ZHUHAI, China, July 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- At the end of June, Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co., Ltd. announced that it was set to release a next-generation SLA 3D Printer, the Riverside, arousing a strong response across the global technology community. Media outlets including Techcrunch, 3DPrint.com, 3Dprintingindustry.com and Geeky-gadgets.com have all reported on the announcement.
3DPrint.com reported it first: "It's no secret that when it comes to 3D printing China is becoming a formidable force within both the consumer and industrial spaces. [...] While there are numerous 3D printer manufacturers from China making extensive inroads within the global market, few, if any, have emerged on the seen as rapidly as Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co. has."
3DPrint has been tracking the developing trends across the 3D printing industry for a long time, and is the number one professional media outlet in the industry. The publication has frequently reported on Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co.'s activities. The report goes on, "The company has just announced a forthcoming machine which they believe may open the market wide open for desktop stereolithography 3D printers. Called the CTC Riverside Photocuring 3D Printer, their new machine will officially be unveiled at the International Software Convergence & Innovation Expo 2015 in early July."
"The new printer will be priced at just $1,480 in the United States, making it more affordable than many of the FDM/FFF machines on the market, and substantially more affordable that other SLA machines such as the Form 1 from Formlabs."
In addition, Michael Molitch-Hou, Editor-In Chief of 3D Printing Industry, wrote in an article on June 25th, "CTC's Low-Cost SLA 3D Printer Soon Available Around the World," that:
"Once Chinese electronics manufacturer Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co., Ltd decided to get into the 3D printing space, they decided to take that space by storm, releasing a popular desktop FFF 3D printer, then an SLA printer, and a larger FFF 3D printer. They've also opened a large manufacturing plant and even claim to be working on a full-color 3D printer to be unveiled next year. Now, their SLA machine is just about ready to ship worldwide, starting this July."
"The Riverside SLA 3D printer is meant to be a low-cost method for introducing desktop SLA machines to the public. To be unveiled at the China (Qingdao) International Software Convergence & Innovation Expo 2015 next month, CTC describes the $1,480 Riverside as having "a resin plate with the longest longevity to date". Such a claim is made based on the use of a "special thin film" that separates the resin and the base, "extending the plate's service life from a mere dozen or so days to several months, greatly reducing the printing cost."
However, not all reports are complimentary. Taking a more skeptical stance, John Biggs, Editor of TechCrunch who just visited Formlabs in June, wrote: "The eagle-eyed among you will notice something interesting about the Riverside SLA 3D Printer. Almost all of the design -- from the removable build plate to the jolly front button -- is a direct homage to the Formlabs Form 1. One could assume, therefore, that the Riverside should (and does) print 3D objects as well as the Form 1 and should be a comparable product. However, where the Form 1 costs $3,299 and has been tested for usability and safety, the Riverside costs $1,480."
Biggs highly praised Formlabs' Form 1 and took an arguably subjective approach when he said that the quality and service of the Riverside were not as good as the Form 1:
"In a normal market falling prices like these are just fine. You want a $20 t-shirt to eventually cost $2 because automation and mass production allow for lower prices and higher volume. However, in technology falling prices are dangerous. At lower price points technology doesn't become a commodity, it becomes low-quality craft. While I won't say that $3,300 isn't a lot of money, we can assume that Formlabs drove their price down as far as possible while taking into account research and development. The Riverside rides on the coattails of that design and even cuts a few corners to get there."
Responding to the criticism, He Siyi, Manager for Public Relations at CTC, said: We are pleased that the Riverside has grabbed a lot of attention from foreign technology media outlets. We respect Formlabs' efforts in the desktop SLA area, and have no intention to denigrate any competitors. In fact, all users who have personally used such devices have acknowledged that almost every product available provides more than one bad experience, so there is still a huge space for them to improve design. Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co., Ltd, as a world's leading 3D printer vendor, has invested much in multiple technologies including SLA, in order to provide customers and the industry with highly reliable products that can be widely adopted.
SOURCE Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co., Ltd