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We Flew to Taiwan to See a 3D PRINTER | Phrozen HQ & Factory Tour

Peyton Shelton

Peyton Shelton

Marketing & Brand Manager

 I'm getting ready to hop on a plane and fly for 24 hours to see a 3D printer manufacturer on the other side of the world. Right now I'm packing and from Gainesville, Florida, I'm going to be driving down to Orlando, flying to San Francisco, and then flying over to Taiwan. I'm landing in Taipei and I'm visiting Phrozen.

If you're not familiar with Phrozen, they are a very well-respected 3D printer manufacturer in the resin 3D printing space. Now, why am I visiting a resin 3D printing company? Slice Engineering, is a FDM/FFF 3D printing. We manufacture hotends. Why am I going on such a long journey to visit Phrozen? I'm going because they are releasing a new FDM 3D printer. It's currently on Kickstarter and it's called the Arco. 

We are releasing a custom GammaMaster® Nozzle with Phrozen for everyone who backs the campaign. Join us as we go behind the scenes at Phrozen's HQ to see how they have become one of the leading resizing 3D printer manufacturers in the world. I'm going to be in Taiwan. I've got a plane to catch in about 20 hours. I'm going to finish packing up here and then I will see you guys on the other side of the world.

Phrozen HQ

We have finally arrived at the Phrozen HQ. We took about an hour's drive through the mountains of Taiwan from Taipei. 

Shao-Ting Huang, Slice Engineering: So we're in the city of Shenzhou here in Taiwan. It's about an hour away from Taipei as Peyton said. The drive was fun, just going through the mountains, not much happening. But yeah, so here we're finally at the Phrozen headquarters in Taiwan. I think it'll be exciting to see their office for the first time.

Peyton: Before we go off on this tour, is there anything in particular that you're looking forward to seeing the most?

Shao: Well, obviously we're here to see Arco, their new FDM printer. That's why you flew, you know, 24 hours just to get there. So I think it will be cool to see the printer for the first time and see how GammaMaster is being used at the moment. 

Peyton: I'm excited to see behind the scenes of the Phrozen operation and how that's going to translate to Arco and their new printer and their operation for the future, and then how the GammaMaster and Slice Engineering is going to integrate with that as well.

We're super excited to take you guys behind the scenes. We've finally made it to Phrozen. I think it's time for us to head on in.

Printing Room

Peyton: We are in the printing lab now with Tien-Yu Lee, and I am very excited to look at this space because there are a lot of printers in here. So I would just like to start by saying thank you so much for having us here and I'll allow you to introduce yourself to our audience and tell us about all of these printers.

Tien-Yu Lee, Phrozen: Hello everyone, I'm Tien-Yu. I'm the marketing guy here in the company. So here is our printing room. You can see a dozen printers here, the first thing you can see here is our dental printers. Even though Phrozen is always associated with consumer printers, actually we have a really strong foundation in dental 3D printing. The difference between dental and consumer printing is that it comes with a white exterior to match the dental clinic style. So we are the first company to develop the Monochrome-LCD, to bring this technology into the market. So this is the first 4K consumer 3D printer out there. So even though it has been out there for over 4 years, the demand today is still pretty strong. A lot of users are still requesting these printers. This is the first, consumer 8K printer, out there. As you can see, it's really large. So when we first released that, people thought, okay, 4K could be the limit. But after we introduced the 8K technology, it kind of broke the boundary. So before the monochrome, technology, people thought, the color printing, the color LCD is pretty much at the limits. We introduced the technology first to introduce, from multicolor, color screen to monochrome, and then to 4K, and now 8K. We have been leading the way to provide better technology to the consumer printer for at least like five years, or even longer since our inception. And this is one of our latest printers, Mighty Rebel. So, besides the printing, the precision reached 14K, but for this model, we don't necessarily highlight the precision anymore because we kind of figured that it's to a tipping point that people have been failing to experience a bit more. So compared to the previous model, the way we open the lid is very different. And it comes with a lot of smart detection here. So underneath the FATs, there are a lot of sensors. So it can detect failure detection, residual detection, and auto-leveling. So it's no longer manual adjusting or checking out the printing process manually. If everything goes wrong, you detect it and send it to your phone. So you can just tap the print and leave it and figure out the latest progress through your phone. So here we have the Mega 8KS. So Mega 8KS is the newer model of our next successor to the Mega 8K, mentioned before. So, the way we open the lid is also different. And you can see the print volume. It's significantly larger than the Mighty 8K and the Mini 8K. So back in the day, we didn't expect people to have, a strong demand for this type of device because we figured out that people necessarily don't have to print this size of the model, but we realized that there are a lot of print farms used to make our size model to print a lot of models, in one.

