Design, prototype, iterate, prototype, final production. Do you really need all of these steps? According to Carbon, not anymore. The Silicon Valley-based additive manufacturing company launched SpeedCell, a system of securely connected printers and part washer that will alter the way you produce products.
SpeedCell offers end-to-end manufacturing through its hardware, software, materials, service and support that integrates product design and engineering.
The first components of a SpeedCell include two new products for additive manufacturing at scale: The M2, an industrial-grade 3D printer built with manufacturers in mind; and the Smart Part Washer that enables optimal cleaning and easy finishing of parts.
The new M2 printer, like the M1, has the same resolution and technology, but offers twice the build volume (W 190 mm x D 118 mm x H 326 mm; 7.48 by 4.65 by 12.8 in.). Print speed is about 100 to 200 mm/hr, depending on the object, at ambient temperature. Developed for production applications, the M2 can handle more parts per print, and/or bigger parts than the M1. It can be interfaced with robots for part handling.
This system has the needed approvals for compatibility for the manufacturing floor, including an E-stop button. There are three connectors on the machine for future add-ons, such as I/O or cooling systems. The materials used are those offered by Carbon.
The Smart Part Washer automates repeatable part washing when it receives a build platform from the printer. Near Field Communication (NFC) tags ensure a digital thread is kept on all parts—a feature needed in many manufacturing applications.
Robots can be used to automatically remove parts from the printer and deliver to the washer.
Carbon will initially offer SpeedCell in the following configurations:
Design SpeedCell couples one M Series printer with a Smart Part Washer, allowing product designers and engineers to iterate on product concepts and produce real parts at any volume.
Production SpeedCell, specifically designed for industrial manufacturing applications pairs multiple production floor compatible M2 printers with a Smart Part Washer. There is no limit to the number of M2s you can have in this configuration. One washer supports about a dozen washers.
As with the M1, all of these systems are connected and performance data goes back to Carbon. This connectivity is used to deliver software upgrades and install features as needed. “Every motor, every switch is software addressable,” says Dr. Joe DeSimone, co-founder and CEO of Carbon. For customers, design files are separate and can be encrypted.
Adds DeSimone, “For our customers, this launch means that their product development cycles no longer need to include the antiquated traditional manufacturing process steps of designing, prototyping, tooling, and then production. Instead, products can be designed and engineered on a platform that is also the means of production, eliminating prototyping and tooling steps. This dis-intermediation is at the core of Carbon’s role in accelerating the much-anticipated digital revolution in manufacturing. Users can reduce time to market to two to three months by reducing prototyping.”
The introduction of SpeedCell is in direct response to the needs of Carbon’s customers and strategic partners, including BMW Group and General Electric. Fast Radius, in partnership with UPS, is a new Carbon customer and one of Carbon’s SpeedCell launch partners.
“UPS has teamed up with Fast Radius to create a global, on-demand manufacturing and supply chain solution enabled by additive manufacturing of which Carbon’s pioneering solutions for real part manufacturing are an important addition,” said Alan Amling, UPS Corporate Strategy Vice President. “In partnership with Fast Radius, we can immediately leverage the SpeedCell capabilities to provide our customers with on-demand products and inventory in a scalable and cost-effective way.”
Rick Smith, co-founder at Fast Radius added, “Fast Radius and UPS believe that the introduction of Carbon’s technologies marks a historic point when additive manufacturing truly becomes a production alternative. We are excited to be a SpeedCell launch partner and to integrate the technology into our product design, additive manufacturing, and supply chain offerings.”
Additional SpeedCell launch partners include existing customer BMW Group and production partners Dinsmore and Associates, Primary Manufacturing, Sculpteo, and The Technology House, which are also already working to implement this new manufacturing solution.
Individual M Series machines or Smart Part Washers are also available.
Carbon will display the SpeedCell in its Diamond Suite at AMUG 2017 taking place in Chicago, March 19-23. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a meeting during AMUG.
Couples one M Series (M1 or M2) printer with a Smart Part Washer:
–Allows product designers and engineers to rapidly iterate on product concepts with the confidence that their product can be turned into real parts at any volume.
–Enables product designers and engineers to design and iterate using the same technology, software and resins that would be used to manufacture a product at scale, minimizing or sometimes getting rid of the prototyping and tooling stages of the product design and production process.
–Seamlessly works with Production SpeedCells located internally, externally or with third parties (service bureaus, manufacturing contractors, and so on) by electronically sharing designs and standard operating procedures (SOPs). “As needs ebb and flow, as volumes change, you have the production flexibility you need,” says DeSimone.
Specifically designed for industrial manufacturing applications, it pairs multiple production floor compatible M2 printers with a Smart Part Washer.
Smart Part Washer offers:
–Optimal cleaning for M Series printers. Shares a common interface with the build envelopes of the M1 and M2 so parts can be moved between systems easily and with minimal risk of damage
–Smart tracking: Features near field communication readers to enable validated and tailored part washing protocols that can be traced to each printed part to ensure production quality standards and robust post-market surveillance
–Automated: Includes automated solvent handling and recycling-compatibility to enable the highest levels of environmental stewardship and cost controls