Carbon Fiber Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate Composite (CF-ASA): New Material for Large Format Additive Manufacturing

Researchers from Spain are studying materials for more effective large-scale 3D printing, outlining their findings in the recently published ‘Development of carbon fiber acrylonitrile styrene acrylate composite for large format additive manufacturing.’

While 3D printing on the micro- and nanoscale is extremely popular among researchers today, the authors point out that large format additive manufacturing (LFAM) for the industrial user is usually centered around the fabrication of parts that may reach several cubic meters. For this type of production, 3D printers must be accompanied by optimized materials that are suitable for service requirements yet demonstrate high printability.

Today, acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA) is a thermoplastic often being used in LFAM due to excellence in mechanical properties and wettability. ASA also has very good weather resistance and is already used widely in automotive and outdoor applications. Similar materials such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) are extremely popular too due to strength, stiffness, and processability.

“Other technical materials such as polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), polyamide (PA), polyether ether ketone (PEEK) or polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) have been also tested in these technologies,” state the authors. “However, their high cost and hard processability restrict their employment to few applications.”

Structure of ASA polymer Based on [41].

In this study, the researchers evaluate ASA and carbon fiber (CF) composites for LFAM, comparing neat ASA to AS with 20 wt% carbon fiber. The following samples were 3D printed on an SDiscovery Cartesian printer.

Discovery LFAM device property of Navantia S.A., S.M.E. (placed at Bay of Cadiz Shipyard, Puerto Real, Cádiz, Spain). Adapted from [12].).

Samples printed along the two different configurations studied: a) neat ASA sample printed along X direction outside the printer (XY plane displayed, being the Z-direction perpendicular to the image plane (outwards)); and b) ASA 20CF sample printed along Z direction inside the printer. X, Y and Z directions are indicated at the images.

The following samples were created:

  • Five normalized tensile samples
  • Five flexural test samples
  • Ten non-notched impact pieces
  • Two thermal conductivity discs

Mechanical, rheological and thermal properties of the studied neat ASA and ASA composite.

The composites were examined regarding mechanical, rheological, and thermal properties.

“The mechanical properties were addressed by testing injected tensile, flexural and impact pieces. The melting flow rate (MFR) and the glass transition temperature (Tg), determined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), were measured for the two compositions,” explained the authors. “The thermal conductivity was measured using cylindrical injected discs. In a second step, X and Z printed specimens were analyzed by tensile and flexural tests, assessing the influence of the printing orientation in the mechanical properties of both, neat ASA and ASA 20CF.

“Specifically, tensile tested samples were study at the fractured surface of printed specimens aiming to discuss and correlate microstructural features with differentiated mechanical performance of the two materials.”

SEM images show that carbon fibers are well-integrated into the polymer matrix, occurring even after the tensile test.

“A pronounced anisotropy, negligible in injected pieces, is observed in the mechanical properties. A maximum UTS of 60 ± 4 MPa is achieved for X orientation in ASA CF composite, while the flexural tests results are similar, even higher, than for injected parts,” concluded the researchers. “This increase might be attributed to the laminar character of the pieces and the preferential alignment of polymer chains.

“A prealignment of the fibers along the printing deposition direction was observed; likely imposing a physical barrier in Z direction avoiding polymer diffusion and explaining this behavior. The addition of CF results in higher roughness porosity and inner-bead porosity, while reducing the inter-bead porosity. The inner-bead is usually considered as an intrinsic defect of extrusion processes, whereas the observed roughness and inter-bead porosity are characteristic of printing procedures.”

SEM images of the fracture surface of ASA 20CF after a) flexural fracture at liquid nitrogen temperature (without mechanical test); b) tensile test and c) detail of the bonding interface between ASA and CF.

The study of composites continues to expand within the 3D printing realm, as researchers explore a wide variety of materials from bronze PLA composites to products that are bioinspired, to combinations of materials integrated with sensors, and far more.

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[Source / Images: ‘Development of carbon fiber acrylonitrile styrene acrylate composite for large format additive manufacturing’]

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3D Printing News Briefs: March 16, 2020

We’ve got news about 3D printers in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, as BigRrep has shipped its 500th large-format 3D printer. Peopoly is developing new 3D printers for its Phenom series, and startup Excelencia is offering a 3D printing service for large objects. Moving on, MPA, NAMIC, and SSA have launched a Joint Industry Program for 3D printed maritime parts.