Peyton: Great. Well, thank you so much for showing me the space. I think that it's awesome. You guys have so many printers, but before we wrap up with the space, I know you have one last area you want to show us. These are all your resin printers, but we're here because of FDM. Yeah. So we're going to move over to the last bit of your space where you have Arco.

Tien-Yu Lee, Phrozen: Sure. No problem. Let's go. Cool. So finally we reached the section of Arco. This is the FDM printer. Kind of different from what we have been used to doing. For resin 3D printing. So Everybody knows ARCO for its fast printing, big printing volume, and, multicolor printing. So this is an FDM of 4 Round Structure or Core XY, people say it. The reason why we didn't start with the traditional partition design is besides the three features, multicolor printing, fast printing, and the large printing volume, coreXY has a lot more potential for product applications or industrial applications. So, this is how we enter the market with this design. My personal experience with the ARCO is you can get the prints fast. When it's done, it's done. So you can just directly pop up from this plate and just get the final prints. Yeah, I like FDM a lot because I'm not, I usually, prefer large models. I don't print a lot of miniatures or models. I print something that I can put on a table to play with. And I love to check out the prints very quickly. So I like FDM more than resin 3D printing. For FDM, the space for this printer is pretty much all you need. So compared to the traditional Cartesian designs, to print FDM prints, it usually takes several hours. Could take three to four hours to get a 10-centimeter object to be printed. But for ARCO, it can be done in under one hour. So, it's really fast and you can get the prints in no time. And back in the day, if you wanted to print multicolored stuff, you had to print multiple pieces in sequence. And after all the prints are done, you have to put it back together. But right now you can get it done in one sitting. With this one print, and so I would say if you want a prototype very quickly, you want to check out, how your ideas turn out to be a real object, I would say Arco is a perfect choice for everybody. 

Resin Showroom

Shao: We are on the fourth-floor office here at Phrozen's HQ in Taiwan. This is one of their showrooms with a lot of, resin prints. So we'll use this chance for Tien-Yu to kind of walk us through what's on the shelf here for us. And briefly talk about the different types of resin they have in store right now.
Tien-Yu Lee, Phrozen: Sure So, you can see it over here. These are the engineer resins we developed by ourselves and these are the neon resins we just released last year. So it caught a lot of attention because, in the past, resins have mostly, gray, dark color. So these are pretty. And, these are the dental resins we released. And here are the engineering resins we worked with some big brands. For example, BASF. These are the resins where we worked with Henco. So some of you may have seen this demonstration where we hammered the nails with this printed hammer. In addition, this resin is pretty strong, so I can throw it on the ground and bounce it back. Right. And, we also have the resins for jewelry making.
Shao: So for those detailed models do you know off the top of your head the printer and the resin they used to produce those models?

Tien-Yu Lee, Phrozen Yeah, I believe this one is printed with the mighty 8K because this is a very popular model. We launched this, along with this designer, and after the campaign, this model became super famous and also the designer as well. And this one is a new model. We print it with the 8K printer with our red clay so you can see that it's different from the traditional Gray miniature. It's red like clay. 

Shao: So obviously in the back We have all these models that Tierney had the chance to kind of share with us But one thing we haven't touched base on is the amazing Pixup community They've built a lot of these models came from the Pixup community So Timmy, why don't you walk us through what PixUp is and how has it benefited your community and bringing in all the new designers into the mix of, you know, being a Resolute Printer user.

Tien-Yu Lee, Phrozen: Yeah, sure, no problem. So, three years ago, we came to realize that people need more than printers and resins to print nice models. And that's how we started building Pixup. And this marketplace, You can trade as a marketplace for 3D printing printing files. So every model you see here, you can find all the printing files on Pixup. Right now for ARCO, we have a PixUp slicer that is designed specifically for ARCO FDM printers. So you can slice, process the printing files, and get them printed out by ARCO. For PixUp it's a very streamlined process for users to interact from the model to print so maybe after FDM, we may apply the slicing capability to resins. 

Customer Support

Aaron: Sure. Today I'm going to introduce you guys to the customer support team members. And this is basically how our team operates. Just everything happens here. And apart from that, we'll also be showing our repair center with you guys as well. So basically what we do here is that we provide global support for everyone, including technical operations and also like how to use a printer and start such, and also like help center creation and those kinds of stuff is all happening here. So what's special about the team is we have about 30 percent provenance on the team. How many people do you have on your support team? On our support team, we have about 20 agents. What areas does your team specifically support? Globally, so US, EU, Taiwan, China, everything. Yeah, all around the world. 

