Just got off the phone with the receptionist at Folger Tech, seems everyone else had gone for the day. Anyway, she gave me the secret email address of: [email protected] to vioce my questions. Apparently it was an oversight on their contacts page? She's new, and wasn't sure, but agreed that it was odd their wasn't any sales email address. So thar ya go.
However, for your emails to be forwarded to the actual technical people, it DOES cost another $99. So add that cost to their (very inexpensive) printers. Smaller build volume than the HICTEC I linked on earlier a couple times. But, she confirmed that the kits are all put together in the US, and that it's a US-based company. They sell the individual parts online, which is a plus.
There is a cheaper laser sla machine from Da Vinci also, I think it is around a thousand, havent heard many reviews on it. So far I will stick with my ABS Printer for 500 with the heated bed. If I keep in 3D printing for a couple more years my next printer will be either sla or sls, but at this point the level of detail is just not worth the upgrade in cost at this point.
The Form-2 3D printer Dirk alludes uses a focused UV projector with mirrors commonly referred to as a spatial coherent laser and or ultraviolet laser. 3D Systems pioneered stereo lithography and UV resin cured technology many years ago. The dental lab market used the early machines with great fervor.
FWIW: there is GRAND difference in resolution as compared to FDM printers. As compared to FDM machines with multiple moving axis, only the work platform or Z axis moves up or down when printing. X and Y axis is executed by the projected/focused UV curing light. A layer of polymer (resin) is drawn over the work platform and screeded off, the UV light projects a pattern onto the "layer' of polymer and cures same rapidly one layer at a time.
I own a 3D System 3D Printer together with an ancillary post system curing oven. Its about nine years old now, I bought it used and the results are exemplary compared to every FDM print I have seen to date.
After quite a bit of comparisons, I decided to get the HIC printer, via Amazon. I ordered on Saturday, and I just received it (on Monday).
Here's a couple of pics of what's in the box.
Some parts are 3d printed, but none were broken, and seemed pretty sturdy. There are cast rails & fittings, stamped sheet metal brackets, machined bits, laser-cut bits, and lots of off-the-shelf bits. And a big bag of fasteners.
Haven't seen instructions yet, but I haven't pulled everything out. I'd heard that it takes a couple days at least to figure out how the thing goes together. I'm hoping to get some further on line documentation, or maybe you-tube help.
I need to complete a model project before diving further into this, but I'll post more when I do.
I am currently finishing up two completely printed G scale locos. I would see no reason that you couldn't print a lead truck, I have completely printed two frames for two tenders as well as a frame for a diesel loco also. As long as you include enough supports in the fill of the material when you print, it would be fine. The only thing I have noticed while printing is that is that the material is not as strong in thinner thickness as cast or injection molded plastic, if you have thin parts in the original you may have to redesign that section to have a thicker cross section.