#3DStartup: Sprybuild and the Automation of Resin 3D Printing

Published on May 7, 2024 by Madeleine P.

Based in Israel, Sprybuild has set itself the goal of developing automated 3D printing solutions, offering greater flexibility for the user. With this in mind, it has designed a resin 3D printer with a conveyor belt. Instead of the traditional printing plate, a metal conveyor belt is used to unroll the parts as they are printed. The company has opted for a DLP process, capable of high speeds. Sprybuild is also focusing on a post-processing system, the aim being to automate the entire work flow and offer a turnkey solution. We caught up with CEO Oleg Khalip to find out more about this 3D printer, the startup’s objectives and future developments.

3DN: Could you introduce yourself and Sprybuild?

My name is Oleg Khalip and I am the CEO of Sprybuild. I have founded and managed several manufacturing-related companies in Ukraine since 1992. I have been actively involved in invention and engineering. In 2016, I gathered a team of enthusiasts and founded Sprybuild – a startup specializing in the development of advanced 3D printing solutions. Since then, I’ve led and funded this project until the outbreak of war and our relocation to Haifa, Israel. It was here that we rethought our products, began to implement new ideas and forged extremely important partnerships.

The Sprybuild team

Our aim is to revolutionize the manufacturing industry by offering automated, efficient 3D printing solutions that can be applied in a variety of sectors – from aerospace to medicine. Our innovations aim to simplify manufacturing processes, reduce costs and minimize environmental impact. We believe that 3D printing offers unlimited possibilities for creating a more sustainable future, which is why we are constantly working to improve our technologies and expand their applications. At Sprybuild, we’re proud of our team, who are at the heart of our innovative activities. Thanks to their expertise and creative approach, we are able to implement 3D printing technologies that not only meet, but far exceed the effectiveness of solutions available on the market.

3DN: How did the idea for Sprybuild come about?

With a background in precision engineering and chemical manufacturing, along with the resources and entrepreneurial experience, I dreamed of radically accelerating the 3D printing process. In 2016, with a small research group, we embarked on the adventure. In 2017, at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, we presented our first high-speed resin 3D printer prototype in action: at the time, we set a record for print speed-10 mm/min along the Z axis, still an impressive result. We were inspired, and I think that’s when Sprybuild really became a company, but we still had to understand the challenges of the industry and set our goals correctly.

3DN: Could you tell us more about your machine?

At the heart of the Sprybuild printer is DLP technology, with a conveyor belt in place of a printing plate. This metal belt moves at an acute angle to the DLP projection, and features a remarkably high degree of surface stabilization, achieved through the use of an effective yet simple magnetic system. What’s more, it features an automatic part release function that virtually eliminates printer downtime.

Sprybuild’s technology implements a solid optical interface, enabling a continuous build process similar to, but distinct from, the CLIP technology developed by Carbon3D. The challenge was twofold: to eliminate the need to inhibit the resin near the interface and, at the same time, to create “dead zones” where the resin could remain liquid. These zones are crucial to ensure a smooth flow of resin into the print zone, a key factor in achieving high-speed printing. Sprybuild’s ingenuity has enabled us to develop an interface that meets these requirements, ensuring efficient resin flow and curing only where necessary.

We were the first to develop a unique continuous manufacturing process which does not require resin inhibition by oxygen or light, and which can use a wide variety of UV resins. In a recent prototype, we achieved stable, high-quality printing of dental models at a speed of 55 mm/min (100 micron layer), with the possibility of reaching 150 mm/min.

Sprybuild is developing a fully automated post-processing system for the printer. It aims to handle the flow of printed parts sequentially, eliminating the need for human intervention in post-printing stages, which traditionally include cleaning, drying and curing printed objects, as well as minimizing human contact with potentially hazardous materials such as alcohol and resins.

This approach streamlines the entire additive manufacturing process, from printing to post-processing, making it more efficient and scalable. It addresses one of the major challenges of additive manufacturing, namely the reduction of labor- and time-intensive steps after printing, which can often become bottlenecks in production flows. By automating these steps, Sprybuild not only improves productivity, but also guarantees consistent quality for all printed parts, as post-processing is precisely controlled and executed.

Furthermore, this development aligns with the industry’s move towards fully automated additive manufacturing solutions, where the aim is to minimize human error and labor costs while maximizing yield and quality. The integration of an automated post-processing system with Sprybuild’s continuous resin 3D printing technology represents a step forward in making 3D printing more viable for mass production and a wide range of industrial applications.

The resin 3D printer is equipped with a conveyor belt for greater productivity and automation.

3DN: What are the applications for Sprybuild’s 3D printer?

Sprybuild offers specialized solutions for various applications:

  • The manufacture of dental models, improving the precision of dental care.
  • In the footwear industry, our technology will streamline the production of uppers and insoles, offering unrivalled customization and comfort.
  • The versatility of our printers extends to the production of spectacle frames, bringing new levels of design freedom and durability.
  • In the healthcare sector, our solutions facilitate the manufacture of hearing aids and prosthetic elements, giving priority to patients’ specific needs for a better quality of life.
  • Our technology is ideally suited to the creation of detailed combustion models for precision molding, essential for high-quality components in various industries.
  • The production of connectors and housings for electrical equipment will also benefit from significant improvements in efficiency and quality, enabling us to meet the demands of the rapidly evolving electronics market.

3DN: What are Sprybuild’s next projects?

Sprybuild aims to change the 3D printing landscape by merging autonomous hardware capabilities with an advanced AI software stack. Although still in the early stages of software development, Sprybuild has already successfully integrated key functions such as automated slicing and nesting directly into the printer.

The next phase focuses on the development of AI-based scanning and quality validation systems. These components are not mere enhancements; they are essential to ensure stable, reliable printer operation. Once fully implemented, they will enable self-calibration and an “autopilot mode” for the printing process.

Sprybuild’s integration of advanced software and hardware capabilities lays the foundations for a more robust and reliable subscription-based business model. This model not only ensures that users always have access to the latest advances, but also positions Sprybuild as a partner in their operational success, providing ongoing support, updates and enhancements. This approach could significantly reduce the barrier to entry for high-quality 3D printing, making it accessible to a wider range of businesses and industries.

The resin machine

3DN: Any last words for our readers?

The incredible quality and range of products we can now create with photopolymer resins is truly exciting. Their cost is falling, opening up a world of possibilities for manufacturing customized items on an industrial scale. We have everything from tough, durable resins to flexible elastomers, special resins that burn cleanly for molding, and even materials that blend ceramics or metals into the mix.

SLA’s slowness is just the tip of the iceberg. Manufacturers face a whole host of problems: prep work can be tedious, achieving consistent quality can feel like a gamble, and I’m not talking about the lack of automation in post-processing. And then there’s the waste – those support structures and IPA cleaning solutions – plus all the manual labor and the pile of extra equipment you need.

We didn’t shy away from these challenges. We rolled up our sleeves and set ourselves ambitious goals. Seven years of blood, sweat and tears later, we’re proud to say that we’ve found a solution for every one of them. It’s not just about making things faster or cheaper. It’s about pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with 3D printing and making it an essential part of industrial manufacturing. We’re talking about a future where made-to-measure will be the new norm.

What do you think of Sprybuild? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly newsletter here for the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

*All Photo Credits: Sprybuild

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