3D printing (or additive manufacturing) is used by many to create realistic prototypes and first production runs. However, where most printing processes are good for creating small and detailed objects, our printer is created with large objects in mind. We obviously use this for our composite parts, but it also allows us to efficiently produce “normal” printed parts.
Our printers work with UV curing resin, very similar to SLA machines. We can set layer thickness anywhere from 50 microns up to 500 microns, the latter obviously resulting in much faster printing, but lower accuracy. Our current largest printer has a printing volume of 0.5 x 0.5 x 1m and from 2018 Q2 ondwards we will have a printer with one cubic metre printing volume.
When to use our printing process?
Due to its size and speed, our printer shines on larger objects or larger series of smaller objects. We use pixels (like on your computer monitor) to control the print. These pixels have dimensions of approximately 150 microns. When products have very tight tolerances, this means we generally will have to do some machining step aftwerwards.
We use our in-house developed resin system, which gives epoxy-like properties: high thermal resistance, high strength and stiffness. Resin development is ongoing and some new formulations that have different properties will be launched soon.