VIDEO: Using Techniques Old and New to Advance Additive Manufacturing

“Imagine being able to make that exact same part in roughly one-tenth the print time…”

The 3D printing of production parts has always come down to trade-offs – you can get your resolution and accuracy, but at the price of very long build times. Does it need to be this way?

In the video above, we speak with John Good, VP of global sales and marketing at 3D Platform about how recent advancements in additive manufacturing, and inspiration from tried-and-true automotive processes, can circumvent this trade-off.

“By using larger nozzle sizes, imagine being able to make that exact same part in roughly one-tenth the print time but still achieve the print fidelity by using some industry standard finishing techniques that have come out of the automotive industry,” Good explained. “But we didn’t want to stop there. We’re taking extruder throughput to the next level. Imagine increasing the extruder capacity by a factor of 16, taking a print from 320 hours, down to 20 hours.”

In the video, Good shows examples of the types of finish compared between standard techniques and those available at 3D platform. Good states that the paints developed for the automotive industry for auto repair and high-fill primers for paint and glass work phenomenally well for achieving mirror finishes without having to spend hours upon hours sanding.

These techniques can be limited to certain materials due to heat constraints, but 3D Platform has found their way by developing their own unique extruders.

“It comes down to thermal management. We’ve had to go ahead and evolve from extruders that might be 40 watts to introducing extruders that are driving more than 900 watts and when we go pellet fed, even higher than that. It’s about putting energy in to melt the plastics and then you’ve got to cool things down.”

For more information, visit the 3D Platform website.

Written by

James Anderton

Jim Anderton is the Director of Content for Mr. Anderton was formerly editor of Canadian Metalworking Magazine and has contributed to a wide range of print and on-line publications, including Design Engineering, Canadian Plastics, Service Station and Garage Management, Autovision, and the National Post. He also brings prior industry experience in quality and part design for a Tier One automotive supplier.