At this year’s IMTS show, the trend for additive manufacturing is production manufacturing. Several companies either introduced or focused on their manufacturing capable systems.
3D Platform introduced two new additive systems targeted at production applications in its Excel Series Platform. The Excel series includes a parallel gantry configuration that can support multiple simultaneous processes including additive, subtractive, and robotics.
The Excel 100 Series starts with a 4 ft x 4 ft x 8 ft (1.2 x 1.2 x 2.4 m) build area with an array of high-volume extruder systems that deliver a material throughput capacity from 2 kg/hr to as high as 55 kg/hr per gantry. This throughput is possible by leveraging multiprocessing, parallel gantries and a combination of additive, subtractive, and robotic configurations. The build area can be extended to almost any length needed (100 meters +) to offer large format like never before.
The hardware on the Excel line includes components from PBC Linear, Xtrution, THK, Yaskawa, and Shimpo. These components shape linear guides and multiple gantry systems, while powering motion control and industrial robotics technology.
The next machine 3D Platform introduced was its XL-Delta system targeted at the additive production of tall items. The work area lets you 3D print an item that can be up to 2.5 m across and 2 m in height.
Both systems are extrusion based. Both offer a range of nozzle sizes, with the largest up to +4.5mm, which helps enable the high deposition rate of 1.5 to 2 kg/hr.
While these units can use typical 3D printing filament material, they can also use these materials in pellet form. A key trend in additive is the increasing use of pellets to help deliver higher throughput in material deposition.
3D Platform has also made these machines open market, leveraging material science developments and best-in-class partnerships to expand served applications.