When we start working with a new brand we always have that point of doubts and expectations, in this case UniFormation has pleasantly surprised us in all aspects.
If you have some experience in the world of 3D printing, perhaps the UniFormation brand is not very well known. Founded in 2016 with the aim of manufacturing resin 3D printers with high quality and especially focused on the needs of companies as users which shows in the detail and quality of their products.
The GKtwo of UniFormation is its latest machine that has impressed us pleasantly both for its printing quality, construction and the detail borrowed in its use, of which we will give you more details below.
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The GKtwo is the evolution of the GKone on which they have applied some more than interesting improvements such as the use of an 8K screen, a really comfortable printing platform system that together with the ingenious VAT and the inclusion of a temperature control system. They make the operation of the printer when handling the machine a real delight.
Plus, the GKtwo doesn’t come alone… UniFormation has launched an ultrasonic cleaner W230 with 7l capacity, which we will show you later, It is specially designed for the GKtwo and in addition to cleaning incredible resin residues is really comfortable to use.
On the other hand, they also have a perfect curing station for our GKtwo, the Curing Box D265 with a curing volume of 260mm(D)*160mm(H).
|LCD resolution||8K (7680*4320)|
|Pixel Size (xy)||29.6 μm|
|Print Size||up to 35 mm/h|
|LCD Protection||Yes, it includes a spare part|
|VAT Film||nFEP, includes spare|
|Kinematics Z||Linear guide|
|Touch screen||5″ capacitive touch|
|Slicer Software||ChiTuBox, Lychee Slicer and GKtwo Slicer|
|Other||Filter and air heater|
|Ultrasonic Resin Cleaner W320|
|Type of cleaning||Ultrasonic|
|Curing Station 10.2″|
|Curing volume||260mm*160 mm3|
|Light Type||400-405 nm, 4 strips (16 LEDs)|
UniFormation with its GKtwo has paid special attention to the packaging of the machine, as well as a complete kit with everything necessary for the start-up and maintenance of our printer.
The GKtwo is built in metal, very compact for the print volume while robust.
In the optical part we have a screen of 10.3 “8K monochrome that gives us a resolution of 7680 * 4320 pixel and an XY resolution of 29.6 microns, which has a protector to prevent damage due to resin leaks and of which we have additional replacement in the kit.
On the front we can find a great 5 “color and touch screen that we have to say is one of the best we have tested. A simple but very complete interface full of options, as well as speed and immediate response time.
In addition, we have a USB connector, we have another on the back, to transfer our projects to the printer and the power button.
As we have mentioned, UniFormation has paid special attention to the ease of use of its printer and these details are proof of this.
On the other hand, we have a folding door in green that, in addition to being resistant to the passage of UV light for the protection of the resin, allows comfortable access to the printer.
Continuing with the mechanical part, we find one of the parts that we liked the most of the design of the GKtwo, its printing and VAT platform system that is extremely comfortable to handle without the need for screws.
It is important to note that the VAT uses an nFEP film that, due to its characteristics, will allow a minimum adhesion, reducing tensions during printing, facilitating higher quality and reducing printing failures.
Also interesting as we discussed, the design of the VAT practically covers the entire internal base of the printer, which allows to protect it from splashes or facilitates the resin filling process enormously.
Another interesting addition, and that will surely improve the quality and avoid printing failures, is the inclusion of a PTC heater in the printing compartment. With it, we can adjust (25ºC, 30ºC, 35ºC) comfortably, depending on the environmental conditions in less than 8 minutes, from the screen to ensure that the temperature is optimal for our printer.
We also have a carbon-based air filtration system, which allows us to considerably reduce the odour of the resin, as well as the filtering of harmful particles such as HCHO/TVOC/AQI.
Again, and related to the usability of the printer, the cartridge is easily replaceable from the outside of the printer.
UniFormation has informed us that they are working to enable the GKtwo to be able to use WiFi being able to send the files directly to our machine wirelessly. We look forward to enjoying it!!
The GKtwo is really simple to set up, to guide you through the process that best a video of Uniformation itself visually explaining the process:
In any case we are going to detail the process we have followed in our case.
Once we have unpacked the printer we will remove the printing platform and the VAT as we can see in the previous video. It is advisable to check that everything has arrived and is in the correct state.
On the back of the GKtwo we will install the carbon filter and again on the front of the printer we will remove the screen protector and the VAT.
We will connect our GKtwo to the current and turn it on, the first step will be to verify that the screen works correctly, for this we will go to the function icon and click on Exposure Test.
For a few seconds we can see on the screen two shapes and a text, if it appears correctly we can continue to the next step, the leveling of our platform.
The system used by the GKtwo for leveling the printing platform is quite different from that used in other brands, but quite comfortable and reliable using a screw and spring system. In any case, nothing better than a video to see how to perform the process.
Now that we have the level printing platform, we will use the screen controls to raise the platform a few mm, enough so that we can remove the platform and install the VAT in its location that fits in some guides to be well fixed.
With the VAT placed we will proceed to fill it with resin to start performing the first tests. The VAT has a capacity of approximately 700 g maximum, we advise you to take the following image as a reference.
