Hexus reports crowd-funding website Kickstarter has given birth to another 3D printer named "Form 1". While most affordable 3D printers use Fused Deposition Modelling with ABS or PLA plastic, this model uses resin that the printer cures to form a model. This technique has poorer build strength and higher material cost, but enables a layer thickness of 25 microns, allowing for much greater detail than the 0.25mm typically found on FDM-based 3D printers.
Resin printers are mechanically simpler and the focus is primarily on the resin that the printer cures to form a model. The system itself typically involves thin layers of resin being exposed to light from a high-brightness projector (yes, the same kind as the one on your office desk!) or a laser. This offers consistent quality and, in the case of the soon-to-be-mentioned Form 1, a layer thickness as small as 25 microns is possible.
Resin itself is tricky and, under certain conditions can be a health hazard, isn't as strong as ABS and can take a while to fully solidify. As such, the material typically costs more to buy, with less choice over suppliers. However, it offers a key missing element that FDM printers can't provide and, that's the accuracy to produce high-detail models where the primary focus is to look pretty rather than to be functional.
The Form 1 3D printer project managed to raise $800,000 in its first 24 hours. Capable of printing models of up to 125mm x 125mm x 165mm, it seems the goal is to offer the printer at around $2,500, with resin costing around $139 per liter.