Ice 9 SLS printer on the TCT Show floor.
There has been a lot of interest in the name Norge in the 3D printing community since the company burst onto the scene in August with two machines that have the potential to make SLS technology a reality for small companies.
The Norge Ice 9 machine made its debut on the TCT Show floor last week and the team garnered a lot of interest with their super low cost, high quality, SLS printer.
Alessandro Facchini, Co-founder of Norge LTD, “Many people came and were surprised by our machine because we offer SLS technology at a tenth of the price of competitors so there is a lot of interest. But we need that investor partner cause as a start up we put all of our money here but now without help, it’s very hard but we had a lot of contacts so it’s good.”
Norge recently launched a Kickstarter campaign, offering the Ice 1 for £5,000 and Ice 9 for £19,000. Due to restrictions on the crowd-funding site, backers were not able to bid on the Ice 9 machine via the campaign. Although Norge did not reach its Kickstarter target, Alessandro says this experience gave them a better understanding of how to move forward with their technology.
“We tried on Kickstarter but this kind of product is too expensive for Kickstarter. It was a great sounding board for us so it’s good.”
The machine boasts a large build area of 30cm x 30cm x 45cm and a double feed system with a blade that wipes the powder and a 40 Watts CO2 laser. The machine is extra powerful as it can also be used as an engraver as well as a 3D printer. So how exactly did the company manage to produce an SLS machine so cheaply?
“To reduce the price we decided to not include a cleaning station because we think that if you can afford two or three of our machines you do not need to have two or three cleaning stations. You can buy one cleaning station and use it for 10 machines. Our aim was to make affordable technology for all small companies like us, that need this kind of quality but do not have thousands to spend.”
The company recently launched a pre-order page on their website where customers can order either the Ice 1 or Ice 9 featuring heavy discounts on the final price. Norge is apparently already signing agreements with investors and dealers and are planning to make further improvements with its machines to support their functionality across all levels of prototyping.
Alessandro says: “We are using a standard nylon PA12 powder but we plan to come to the market with new products - enriched powder with carbon fibre or other materials and also coloured powder.”