with resin so I will have to order some. A few more days until I will be able to try it out.
Do you yet know what software drives it?
The choices are very limited for now. This is the software that is recommended to use with the printer.
Any updates? I ordered this printer too and not sure how I feel about it, I am new to resin printing so that could be why. My biggest issue is that there is zero information whatsoever on this printer anywhere on the internet except from geeetech and resellers. No reviews or videos for help. Not even the official geeetech forum has any information or discussion about the alkaid and the website doesn’t list any of its replacement parts unlike their other printers
Unfortunately I have yet to actually get it running. Too many irons in the fire. From everything I see online, it is a brand new learning curve using this printer from using FDM printers. I’m not surprised that there is not a lot of info on this printer due to it being so brand new. The technology is the same as all the others and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is just a redo of one of the other printers.
I have a resin printer - but never use it. I find the whole process too messy.
But thats just me lol
I am thinking about getting one of the Alkaid to see what it’s like.
I had been looking at a resin printer for a while. At $99 I thought it was worth the risk.
I have had it for about a month now and I am very happy with it, but I have not had an SLA printer before.
It was very hard to try to figure out what parts are available. Geeetech would try to get you to buy a different part then contact sales to change the SKU number to the part that tech support recommended. So I pulled the printer apart to have a look at what parts are actually used.
The printer is very similar to an Elegoo Mars 2. It has a Chitu L5.5 V2 board in it that is almost identical to the Elegoo one except that the connector for the USB daughter board is slightly different.
It uses the same LCD as the Elegoo Mars 2, which is a ChiTu 6.08 Inch 2k Mono LCD Screen DXQ608-X04. The touchscreen is a 3.5" touchscreen and looks like the chitu one.
The lead screw and stepper motor (Type 42SHD0430-280NL) are different as the Alkaid has a 2 start lead screw and the elgoo appears to have a 4 start, but I have not seen an elegoo in person so I could be wrong.
The FEP film is something that I have not found an exact replacement as it has some oval cutouts. I’m not sure on how important it is to have these and I will probably try to just use a standard FEP film with out the oval cut outs. The alkaid prints a little higher with maxium Z height being 190mm vs 155mm for the elegoo. The LED light source looks very similar but instead of the LEDs being mounted on a separate heat sink the PCB for the LED array has been screen printed onto the aluminum frame that forms the bottom of the machine.
I have not updated the firmware on it yet. It came with V4.4.1_LCDC /1620X2560 /F9.23. There is newer firmware available on the Chitu site (4.4.3 F9.25). You will need to dump the machine parameters from your machine before upgrading as they were not supplied on the USB that came with the machine. Geeetech can probably send you the old firmware as well which should have the parameters.gcode file as well.
Thanks for the update. I have actually yet to start playing with it.
Just a heads up. I have just found that the cfg file that Geeetech supply to setup Chitubox has the wrong dimensions in it. It sets the X size to 82.560mm and you will need to change this to 82.620mm otherwise it will not print dimensionally correct.
This is something to keep in mind. Most resin printers use chitubox boards
So boards across printers are pretty much the same. I believe next time I’ll build a resin printer using of the commercial boards / screen combos available online.
The other option is using an RPI or similar to drive a 4K / 8k display.
The main reason I’m interested an rpi based solution is that chitubox controls the software and the hardware and they’re locking down the hardware in the new software revisions
So you can use chitbox to slice or one of their official partners; I believe you have to be approved or license from them to write a slicer for their boards, which makes me feel uncomfortable. At this beginning stage, why invest into a platform that is so proprietary.
Right now the price of admission is pretty cheap for this particular printer. I’m more curious about what all the fuss is about then what I would really use it for. If it really takes off, there is bound to be more competition in the slicer software.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to have a proprietary printer. I have an elegoo saturn.
I’m just saying, as a community makers should really work on an open source SLA printer as opposed to everyone only buying chitubox. If we all buy chitubox where will the community be in the future?
It’s interesting that we had some of that early on in resin printing, and seem to have lost it. I went looking, and found Photonic3D which seems at least to have some active forks. No idea how well it works or what printers / firmware it can work with though. I don’t know what is out there generally because I’ve avoided resin printers.
I seem to recall that there were a bunch of slicers years ago when folks were making more home-grown SLA printers?
It’s not really cost effective to build one, which is part of the problem…but chitubox and lychee slicer are beginning to charge for some features of their software…it becomes kind of lock in if you look into the future if people don’t keep up with open source alternatives. Buying the printer, and then paying a subscription because you’re not allowed to you an open source slicer.
I don’t mean to highjack this thread. I just noticed talking about chitubox boards and stuff
I think chitubox makes amazing hardware and it’s a great price point
All input is welcome!
So far I can use both chitubox and lychee free versions for my slicing. I will then run it through UVtools to check/fix some items. I haven’t found a huge need to buy the “pro” versions of either.