BigRep Ships 500th Industrial Large-Format 3D Printer

Large-format 3D printing leader BigRep, founded in 2014, just announced that it has shipped its 500th industrial large-format AM system. The company’s managing director, Martin Beck, said that this delivery shows how much all of the company’s industrial customers value BigRep products, which are utilized in a wide variety of applications. The 500th delivery was a BigRep ONE 3D printer, which was shipped to e-mobility tech company JAMADE GERMANY, creator of the AMAZEA underwater scooter  – the first water sports mobility device that will use serial produced 3D printed parts at the consumer level.

“We are very excited about this delivery because it represents a new dimension of industrial AM in end-consumer products, both for us as a company and the industry,” said JAMADE Managing Partner and Technical Director Detlef Klages. “The new BigRep ONE will enable us to launch the serial production of AMAZEA as planned, completing our existing fleet of four BigRep ONE printers. We greatly value the printers’ cost efficiency, accuracy and quality when compared to the extremely high investment for traditional tools.”

Peopoly Developed Two New Phenom Series 3D Printers

In October, Hong Kong company Peopoly launched its Phenom 3D printer series, which was well-received by industrial users due to a higher resolution print, shorter workflow, and reduced cost. So, using the same MSLA technology, the company, which was founded back in 2016, has developed two new systems for its third generation series: the extra-large Phenom L and the fast Phenom Noir.

The Phenom L has a build volume of 345.6 × 194.4 x 400 mm – over 50% larger than the original, which a 20% faster rate of print speed. It also features new build plate designs, which improves the post-processing experience and simplifies the workflow for larger prints. The Phenom Noir has a monochrome LCD panel, designed for enterprise 3D printing applications, that reduces UV light waste, which Peopoly says makes the system run five times faster than the Form 3. With its 293.76 × 165.24 x 400 mm build size, it’s also nearly 13% bigger than the original Phenom.

Excelencia’s Launches 3D Printing Service for Large Objects

MASSIVIT project

Spanish 3D and textile 3D printing distributor Excelencia Tech just launched earlier this month with two big projects. First, the startup is an official distributor for MASSIVIT 3D printers, so it’s focusing on selling these. Secondly, Excelencia is promoting its XL MEDIA Project, which is a service it offers for 3D printing very large objects on its MASSIVIT systems. The 3D printers the startup owns are pretty costly, which is why Excelencia is promoting the use of them to companies that need to print large objects, but can’t afford to purchase their own large-format printer.

“Nowadays, if one of our 3D printings have to be done by a “traditional” 3D printer, it will take couple of weeks and an enormous budget to succed. So we offer the chance to create your 3D products using our machine without buying it, to understand and check all advantatges that Massivit’s machines have,” Miguel Preda Lliso, the Marketing and Business Development Manager for Excelencia, told 3DPrint.com.

“With our technology we can do giant products (about 180 cm) in less tan 48 hours  and without generating as much waste as traditional machines (our machines just use as much kilos of material as the product weight).”

Phase 2 of Joint Industry Program for 3D Printed Marine Parts

Singapore’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC), along with SSA and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), has launched the second phase of a Joint Industry Programme (JIP) for the 3D printing of marine and maritime parts. Phase 1 was completed in October, and Phase 2 consists of the call for proposals from classification societies or AM technology suppliers that would like to participate in the JIP as an industry consortium leader. The objective of this JIP, which has the potential to spin off further developmental projects in the future, is to establish the technical feasibility, regulatory requirements, and commercial viability for creating 3D printed marine parts.

“Maritime assets are capital intensive, and downtime is costly,” the JIP Challenge Statement reads.

“Replacement of marine spare parts involves many actors in the supply chain, and can be costly in terms of inventory, logistics, and cost of spare parts (especially for obsolete parts).”

The JIP is also working to shine a light on some of the opportunities, and challenges, involved in deploying 3D printing for marine parts, such as approval and certification processes. The application deadline for this phase is 6 pm on April 6, 2020.

