The ProMaker D35 3D Printer: Batch Production with Speed and Resolution
Michael Molitch-Hou posted on August 17, 2016 |
The ProMaker D35 is a high-speed, relatively large machine capable of 3D printing high-resolution ob...

Prodways is an interesting player in the 3D printing industry, both from a business standpoint and a technological one. Previously known as Phidias, the French 3D printer manufacturer was purchased by high-tech product manufacturer the Gorgé Group in 2013 and given the name Prodways.

While the 3D printing subsidiary has gone on to sell multiple 3D printing technologies, Prodways’ proprietary process is a unique style of digital light projection (DLP) called MOVINGLight. The technology relies on ultraviolet (UV) light emitting diode (LED) projectors to quickly harden large vats of photopolymer resin with high resolution.

The ProMaker D35 3D printer from Prodways. (Image courtesy of Prodways.)
The ProMaker D35 3D printer from Prodways. (Image courtesy of Prodways.)

The ProMaker D35 is the system with the highest resolution of the 3D printers in the MOVINGLight series, capable of achieving 25-micron (0.001 in) layer thicknesses and 32-micron (0.0012 in) resolution across the X and Y axes. It features two LED projectors and a build volume of 720 mm x 230 mm x 150 mm (28 in x 9 in x 6 in). Prodways suggests that the machine’s granite print bed decreases the need for support structures, increases the stability of the system and, ultimately, improves productivity.

3D-printed dental model made with PLASTCure Model 300 resin. (Image courtesy of Prodways.)
3D-printed dental model made with PLASTCure Model 300 resin. (Image courtesy of Prodways.)

The ProMaker D35 is compatible with a number of different resins, including opaque plastic materials (PLASTCure Model 100, PLASTCure Model 300, PLASTCure Model 310), castable photopolymers for lost wax casting (PLASTCure Cast 100 and PLASTCure Cast 200) and transparent resins (PLASTCure Clear 100 and PLASTCure Clear 200) for 3D printing clear surgical guides. While the opaque plastics may be ideal for creating highly detailed models or dental prostheses, the castable resins can be turned into metal components, such as dental crowns, due to low residual ash content.

A clear medical model 3D-printed with PLASTCure Clear 200 resin. (Image courtesy of Prodways.)
A clear medical model 3D-printed with PLASTCure Clear 200 resin. (Image courtesy of Prodways.)

How the ProMaker D35 Works

The ProMaker D35 is a DLP 3D printer, relying on DLP projectors to cast UV light onto photocurable resin. This system specifically features two 1920 x 1080 pixel projectors mounted to an X-Y gantry above the vat. The 365-nm UV light hardens a layer of resin at a time before the build tray is raised by increments and a wiper evens the next layer of material.

This process is repeated until the print is complete; the excess photopolymer is drained away. Afterward, prints are removed with a metal spatula, rinsed and put through a secondary curing process to further harden the material.

The MOVINGLight process with DLP projector pointed directly at the vat from above. (Image courtesy of Prodways.)
The MOVINGLight process with DLP projector pointed directly at the vat from above. (Image courtesy of Prodways.)

While many DLP systems direct light from below the vat of photopolymer resin, MOVINGLight technology sees the projectors mounted onto an X-Y gantry above the vat. Moreover, the light LEDs actually move along a path that is perpendicular to the resin, unlike fixed DLP systems that cast light from a single point onto the entire print bed. This leads to higher resolution parts across the entire build area, according to Prodways.


The MOVINGLight system is scalable and the size of the machines are limited only by the manufacturer’s decision-making process and business model. Due to the fact that there are two LED projectors attached to the X-Y gantry, the ProMaker D35 is able to produce large objects or batches of objects quickly. At 720 mm (28 in) wide, the ProMaker D35 is robust in size and, according to Prodways, is capable of 3D printing at 10 times the speed of other DLP systems on the market.

Due to the high resolution and materials made available for the ProMaker D35, the system may be ideal for the production of dental devices, surgical guides, medical models and jewelry. The ProMaker D35 has the speed and size for serial manufacturing, making it more suitable for high-volume labs and production facilities rather than boutique dental offices.

The ProMaker D35 in Action

Rather than rely on fixed braces to straighten teeth, DentoSmile, a subsidiary of Biotech Dental, offers removable aligners, meant to be more comfortable than metal braces, which must be removed by dental professionals. To produce custom, clear aligners en masse, the French dental implant and orthodontics manufacturer turned to Prodways and the ProMaker D35.

3D-printed models of patients’ teeth. (Image courtesy of Biotech Dental.)
3D-printed models of patients’ teeth. (Image courtesy of Biotech Dental.)

3D scans of patients’ mouths are translated into 3D printable models. Once printed, the clear plastic aligners are heated and shaped (thermoformed) over the models, which, once printed, are tailored specifically to the wearer. To print the models, DentoSmile uses Prodways’ PLASTCure Model 300 resin. With the ability to withstand temperatures as high as 266 °F (130 °C) and a flexural modulus of 2400 mPa, this material is engineered to endure the thermoforming process.

Biotech Dental technicians thermoforming aligners over 3D-printed models of patient teeth. (Image courtesy of Biotech Dental.)
Biotech Dental technicians thermoforming aligners over 3D-printed models of patient teeth. (Image courtesy of Biotech Dental.)

The end product is capable of surviving daily wear with wearers changing aligners every three weeks before ultimately achieving straightened teeth over the course of six to 18 months. In turn, DentoSmile is able to take a bit out of manufacturing time with the ProMaker D35.

Robin Maisonneuve, marketing director of BioTech Dental, said of the technology, “DentoSmile has been able to offer a high-quality realignment technique through the use of the high-precision ProMaker D35 from Prodways. With a production capacity of 54 models in approximately four hours, DentoSmile is also increasing its production capacity of dental models for thermoforming aligners.”

Maisonneuve explained that, for his business, the ProMaker D35 had no real disadvantages. “At Dentosmile, we manufacture only one type of product with globally always the same size of batch. The ProMaker D35 is the optimum solution regarding our specific requirements,” Maisonneuve said. While the machine may be optimal for batch production or 3D printing large, detailed parts, it may not be ideal for smaller print jobs that do not require the same size and performance.

Manufacturer: Prodways

Model: ProMaker D35

Material: Opaque plastic materials (PLASTCure Model 100, PLASTCure Model 300, PLASTCure Model 310), castable photopolymers for lost wax casting (PLASTCure Cast 100 and PLASTCure Cast 200) and transparent resins (PLASTCure Clear 100 and PLASTCure Clear 200).

Build Envelope: 720 mm x 230 mm x 150 mm (28 in x 9 in x 6 in)

Layer Thickness: 25 µ (.001 in)

Printer Dimensions: 2100 mm x 800 mm x 2000 mm (83 in x 31 in x 79 inches)

Printer Weight: 1750 kg (3850 lbs)

Recommended Uses: Mass production models, castable parts and guides for the medical, dental and jewelry industries.

Machine Price: USD$388,045 (EUR€350,000)

Who Should Use the ProMaker D35:

Given the large size and fast speeds of the ProMaker D35, the system is ideal of batch production or 3D printing sizeable parts. For this reason, the system is more suited to medical and dental labs or production facilities.

Why You Wouldn't You Use the ProMaker D35:

For those looking to 3D print small items and one-off designs, other 3D printers may be a better fit.


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