DIY high resolution 3D DLP printer (3D SLA printer)

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Hello World (skip the first two pages to go directly to the build)
Please like my brand new facebook page to stay up to date of my new projects and progress on the 3D printer.

It's over a year now and we made a lot of progress in 3D DLP printing, check out our new printer at ATUM3D!

I have to admit that I have not been active on Instructables for quite a while now, this because we (yes it is we now :D) have been busy developing a 3D printer. A 3D dlp printer to be exact, an open source high resolution 3D DLP printer to be even more exact.
We have now finished version 1.0 and now it is time to share our learnings with the rest of the world.

Why did we work on a 3D printer?
Well as you all know the world needs more 3D printers, more platforms for creation, more freedom. More possible ways to show your epic awesomeness in creation. And most of all the freedom to design and fabricate exactly what you need, when you need it without any barriers. In short 3D printers are awesome, you can never have enough 3D printers.

Why did we work on a 3D Direct Light Processing printer (DLP)?
3D printers come in many shapes, sizes and varieties. There is Fused Deposition Modelling, FDM for short this is the category the RepRap community largely falls in to. Your Makerbots and Ultimakers that use a heated nozzle through which a filament is heated and deposited on the desired location. There are various powder bed 3D print techniques, where the powder particles are selectively fused together with a laser or glued together with a printed adhesive. And there is a variety of photo lithography 3D printing methods.
In lithography light is used to cure a resin to become a solid, the nice thing with this process is that where the light does not shine on the resin it stays liquid.

We found that there are two main DIY 3D printer routes out there that are easily accessible, FDM and photo lithography.
When googleing the WWW we found that there are absolute tons and tons of FDM 3D printers out there all working on roughly the same principles all producing roughly the same results.

Next to that stereo photo lithography has until now only been made really accessible to the community only by one guy, Michael Joyce from the B9 Creator. This is an awesome achievement! For us this also means that the world needs more and different kinds of these projects to become really open source. Photo lithography is an very precise method of manufacturing, in the past feature sizes of 100nm where obtained. No idea how big this is in inches (sorry people from the USA) but I estimate that if you squeeze your fingers together the space between your fingers is slightly less than 100nm.
In other words amazingly small feature size. We would love to make very accurate 3d prints.
So we based our choice of what kind of printer to explore on the possible feature size, accessibility of materials, ease of manufacture and the fact that a relative few have walked this path before us.

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巧文曾11 days ago


DannyR427 days ago

If you are in the Netherlands, you have missed FunToDo resins. We have no VOC's in our resins. We have various blends: Castable, Industrial and Standard. starts at €45,- p/kg. We have distributors all over the world where you can order at local shipping costs and no import duties.

CB.jpgFTD Dragon Logo .jpgIB.jpgSB.jpg
jaehwa.han1 month ago

is it needed to replace lamp of projector with uv lamp? Or that Acer projector has the uv lamp in it?

phys123 months ago

Congratulation on the project.

It might be a non-sense question but why dlp printers move up and down is there any reason ? Anyone can answer, i would be glad

Also did you finish V.2.

Thank you

fenix910 phys121 month ago

because the layers of solidified material are deing added at the bottom of the resin bucket, since that's the place where the light hits the resin and solidifies it.

Great project!!! There's actually a TED Talk regarding this procces:

I think DLP 3D printers are becoming cheaper (also the assembled ones), I hope
more and more companies will jump in to develop more resins/materials
and make these wonderful techniques available to everyone.

TimSwift3 months ago
TristramBudel (author)  TimSwift3 months ago
I believe so, nice bargain
dandrews11384 months ago

Is there a single list somewhere of all the materials needed? I found a lot of sub-lists, but not one comprehensive list of all materials.

The rapid prototyping industry uses this technology, FDM and SLA for master pattern when building a mold for plastic injection.
Brecher Prototyping helps people & companies innovate, grow and bring new ideas to market.

Hi ,anybody know where to download firmware for Ramps1.4 board,I want DIY a DLP-SLA 3D Printer

First off, your instructable is great! I love this concept. I wonder if you have any information on doing this using an LCD instead of DLP?