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3D Printing News Briefs: June 27, 2019

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re starting with a couple of stories from the recent Paris Air Show: TUSAS Engine Industries has invested in GE Additive technology, and ARMOR explained its AM materials partnership with Airbus. Moving on, Formlabs just hosted some live webinars, and PostProcess Technologies released a whitepaper on surface finishing metal 3D printed parts. Modix is sharing a lot of news, including four new 3D printer models, and finally, FormFutura has introduced sustainable packaging.

TEI Invests in GE Additive Technology

TUSAŞ Engine Industries, Inc. (TEI), founded in Turkey as a joint venture in 1985, has invested in GE Additive‘s direct metal laser melting (DMLM) technology. GE Additive announced at the recent Paris Air Show that TEI had purchased two of its M LINE factory systems and two M2 cusing machines. While the financial terms of the investment were not disclosed, the 3D printers will be installed at TEI’s Eskişehir headquarters, joining its current fleet of laser and Arcam EBM printers.

Professor Dr. Mahmut Faruk Akşit, President and CEO of TEI, said, “Today, we invest in TEI’s future by investing in additive manufacturing, ‘the future of manufacturing.’ Our longstanding partnership and collaboration with GE is now broadening with GE Additive’s machine portfolio.”

Armor and Airbus Partner Up for Aerospace 3D Printing

Air pipe prototype printed using the Kimya PLA HI (Photo: ProtoSpace Airbus)

Continuing with news from the Paris Air Show, ARMOR Group – a French multinational company – was also at the event, exhibiting its Kimya materials and a miniFactory printer, as well as its new aeronautics filament, PEI-9085. While there, ARMOR also met up with Airbus, which has frequently used 3D printing to create parts and prototypes, such as an air nozzle for the climate control system of its 330neo passenger cabin. The company has now requested ARMOR’s expertise in better qualifying its materials in order to standardize its own AM process.

“We have qualified the PLA-HI and PETG-S. We are currently testing more technical materials, such as the PETG Carbon before moving on to the PEI and PEEK. We have requested a specific preparation to make it easier to use them in our machines,” Marc Carré, who is responsible for innovation at Airbus ProtoSpace in Saint-Nazaire,

“We expect to be able to make prototypes quickly and of high quality in terms of tolerances, aesthetics and resistance.

“Thanks to ARMOR and its Kimya range and services, we have found a partner we can share our issues with and jointly find solutions. It is very important for us to be able to rely on a competent and responsive supplier.”

Webinars by Formlabs: Product Demo and Advanced Hybrid Workflows

Recently, Formlabs hosted a couple of informative webinars, and the first was a live product demonstration of its Form 3. 3D printing expert Faris Sheikh explained the technology behind the company’s Low Force Stereolithography (LFS) 3D printing, walked through the Form 3’s step-by-step-workflow, and participated in a live Q&A session with attendees. Speaking of workflows, Formlabs also held a webinar titled “Metal, Ceramic, and Silicone: Using 3D Printed Molds in Advanced Hybrid Workflows” that was led by Applications Engineering Lead Jennifer Milne.

“Hybrid workflows can help you reduce cost per part and scale to meet demand, while taking advantage of a wider range of materials in the production of end-use parts,” Formlabs wrote. “Tune in for some inspiration on new ways of working to advance your own process or to stay on top of trends and capabilities across the ever-growing range of printable materials.”

PostProcess Whitepaper on 3D Print Surface Finishing

PostProcess Technologies has released its new whitepaper, titled “Considerations for Optimizing Surface Finishing of 3D Printed Inconel 718.” The paper discusses a novel approach to help improve surface finish results by combining a patent-pending chemistry solution and software-driven automation. Using this new approach, PostProcess reports increased consistency and productivity, as well as decreased technician touch time. The whitepaper focuses on surface finishing 3D prints made with alloys and metals, but especially zeroes in on nickel superalloy Inconel 718, 3D printed with DMLS technology.

“With current surface finishing techniques used that are largely expensive, can require significant manual labor, or require the use of hazardous chemicals, this paper analyzes the benefits of a novel alternative method for post-printing the part’s surface,” PostProcess wrote. “Key considerations are reviewed including part density and hardness, corrosion (chemical) resistance, grain structure, as well as manufacturing factors including the impact of print technology and print orientation on the surface profile.”

You can download the new whitepaper here.

