Official Website & Shop: www.ilios3d.com A high resolution and accuracy 3D printer, designed for mechanical engineering & DIY'ers.
There are many different 3D printing solutions currently available, however few are affordable enough for an average person or a small business, that can produce precision results and have flexible as well as modular features. The developers of the OSRC system were in a pretty tight spot when it comes to budget and needed a machine accurate enough for producing enclosures and other mechanical parts for the OSRC product line. As a result, the Ilios HD Kit was created. A machine that is entirely made from aluminum and hardened steel parts, which shall outlast any abuse and provide repeatable results every time.
Although the way that most 3D models are created may vary and techniques may seem different, models large enough and accurate enough are very difficult to manufacture unless a hefty budget is available. Most SLA (Stereo Lithography) 3D printers available for a low budget, can only produce small objects and the machines them selves are quite limited when it comes to fast modifications and alterations.
Ilios was created in such a way, that it can be assembled just as easy as an Ikea piece of furniture and modified with simple rearrangement of parts. Additionally, the build area can be adjusted for small objects as well as large ones. Motion accuracy, torque and other characteristics are all exchangeable and can be found easily in almost any resource that was initially made for CNC machining.
Since all products that are made by the rdGizmo For You LTD team are Open Source, an entirely wonderful and rich in content community becomes available for those who already have the Ilios Kit and those who want one. People share their experience with the kit, exchange their own modifications and setups. The software for the machine is Open as well and can easily be modified to suit your needs, making the Ilios Kit a wonderful addition to anyone's collection of Must Have tools.
The main purpose of the Ilios Kit from the beginning was to be affordable enough to be able to do highly accurate builds, without large expenses. Since our goal is to help all those who are talented and have ideas which need to become a reality, pricing for the machine does not exceed whatever expenses we need for producing it and keeping the OSRC project alive. Considering that the hardware from which the Ilios Kit is comprised, was designed for highly accurate mechanical applications, the benefits that are gained from it exceed by far its initial cost.
02. Modular Mechanics
The entire kit is made up from aluminum extrusions which can be easily rearranged in any needed configuration, besides the one provided. Altering the distance from the projection surface, exchanging mounts or even motion assemblies can become quite difficult for those not familiar with mechanical engineering. With an already rich set of components in the kit, rearranging any aspect becomes simple and even enjoyable.
03. Universal Compatibility
You are not bound by the products available in the kit, if you need to create a result which the machine was not meant for. Altering the projector or modifying the entire build area is a matter of exchanging components, without violating the overall design of the machine. If a different configuration is required, it can be achieved by using off the shelf parts and simply bolting them on, with minimal to no alteration to the original design.
04. Open Source
The Ilios Kit, just like every other product from rdGizmo For You LTD is provided in an Open form. Designs can be reviewed, altered and recreated if the budget permits it. Since all aspects of the kit can be freely shared, it is much simpler to modify each section and use designs of others who know what they are doing. Gaining the benefit from the knowledge of other contributors is a valuable asset for the Ilios Kit and a very useful aspect for your end result.
Some of the features, designed specifically for the Ilios Kit are worth mentioning, since these are the features that make the machine stand out from the rest. Besides its modular and Open design, the mechanical components that make the Ilios Kit unique are invaluable for any DIY'er or professional. The fact that multiple projections can be used and a larger area for your build can be achieved, makes the Ilios Kit as expandable and versatile as you need it to be.
One of the most important parts for any 3D printer is its motion. How accurately it can move to any location, without loosing its path and keeping the distances as close to what the computer thinks they are. This becomes especially important when you are building a 3D model where every millimeter or even a micron can make a difference for your end result and the correct dimensions are all that matter when you are building a mechanical part.
The spindles used in the Ilios Kit are made from hard metal and polished to a mirror finish. All connections made between the motion and the static surface of the machine are transferred through ball bearings and produce rigid and accurate movements. Besides the fact that the model Lift assembly is held by the ball bearing spindles, which in most cases would be enough, it is also being held by two ball bearing slides. Together, the motion that is produced is so rigid that there is virtually no flex (deviation from the predefined path) in the movement when opposite forces apply.
Besides the highly accurate motion, another factor is just as important. The backlash of the motion can mean everything when it comes to 3D printing. Since each layer is built with a constant motion of the lift back and forth, if the motion it self cannot come to the same spot every time and deviates even by a miniscule amount, your entire build shall not be accurate anymore, mo matter how good the rest of the equipment is. It is this repeated accuracy that is what the Ilios Kit provides and creates a solid stepping stone for the rest of the build process.
Motor Control & Software
As an Open Source community, we like to take advantage of all the wonders that others contribute to the cause and help out in return with the same enthusiasm. The motion control on Ilios is no different from a typical CNC machine since the electronics and motors as well as the software, comes from the same family. Although the components may seem quite typical, it is their combination and cooperation in the correct order, that makes 3D printing possible.
The Ilios Kit provides 2 separate motions with the help from 3 motors. The two motors are used to work together and lift the build platform from the material. The third motor is used to tilt the material container and detach each layer from the surface, without force or destruction to the layer it self. It is this combination of lifting, tilting and projection that provides smooth results and creates the best possible model.
Just like the rest of the Ilios Kit, it is also possible to exchange the default motor configuration and mount different types of electronics, for even greater resolution. With even the default setup however, the resolution of which the machine is capable of, is not fully used. To explain this better here is a small description of how this works.
The pitch of the lifting spindle is 2.5mm. This means that for every full rotation of the spindle, it lifts the platform 2.5mm. The default stepper motors that come with the Ilios HD Kit can produce 200 steps per revolution. This means that each step the motor shall make, it shall lift the model 0.0125mm or 12.5 microns. A resolution of 12 microns per layer is far greater than anyone would ever need since the default build layer size is almost always set to 0.1mm by software (which can be freely modified). However, since the electronics of the motor are capable of achieving micro-stepping, each motor can do up to 1/16 of a step, which results to 3200 steps per revolution. Without doing the math you already can see that the resolution that can be achieved is just too great for anyone to ever need. There are naturally drawbacks to each configuration and benefits, which are different for every application.
The projection of your layer is yet another important factor that can distinguish a detailed model from a very poor one. Based on your budget you have the ability to choose what type of objects the Ilios Kit shall be building and without many time consuming modifications, adjust it accordingly.
Unlike most similar 3D printing solutions, the Ilios Kit gives you the opportunity to use not just one but two projectors in the same machine space, increasing your build area and quality even more. For those who demand the most from a 3D printer, this can become crucial and make all the difference when creating a final result. As always, we like to innovate in everything we do and multiple projection surfaces is just one of the innovations we use to accomplish our goal.
The same configuration as you can see in the picture to your right, is used for creating parts for our own OSRC project and is being put to the test every time a new component is created. Naturally we share our work with others and discuss our progress as well as help everyone in their own application, through the Forum and other content on the website.
Without a doubt, having the ability to use different projection solutions, makes the Ilios Kit ideal for any budget, since projectors can become quite expensive based on their specifications. With the ability to combine low budget projections in pairs, to achieve your goal, the Ilios Kit makes any creator think more about the model that is being built, rather than the capabilities of the machine being used.
The Ilios mechanical design is large enough to accommodate even large projectors and pair them for an optimal result. Through a selection of mounting configurations, you have the ability to customize your Ilios Kit the way you need it to be and always based on your budget. Always having the ability to upgrade and alter an already fruitful investment, without changing an entire machine to accommodate your future goals.