Large 3D Printer Developed by 3D Platform
Why has 3D Platform developed such a large 3D printer?
A history of 3D Platform….
It all started with what turned out to be an industry need… engineers needed a large 3D printer that was capable of printing an object larger than what was capable of being printed on a desktop printer on a machine that was actually affordable by most companies (i.e. it couldn’t cost $300,000+ USD). Often it is believed that FDM 3D printers are limited to only smaller models, although 3DP is innovating towards machines that are larger and better than before.
Having extensive expertise in bearings, linear motion systems and cartesian robots, our engineering team decided to create the industry first, open market, large format 3D printer. We needed to be able to create real world prototypes and even production parts that ordinary desktop 3D printers could not handle which led to our first large 3D printer. 3DP’s super-reliable large 3D printer is based on PBC Linear’s SIMO series and PBC hosted 3DP’s first generation machine back in 2014.
3DP Representative Mark Huebner discusses large format 3D printing with one of 3DP’s engineers.
Alongside them is the 3D Platform’s 1st generation large 3D printer.
Interviewer: This is a large 3D printer—I mean we are talking about one meter by one meter by a half meter build area. What drove you guys to go large format?
Engineer: At the time, a lot of our 3D printers were very small footprints, and most of the products and parts that we wanted to print just simply would not fit on the printer. So, we decided to come up with a large 3D printer that could not only do one-meter by one-meter print but also run production parts. Initially, we had a customer that came to us with a small production run involving a prototype. The print run was successful in that we were able to print it all on one print bed.
3D Platform has continued to be a market leading manufacturer of large 3d printers.
In 2017, 3DP released the fifth generation in its family of large 3D printers. The WorkSeries family of printers has multiple industry-first enhancements for customers. It is the first large 3D printer which offers not just one model, but an entire family of large 3D printers for customers to choose from. Whether customers want to spend <$20k for the smaller WorkSeries 100 (which, with a print volume of 1m x 1m x 0.5m is still a large 3D printer!) or they choose to upgrade all the way to a WorkSeries 400 (with a print volume of 1m x 1.5m x 0.7m is twice as large of a 3D Printer as the WS100) – customers get the choice in a machine and can choose how large of a 3D Printer they need. Click here to learn more about the WorkSeries family of large 3D printers
The WorkSeries is also the first in the industry to offer customers the choice of various extruders. Users get to choose if they want an extruder geared towards higher fidelity or if they want an extruder geared towards higher throughput. With nozzles ranging from 0.2mm to 4.8mm and a print volume starting at 4 cubic inches an hour all the way up to 60 cubic inches using up 16 filament rolls a day. 3D Platform’s extruders are the fastest on the market, with up to 16 times the speed over competitors, you can push additive manufacturing to new heights. Click here to learn more about high flow extruder line of products.
In 2016, 3D Platform showed off its demonstrator Excel machine. This machine has a print bed starting at 4 feet x 8 feet (1.2 x 2.4m) and is configurable up to 4m wide x 100m long. At the time this machine was displayed, it was the largest 3D printer in the world in the industrial, open-market category.
This large 3D printer also had a number of ‘firsts’ for the industry:
- This machine was also the first large 3D printer to display multiple printing gantries which could be independently programmed or could be tied together to simultaneously print a single object.
- This machine was also the first large 3D printer to incorporate a robotic arm which could be used for subtractive manufacturing inside of the same machine as the additive manufacturing.
- This machine was also the first in the industry to display Yaskawa’s cutting edge, industrial, large format 3D printer
- This was the first 3D printer (large or small) to incorporate both pellet and spool fed extruders into the same machine – and could have both extruders in use at the same time!
- This machine was also the first large format additive manufacturing machine to incorporate an enclosure with heater for temperature sensitive printing and a portable hopper system for pellet fed printers.
To learn more about 3DP’s Excel machine, visit the product page here: https://3dplatform.com/large-format-additive-manufacturing-machine/
In 2018, 3DP continued to be a market leader in machine innovation and announced its next generation, extra large 3D printer, the WorkCenter 500. This additive manufacturing machine has an extra large print volume of 2.4 cubic meters or 73 cubic feet (1.4m x 2.8m x 0.7m or 4 ft x 8 ft x 2.3 ft)! This additive manufacturing work center is a smaller-scale version of the Excel machine targeted at customers who need an extra large 3D printer, but only need a single gantry.
The WorkCenter 500 incorporates many of the technological advances discovered during work on the Excel printer including:
- The ability to use spool or pellet fed extruders
- A rock-solid industrial control from Yaskawa
- Highly reliable, machine-tool components for the bearings and motion system
- An easy to use, remotely accessible control system
To learn more about 3DP’s WorkCenter 500 machine, visit the product page here: https://3dplatform.com/extra-large-format-3d-printer/