Modix Announces New 3D Printers, Reseller Program, and Executive

Israel-based Modix, which develops large-format 3D printers, has plenty of news to share – first, the company has come out with four new 3D printer models based on its modular design. The new models, which should be available as soon as Q3 2019, are the 1000 x 1000 x 600 mm Big-1000, the 600 x 600 x 1200 mm Big-120Z, the 1800 x 600 x 600 mm Big-180X, and the 400 x 400 x 600 mm Big-40. Additionally, the company has launched a reseller program, where resellers can offer Modix printers to current customers of smaller printers as the “best next 3D printer.” Finally, Modix has appointed 3D printing veteran John Van El as its new Chief Commercial Officer; he will help build up the company’s partner program.

“We are proud to have John with us,” said Modix CEO Shachar Gafni. “John brings aboard unique capabilities and experiences strengthening Modix’s current momentum on the path to become a global leader in the large scale 3D printing market.”

FormFutura Presents Recyclable Cardboard Packaging

Dutch filament supplier FormFutura wants to set an example for the rest of the industry by not only raising awareness about sustainability, but also by stepping up its own efforts. That’s why the company has moved completely to cardboard packaging – all of its filaments up to one kilogram will now be spooled onto fully recyclable cardboard spools, which will also come in cardboard boxes. All of FormFutura’s cardboard spools and boxes are manufactured in its home country of the Netherlands, which helps reduce its carbon footprint in terms of travel distance, and the material is also a natural drying agent, so it will better protect filament against humidity.

“Over the past couple of months we’ve been brainstorming a lot on how we can make FormFutura more sustainable and help renew our branding. As over this period we have received feedback from the market about helping to find a viable solution to the empty plastic spools, we started setting up a plan to reduce our carbon footprint through cardboard spools,” said Arnold Medenblik, the CEO of FormFutura. “But as we got to working on realizing rolling out cardboard spools, we’ve also expanded the scope of the project to include boxes and logistics.”

Because the company still has some warehoused stock on plastic spools, customers may receive both types of packaging during the transition.

Discuss these stories and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

H and H 3D plastics launch new industrial sized filament spools

U.S based filament manufacturer H and H 3D Plastics is launching a new line of industrial sized spools to facilitate the growth of large format 3D printing. “If you’re producing a 3D print which takes 48 hours or more – and many of our clients already are – you simply don’t want to keep switching […]

RAPID 2019: BigRep to Unveil New-Generation STUDIO G2 Large Format 3D Printer

News is already flooding in regarding the Rapid+TCT event in Detroit, Michigan being held from May 20-23. Berlin’s BigRep will be attending in full-force, ready to unveil the BigRep STUDIO G2, a new generation 3D printer joining the STUDIO lineup.

The STUDIO G2, available to order now, 3D prints ‘engineer-grade’ materials while also encompassing all the same features of the original STUDIO hardware created for fabricating large parts.

BigRep’s STUDIO 2 3D printer was created for industrial applications but is suitable for everyday use, offering the following new features:

  • Unmatched speed and resolution in large format 3D printing
  • Ergonomic design
  • Height of 1765 mm
  • Fully enclosed, insulated build envelope (500 mm x 1000 m x 500 mm)
  • Fast heating print bed reaching 100°C
  • Temperature-controlled filament chamber
  • Dual extruder with two 0.6 mm ruby nozzles
  • Layer heights as little as 0.1 mm for abrasive engineering-grade materials like PA6/66

 “We are excited to host the world premiere of the STUDIO G2 at North America’s most influential AM event – RAPID+TCT. We believe that both customers already relying on the original machine and new ones will appreciate the many advanced features of the STUDIO G2,” said BigRep CBO, Frank Marangell.

The Studio G2 3D printer

BigRep will be releasing other 3D printing materials (also engineering grade) in the future, to include carbon/glass fiber composites, and ASA. The STUDIO G2 will also feature the new proprietary BigRep BLADE slicer software, which BigRep states will offer accurate printing times and tools for improved production such as material use calculations.

“The new generation STUDIO G2 is a great addition to our expanding industrial portfolio of large-format printers. Based on proven, successful technology, the STUDIO G2 is upgraded with key features that industrial users need,” said BigRep CEO, Stephan Beyer, PhD. “We’ve built it for printing with the abrasive, engineering-grade materials that the industry demands in a next-level, space-saving printer for large-format parts.”