Repair Area

This is our repair center. So as you can see, we have a pretty big area. We're just not for this specific center. We just, don't like to repair, products returned from customers, but we also like, for example, we create help centers and guides for our customers. Everything is filmed and photographed here. And for example, emails. Sometimes we get customers who want something specific, like how to repair something. Then we create guides over here. What's interesting about this area is that we have tried to keep all of our models around here. So as you can see on the top left of the corner, it's our 2019 first generation Sonic Mini. And also these sections are like 90, 12K, and such. So support teams don't just stay. in the office area and respond to customer emails. In our team, we want every customer support team member to be able to fix printers and understand how it works. So these printers are all for testing usage. And over here we have the, earlier versions of our printers, before 2019. Also, we have our 2016 DLP printer, which most of you have never seen before, but that is our first DLP printer ever created. And this is where Phrozen began our first product which started from Kickstarter. So yeah, it doesn't look much anymore, but, that's one of the last Phrozen ones. 

Factory & Warehouse

Now we are at one of Phrozen's eight factory and warehousing locations globally. And this was the second factory of Phrozen's and it's pretty massive. Yeah, it's the second ever factory they have had since their company's inception. And we're seeing a lot of different resin printers here. And obviously, Arco is not made here at the moment. We're pretty stoked to see how the whole assembly process works. We're going to go ahead and do a quick walkthrough of the space. They've given us the freedom to take our cameras and run around. They've just let us kind of run free and show you the space. Hopefully, we don't get kicked out. So we're going to take you guys on a little trip around the factory. Let's go ahead and get to it. Alrighty, let's get it. We're at the first stop of the assembly line, and essentially the first thing everyone, or all the assembly factory wants to check is whether the components are actually up to the spec. So the lady here on my left is confirming all the components are working properly. As you can see, she's checking some different motors and so on. But this station is the first stop for all the components QA checks. And, they also got some touchscreen module installation here going on as well.


Assembling Light Source

We're at the second section of their assembly line here. The lady on my right is assembling their light source, which is critical. For all of the resin printers here. And obviously, Phrozen has one of the best. Given that they pioneered the LCD technology. Back in 2019 or 2020, I think. So as you can see she's assembling the electronics board onto the base now. And ultimately they will put the lighting matrix on the top. They have a whole other QA process just to ensure the screws and the nuts are installed correctly. And that's how they can make sure that you know when the light sources are installed onto the printer, it can work fabulously without any issue. So that most of their users get to print continuously.



Quality Assurance

Now, this is the quality assurance area here in the Phrozen factory. We're told that every single printer that's manufactured comes through this area and is tested for core components like heaters, air filtration systems, and specifically, their LCD screens. On their LCD screens, we were shown the process that they go through where they're tested in a three-by-three matrix where they test the screens to make sure that they're consistent across the board. And every single printer has to pass the test and they're held to the same standard. And if they don't pass the test, they don't go to the customer. That was something that resonated with Shao and me. Every component we manufacture at Slice is held to similar rigorous Q& A standards as well. In the very last step before they packed and shipped off, we were shown these test prints that they run on every single machine. Yeah, I believe they use this print on every single one of the machines in the back and print this particular object. And they would try to observe any visual defects on there like cracks or any types of waviness by chance or discoloration if that were to happen on a rare occasion. But, yeah, this will be the standard they have when they try to ship the machine, have the final take, go, no go sign before they move on to the packaging area.


Packaging Area

In this room, we'll show you some, some B roll here of what they've got going on in this space, but I'd say there are probably close to a hundred printers that are, you know, some is undergoing active testing right now, some are being packed for delivery to resellers all over the world, there are some that have finished testing that are undergoing inspection right now. And then some are making their way out of technical inspection and are waiting to move over to this next part for testing. There are so many printers in this room right now, that we can't even get them all on camera. So it's, it's quite the operation, and I, I've not seen this many printers in one room.

So it's, it's, it's pretty cool to see. Yeah. And, you know, we, like the tour today, we saw just a small part of this factory. And there are a lot of areas we can't go in because we're not part of their team, unfortunately. But, yeah, they didn't give us total free reign, but, fortunately, we can still get a sneak peek at, you know, what a massive operation could look like when you are, you know, one of the leading, you know, consumer brand in a world in 3D printing, is no easy feat, right? We try hard ourselves at Slice, you know, to continue to deliver to our customers, but yeah, this operation here is amazing. And we, you know, finished up at Phrozen yesterday and we, you know, we walked around their office. We had a chance to interact with their team and their engineers and, you know, their marketing personnel and their CEO and, you know, toward their office and their factory and their warehouse. And we got to see all the stuff that they had.

And, yeah, we'll be able to, I guess, answer more questions about the ARCO and our stuff and more. If you wanna find out more about Phrozen Arco you can type a Phrozen Arco launch group on Facebook and, you'll be able to find it. Yeah. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time and for watching this video.

We're super excited about more content to come in the future. 

Stay Zesty,

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