I want to downsize this for a smaller build platform and reduce costs from the DLP and overall mass of the printer as well. Pretty much I'd like an iBox Nano that isn't quite so nano. Any thoughts or useful links? I tried to find an existing instructable but came up empty.

en2oh6 months ago

for those interested, thin sheet borosilicate is available from this source in the USA at a reasonable price per sheet but apart from the expansion coefficient and the strength, I don't think that the transmission of crown glass is much worse than borosilicate (but much cheaper). To really make a difference, you need to go Quartz glass (IMO, anyway)

en2oh en2oh6 months ago

en2oh6 months ago

just a follow up to my question about Sylgaard print adheasive due to capillary action between the slice and the silicone layer. Since you use a 0.7mm borosilicate window, I wonder if the flexibility of this sheet allows the build plate to pull the print off the window. Did you carry this design forward into your Atum 3D printer?

en2oh6 months ago

great instructable I am not sure how you deal with adheason of the semi cured slice onto the Sylgaard? In some systems, a tilt mechanism is used but I don't think you are using anything beyond brute force to lift the build platform off the exposure window. Am I missing something?

madaeon6 months ago

Hi, if you want to support a Maker who decided to make this his job, have a look at LumiPocket, an affordable, easy to use portable 3d Dlp printer!


hello !!!it needs only clean ethanol and some time in the sun and then you can grab with bare hands the piece you print without causing no harm to ourselves? please if anyone knows that reply as fast as you can

Viction7 months ago
are those kits still available?
MichaelD338 months ago

Hmm, could you use 20x20mm aluminum extrusions? but just give the printer more support?

archy5879 months ago

Hey this is a really awesome project. I have several reprap style printers that produce ok prints. Definitely not possible to get the quality out of them that is possible here. I knew this when I started 3d printing, but I assumed the FDM style was the only open source style of 3d printing, that was not protected by IP or patents.

Im wondering, if you tried to build your own SLA printer and sell it, or sell parts that you printed using SLA technology, do you think you would run into some trouble from any companies owning patents to this technology??

Gnathion20009 months ago

I would like to find a projector that will allow a 12x12cm build envelope at 50 micron accuracy. Any suggestions?

Gnathion20009 months ago

Has anyone else found better projector options to use?

clai49 months ago

Hi ,anybody know where to download firmware for Ramps1.4 board,I want DIY a DLP-SLA 3D Printer (I am Chinese ,My English is very poor ,thanks everybody,thanks)


dbeaven11 year ago
I just finished my 3D DLP Printer. I've always wanted to make one, but this DIY article you made got me inspired to actually do it. Thanks! I used a linear actuator from ebay for my Z axis with a Nema 23. Two threaded rods with little Nema 17 steppers for my Y axis to slide before rise. Arduino Mega and Ramps 1.4. An a whole bunch of aluminum 1" T-slot from 20/20. I printed the chess rook at 25% yesterday and it came out great! First print! Second print, my glass broke on the Z axis, need to find another material that can handle the suction... But I'm on my way.

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this write up - it's been VERY helpful!
bencini dbeaven110 months ago

hi i'm going to build the printer like the one here do you have any advice for me? have you made lot of modification from this instructables ?
have you put a tilting mechanism on the printer? if yes how? do you have some photos? thx


dbeaven1 bencini10 months ago
I made a blog on my build. You can see it here:

I used a sliding mechanism instead of tilting. This works very well. I also increased the build height to 14 inches.
That s a very accomplished imitation you've made!
Have you added a y axis to enlarge the print footprint with 2 separate projections, or as your version of the "tilt and rise" approach to releasing between layers ?
A lot of difficulty seems to be associated with getting the resin to stick on the top "base plate" and release on the bottom "build plate".
Has anyone tried using an ultrasonic cleaning bath transducer on the build glass, and a hermetically profiled suction print at the top "base" ?

Excellent work, and I want to try one myself.

did someone tryed this idea ? i had this idea too to minimize the suction. but there is not so much to find about in the net. suction + ultrasonic doesnt give much answers

TristramBudel (author)  dbeaven11 year ago
Awesome, congradulations on your build. Can I ask you for some pics of your build and your printed projects to put on our page. I would love to show of to the world that this is maybe not the easiest but definately a doable build.
Sure - not a problem. I only have the one build, once I get my anodized aluminum build plate on, I'll be making more. Almost 100% positive it'll stick better then the cheap picture glass im using now.

Thanks Again!
Drake41110 months ago

I love that DIY heat sink. Nice.

dgojanov11 months ago

yes, i would like to order your kit.

my email adress is

taskman1 year ago

Wow the guys in China have the same desk and printed parts :) Someone should probably talk to them about it

I'll be building this soon, but I'm wondering if there's a way to create a host-free mechanism of this? Many FDM printers can be hosted by an LCD module with an SD card in it. I would love to be able to do this, because I'm building mine for my school, and we don't have an excess of computers available, but it would be simple to use a SD card.

Use a Raspberry PI.

raranjbar1 year ago

Can i use this projector???

ACER X1163

UHP lamp

gefatter1 year ago


What was your final conclusion for the material of the buildplate (the upper one) for Spot-A materials? I have tryed Aluminium and glass, but none of both stick good enough. With Makerjuice Material Aluminum is good!

sambalbij1 year ago
Great project! I notice 10 x 10 cms is not really a lot. How large can you make the print size without losing detail?
TristramBudel (author)  sambalbij1 year ago
You can make it 10x19cm without losing detail
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