The BigRep Pro will also be on-site, running BigRep’s MXT® Metering Extruder Technology, and a state-of-the-art Bosch Rexroth motion control system. Designer Marco Mattia Cristofori will also be at the show to present NERA, a completely 3D printed e-motorbike that was created in only 12 weeks.

The 3D printed NERA motorbike

Founded in 2014, BigRep also has offices in Boston and Singapore. Catering to engineers, designers, and manufacturers, they also partner with Bosch Rexroth, Etihad Airways and Deutsche Bahn. Key investors are BASF, Koehler, and Klöckner and Körber. We have followed the German company extensively, from the unveiling of the BigRep ONE to the PRO and the EDGE 3D, along with following their extensive partnerships and contributions to additive manufacturing research.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: Big Rep Press Release]

ORNL and UMaine Initiative Receives Funding to Create New Bio-Based 3D Printing Materials

UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center students and staff lift a boat roof from a mold 3D printed with a new biomaterial, nanocellulose-reinforced PLA, developed at the University of Maine. L-R: Michael Hunter, Camerin Seigars, Zane Dustin, Alex Cole, Scott Tomlinson, Richard Fredericks, and Habib Dagher. [Image: UMaine]

The researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee have spent a lot of time working with unique 3D printing materials, such as polyesterlignin, and nanocellulose, which is a bio-derived nanomaterial. Now, a new research collaboration between ORNL and the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center aims to increase efforts to use wood products as 3D printing materials. Together, the team will work with the forest products industry to create new bio-based 3D printing materials that can be used to make products like building components, boats and boat hull molds, wind blades, and shelters.

The large-scale initiative was announced this week in Washington, DC. Leaders from the university and ORNL, as well as the DoE‘s assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy Daniel Simmons, the founding executive director of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center Habib Dagher, and US Sens. Susan Collins, Lamar Alexander, and Angus King were all on hand for the announcement, which also stated that UMaine and ORNL had received $20 million in federal funding for the program from the DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.

[Image: UMaine]

“While Oak Ridge is a global leader in additive manufacturing, the University of Maine is an expert in bio-based composites. By working together, they will strengthen environmentally responsible advanced manufacturing in America as well as helping the forest industry in the state of Maine,” Senator Collins said.

Sens. Collins and King requested federal help to save the declining forest products industry in Maine back in 2016, after several paper mills in the state closed their doors. This led to the founding of the Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT) to work across agencies in order to come up with economic development strategies for the rural communities in Maine that were suffering from the mill closures. This team resulted in the ongoing partnership between UMaine and ORNL.

“Using Maine forest products for 3D printing is a great way to create new jobs in Maine and a good reminder that national laboratories are our secret weapons in helping the United States stay competitive in the rapidly changing world economy. The partnership between the University of Maine and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a model for how science and technology can help Americans prosper in the new economy,” said Senator Alexander.

A 3D printed representation of the state of Maine presented by Habib Dagher, executive director of UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The material was a wood-based product developed at UMaine. [Image: Contributed by the office of Sen. Susan Collins]

This October, ORNL’s BAAM 3D printer will be installed at UMaine, which is actually considered a world leader in cellulose nano fiber (CNF) technology. UMaine students can also visit ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF), while staff from the laboratory can in turn learn about cellulose fiber and composites at UMaine’s composites center.

One of the printer’s first tasks will be to fabricate a boat mold out of a wood-based plastic, though the team hopes to apply the technology to many large-scale manufacturing applications.

Habib Dagher, Executive Director of the Advanced Structures & Composites Center holds up 3D printed representations of Maine and Tennessee signifying new manufacturing programs between UMaine and ORNL that will use wood-based products in 3D printing. Sen. Angus King, I- Maine, and Sen. Susan Collins, R- Maine, watch Dagher’s presentation after announcing $20 million in federal funding for the collaboration. [Image: Contributed by the office of Sen. Susan Collins]

Dagher explained, “The material is nanocellulose, basically a tree ground up to its nano structure. These materials have properties similar to metals. We are taking those and putting them in bioplastics so we can make very strong plastics that we can make almost anything with.”

The team will then add the nanocellulose to PLA.