We have everything ready, so we can start performing the tests that we have included in the USB of the kit.
Although it is not directly related to the start-up, we advise you to use a drainer for the printing platform, as it often helps to save some resin and minimize splashes.
Before we start showing you some print examples, we would like to talk about the adjustment of exposure times.
The expansion of 3D printing in recent years along with access to technology in an affordable and high quality also makes many users start using their printers, many times, without being properly informed or not taking advantage of the options and quality that these printers can allow us.
Correctly calibrating the exposure time is a critical factor to ensure that our parts are printed without problems and with the highest quality. There are mainly, there are other values a little more advanced that we do not advise you to modify initially, dos very important values to take into account:
- Exposure time of first layers. These first layers are critical since they will withstand the tension of our piece and its supports when performing the printing process. In this regard, it is important to:
- Number of first layers, a low value or a very high value can be counterproductive. Having a small number of first layers can make them not support, in this aspect it is advisable to have a number between 4 and 8 base layers.
- Exposure of first layers, also like the previous one can affect the adhesion of our piece and make the printing fail. A short exposure can impact adhesion, while a high exposure apart from causing similar failures will reduce the lifetime of our screen. Normally, as always depending on the printing conditions and resin we use, this exposure time is usually between 25 and 40 seconds.
- Exposure time of normal layers, if the previous layers were critical for the adhesion of our piece to the printing plate, in this case, they are important to provide consistency to the piece as it is created and achieve a good definition of details in our figures.
After all this explanation it is important that we invest a little of our time to find the exposure time of normal layers. For this we can use different types of tests that you can find in our SLA calibration guide.
Unfortunately, and at the time of making this review, UVtools, which is the tool we usually use to perform our multiple exposure tests, does not work correctly.
We started by performing the leveling test included in the USB and, on the other hand, we opted for the Phrozen XP test that is fast, but also gives us a lot of information when choosing our optimal exposure time and we use normally which will allow us to compare results with other printers.
Now that we have our exposure time it is time to see the full potential of this GKtwo, we started to launch our pending projects and we could not be happier with the result.
We started our tests by printing two incredible Archvillain Games models from their Speak of the Devil – Act II collection, in this case we scaled the figure to a scale of 250% to take advantage of the entire print volume of our GKtwo.
The next project we decided to do was some minis, specifically from the Heroes Infinite studio and its Wild Orcs of the Black Moors collection that have an incredible design and details. In this case we have printed them at the original scale.
We also have to say that combining the GKtwo with the ultrasonic cleaning station has been a success.
Removing the printing platform, placing it in the cleaning station, and having your part perfectly clean in a few minutes saves a lot of time as well as the risks of exposing yourself to drips or resin residues in your print processing place.
As important as adjusting the machine correctly is knowing how to perform the proper maintenance of this.
We will start with the process of cleaning the resin tank or VAT, an advisable maintenance to perform especially if during printing we have had failures to avoid debris that can damage our nFEP or even the screen or simply when changing resin. UniFormation has included in its GKtwo a cleaning process that will allow us to simplify the process:
It is also important to learn how to replace our nFEP, in addition, it is important to check the status of this especially in the face of failed impressions.
With the use of the installed screen protector can degrade, so it is advisable to check it periodically and replace it if necessary:
Finally, and since it is considered a consumable, which will depend on the hours of use we give to the printer, it may be necessary to replace the LCD either due to wear or damage. The process is quite simple and UniFormation has the following video to explain the process:
UniFormation has all these consumables to be purchased from its own website, although we also have them available in other online sales portals, at really competitive prices something that is always appreciated and many people do not take into account when buying machines of this type.
It is also advisable at the level of maintenance of the machine:
- Lubricate regularly using low viscosity oil the Z axis of the machine
- Avoid leaving the resin in the VAT for more than a couple of days, in case of leaving it longer it is advisable to check the state of this and check that it does not have solid residues that can damage the machine.
- Use IPA to clean resin residues that may fall on other areas of the printer.
UniFormation has done an excellent job with this GKtwo and that shows when you work with the machine and the results of its prints.
Yes, maybe UniFormation is not getting into the current trend of adding megapixels or impossible print speeds but is focused on making a robust printer that does well what it needs to do… Which is to print with quality and reliably without failures.
Also, if we add that its printing platform system and VAT are the best we have tested lately for handling and thinking about the user … The addition of having a powerful filtration system in addition to a heating system to maintain the optimum temperature… It’s the final icing on the cake.
On the other hand, UniFormation with its cleaning station and curing station provide all the perfect accessories, and quality, to have a resin printing system that will not disappoint.
Another important factor is that despite being compact we have a printing volume that will allow us to print almost any project we have in mind, whether minis or large scales..
In the negative aspects to comment, and difficult to justify for some people who do not value the quality of the set, the price in addition to missing some functions on the screen for printing management or even remote management or monitoring options that today are appreciated.
Where to buy the UniFormation GKtwo?
UniFormation has its own online store where you can buy directly the GKtwo as well as its accessories and spare parts. In any case, we provide you with some links to other reference stores:
If you use the shopping links, the price of the product will be the same as if you access it regularly, but 3DWork will have a small commission.
Something that will help us support the project and continue generating content.