“The University of Maine is doing cutting-edge research related to bio-feedstocks and the application of advanced manufacturing in regional industries,” said Thomas Zacharia, the director of ORNL. “We are thrilled at this opportunity to expand our research base while providing UMaine with access to the leading national capabilities we have developed at ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.”

The overall goal for the initiative is to find new uses for wood-based products in an effort to reinvigorate Maine’s forest products industry, while also helping to make regional manufacturing stronger by connecting university–industry clusters with the MDF. The federal funding will be divided equally between both facilities.

“We will integrate 20 years of research in bio-based composites at UMaine and 3D printing at ORNL. It is an opportunity engine for our students, faculty, staff and manufacturing industry who will work side by side with researchers at our nation’s foremost research laboratory. Together, we will break down wood to its nanocellulose structure, combine it with bioplastics, and print with it at hundreds of pounds an hour,” said Dagher. “The research we will be conducting with ORNL will spur next-generation manufacturing technologies using recyclable, bio-based, cost-effective materials that will bolster our region’s economy.”

Scientists from UMaine and ORNL will be conducting research in multiple areas, such as multiscale modeling, CNF production, drying, functionalization, and compounding with thermoplastics, and sustainability life-cycle analysis.

CNF could actually rival the properties of steel, and by successfully adding it into plastics, the researchers could create a renewable feedstock for strong, recyclable, bio-derived material systems that might even be 3D printed at deposition rates of hundreds of pounds an hour. Additionally, using a material that’s 50% wood could help open new markets for the forest products industry.

UMaine will get world’s largest 3D printer and use wood-based plastic to make boat molds

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Formlabs Introducing Two New 3D Printers and New Draft Resin at AMUG and Hannover Messe

It’s been over four years since Formlabs first introduced the Form 2 SLA 3D printer. But at this week’s AMUG Conference and Hannover Messe trade fair, the company is sharing some pretty big news – it’s adding two professional Low Force Stereolithography (LFS) systems to its hardware series. The new Form 3 and Form 3L 3D printers, announced today, were built on next generation technology, and will help Formlabs continue to advance digital fabrication.

3D printed speaker on Form 3

“We’ve completely re-engineered our approach to resin 3D printing with the Low Force Stereolithography (LFS) print process behind the Form 3 and Form 3L. We entered the industry seven years ago with the first powerful, affordable desktop SLA 3D printer and since then have shipped more than 50 thousand printers, and our customers have printed more than 40 million parts. Now users are leading the way in how to grow 3D printing from one machine to many, from prototyping tool to game changer,” said Max Lobovsky, CEO and Co-Founder of Formlabs. “We’re excited to take another huge leap forward with LFS 3D printing, dramatically improving the print quality and reliability people can expect while still offering the most powerful and affordable 3D printer on the market.”

LFS, an advanced, powerful form of SLA technology, decreases the forces of the peel process with a flexible tank. This allows the Form 3 and Form 3L to create parts that are consistently accurate and flawless, with amazing detail and surface finish, every single time. LFS 3D printing provides linear illumination, and tear-away, light-touch supports make for smoother parts and a quick clean-up.

Form 3L

The LFS process that drives the Form 3 is built to scale, as the Form 3L makes it possible to rapidly print large parts with two times the laser power of the Form 3. The Form 3L also has five times the build volume, and uses two Light Processing Units (LPUs) at the same time to make large-format 3D printing possible in-house.

Formlabs’ online Dashboard makes it possible to 3D print parts remotely, and LFS 3D printing uses integrated sensors to ensure nonstop printing, as they send alerts about your 3D printer in an effort to maintain the ideal print conditions. The LPU achieves accurate, repeatable prints by maintaining a uniform, high-density laser spot, and upgradeable, modular components, paired with what Formlabs calls a “foolproof design,” round out these two new 3D printers.

But the Form 3 and Form 3L aren’t the only new products Formlabs announced today. Draft Resin is the latest addition to the company’s resin library, in the Engineering family, and is three to four times faster than its other Standard Resins – perfect for rapid prototyping.

Formlabs’ engineering materials

The new Draft Resin, named for its ability to quickly print large parts and complete several design iterations (drafts) in a day, prints in 300 micron layers to meet customer needs for speed balanced with accurate prototyping; after all, as Formlabs put it, “turnaround time is key.” Another way to put it – time is money.

3D printing has already reduced the time and cost of prototyping projects, since many professional systems fit the office setting and negate the need for outsourcing. But, since SLA machines are typically used to create models with high fidelity, while FDM systems are good for initial concept prototyping, this adds some time back into the design cycle. But now, instead of switching machines, all you need to do is switch materials – use Draft Resin for early prototypes, and then Standard or Engineering Resins for functional models.

In terms of 3D printing large objects, or multiple parts on one build platform, it can take up to 20 hours to complete the job using Standard Resin. But 3D printing the same build volume, at 300 micron layers using Draft Resin, takes less than six hours. Another example of this material’s speed – a jig prototype printed on the Form 2 or new Form 3 can be completed 73% faster when using Draft Resin, so it takes less time to complete multiple design iterations.

Formlabs’ new Draft Resin is a good choice for printing parts with flat surfaces, as its accuracy in the X and Y axes is as good as the company’s Standard Resins. The material can also be used to print raised or embossed text and curved features, though Formlabs still recommends its Standard and Engineering resins for any parts that have fine surface details.

“With the launch of Draft Resin, we’re excited to continue our mission to increase the speed of 3D printing and enable faster designs and better products,” Formlabs wrote in a press release.

Starting today, Formlabs is accepting global orders for its Draft Resin. To learn more about this material, and the company’s new Form 3 and Form 3L 3D printers, visit Formlabs at booth D4 in Chicago during the AMUG Conference, or at Hannover Messe in booth G08, Hall 6.

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

[Images provided by Formlabs]

FELIXprinters releases two large-format FFF/FDM printers, technical specifications and pricing

FELIXprinters, a Netherlands-based 3D printer manufacturer, has launched two large-format FDM/FFF printers. Guillaume Feliksdal, Founder and Director of FELIXprinter said, “Our users have been telling us that they need options to create bigger parts, but without compromising on quality […] However, delivering on this is not just a case of scaling up the architecture of […]

Nexa3D’s Ultra-Fast NXE400 3D Printing System Making North American Debut at CES 2019

This week at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, production-grade stereolithography 3D printer manufacturer Nexa3D will be displaying its new NXE400 3D printer for the first time in North America. The NXE400 is impressive indeed, with reported print speeds of up to six times faster and 2.5 times the build volume of comparable hardware, making it the fastest large-format 3D printer in the industry.

Water pump housing

Like the other 3D printers in the company’s newest line, the NXE400 leverages Nexa3D’s proprietary Lubricant Sublayer Photo-curing (LSPc) technology and patented structured light matrix, and can continuously print up to 16 liters of parts at high speeds of up to 1Z centimeter a minute. This lowers the production time for prototypes and other functional parts from hours to just minutes, at injection molding levels of tolerance, repeatability, and quality, which also saves on money.

The new, highly accurate NXE400 comes with integrated sensors and cognitive software, which combine to offer continuous print monitoring, optimize part performance, and give detailed diagnostics. In addition, it also comes equipped with tough materials in order to enable ultra-fast 3D printing of production tooling, casting patterns, functional prototyping and end-use parts, and dental restoration.

Speaking of the dental industry, Nexa3D is planning on commercializing its new NXE 3D printer series this year through a multi-channel arrangement with its current partners: 3D printer manufacturer XYZprinting and digital and traditional dental materials provider BEGO. The three-way collaboration will go a long way in transforming the world of digital dentistry, as it will access the demand for expensive digital dentistry printers and industrial production, and the partnership could also end up being a major dental competitor to both EnvisionTEC and 3D Systems.

Various parts and assemblies 3D printed by the NXE400. Electrical assembly, pull handle, GoPro mount, bracket assembly, topology optimized brackets designed by ParaMatters

But the dental industry isn’t the only one that Nexa3D is interested in – the company is also collaborating with Techniplas, a global design and automotive manufacturing provider. Nexa3D joined its open innovation program as a partner a year ago in an effort to expand its presence in the automotive industry, and at this week’s CES show, Techniplas will be showcasing a concept vehicle that features 3D printed parts produced by Nexa3D, along with its growing generative design capabilities.

At CES 2019, Nexa3D will be exhibiting a range of its 3D printers, including the new NXE400, at the Techniplas booth #9320 in the North Hall’s Vehicle Technology zone in the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), and also at the Dynamism booth #32020 in the 3D Printing Marketplace in the LVCC’s South Hall.

Izhar Medalsy, the Chief Product Officer for Nexa3D, said After more than two years of intensive research and development, our team is proud to exhibit the results of our painstaking work at CES 2019 with our significant partners Techniplas and Dynamism, two go-to-market collaborators that are helping us validate the marketplace impact and build access to new products.”

Nexa3D wants to invite all qualified resellers, strategic partners, and industry practitioners to check out its new NXE400 3D printer, priced at $49,950, at CES 2019 this week. If you’re unable to make it out to Las Vegas for the show, you can see the 3D printer in action in the video below:

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[Images provided by Nexa3D]

BigRep Showcases New Technology with the PRO and EDGE 3D Printers

The BigRep PRO

At formnext this week, large-scale 3D printing company BigRep introduced its latest sizable offerings in the form of two new industrial FFF 3D printers called the BigRep PRO and BigRep EDGE. The next-generation 3D printers will allow designers and engineers to create functional prototypes, composite tooling, end-use parts and small-number serial production. The PRO and EDGE are both capable of 3D printing with high-performance materials and are aimed at establishing additive manufacturing as a production technology in industries such as automotive, aerospace, consumer goods and manufacturing.

The two new 3D printers are embedded with MXT, BigRep’s Metering Extruder Technology, and equipped with a Bosch Rexroth motion control system for speed, precision, quality and IoT connectivity.

“This new technology delivers the type of innovation that the industry has been awaiting, as our groundbreaking MXT® system makes our new printers five times faster – with greater precision and quality – than current extrusion speeds,” said BigRep CEO Stephan Beyer, PhD. “This is one giant leap for additive manufacturing, allowing BigRep customers to make full use of today’s most advanced large-scale 3D printing technology.”

The BigRep PRO has a build envelope of one cubic meter and a large, temperature-controlled spool chamber allowing for continuous printing of high-performance materials such as ASA/ABS, nylon and more. An insulated, enclosed metal frame allows for even temperature control, while glass doors allow the user to keep an eye on the print. A heated print bed is mounted with polyimide foil for better adhesion during the 3D printing process, and an integrated inductive sensor allows for semi-automatic leveling.

The BigRep EDGE has a build envelope of 1500 x 800 x 600 mm and is designed for printing high-performance materials on a large scale. End-use parts, composite tooling and functional prototypes are all possible. A heated build chamber provides a controlled, high-temperature environment of up to 200° C in the chamber and 220° C in the print bed. The EDGE is also designed to be easy to use, with automatic, upward-moving doors and an easy-to-use graphical interface on a large screen that enables full control over all print settings.

The BigRep EDGE

The partnership between BigRep and Bosch Rexroth was announced last month, and the PRO and EDGE 3D printers are the first by BigRep to incorporate Bosch’s control systems and drives.

“Thanks to professional control systems technology, 3D printing is establishing itself as an industrial manufacturing application,” said Thomas Fechner, Director of the Business Unit New Business at Bosch Rexroth. “In terms of hardware, the CNC control system by Bosch Rexroth is delivering the necessary performance, precision and durability. In our development partnership with BigRep, we are advancing the potential of 3D printing for its use in the environment of the Factory of the Future.”

Meanwhile, BigRep’s MXT technology allows for a clear separation between filament feeding and melting and molten extrusion, enabling full control over the amount and speed of material extruded at any given time. The technology is designed to take full advantage of the new 3D printing materials BigRep is developing in partnership with BASF. Both the PRO and EDGE are equipped with two MXT modular extrusion heads, which manage and synchronize the printing operations.

When used with its finest 0.6 mm nozzle, the PRO can achieve printing speeds of more than 600 mm per second, five times faster than any other FFF 3D printer on the market, according to BigRep. The EDGE can reach speeds of 1,000 mm per second with the same size nozzle. Both 3D printers have achieved filament throughput rate of 5x at the maximum extrusion rate and 3x at the average extrusion rate compared to standard FFF technology.

Formnext is taking place in Frankfurt, Germany until November 16th. You can visit BigRep and learn more about its new technology at Booth E-20 in Hall 3.1.

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