The two systems 3DQue launched, the QSuite and QPoD systems, promise to bring plastic parts production in-house while reducing costs, increasing operational control, and decreasing environmental footprint.
These systems are based on a design from Mateo Pekic, founder of 3DQue, who at age of 15 was considered a whiz at 3D printing in his hometown of Vancouver, Canada. He found a way to complete print jobs autonomously.
“Until now, plastic 3D printing failed to meet today’s manufacturing needs due to the high cost of part removal and lack of scalability,” said Steph Sharp, CEO and co-founder of 3DQue. “Working from his basement, Pekic solved a problem that has stumped some of the world’s leading experts in materials science, engineering and innovation by automating plastic 3D printers to safely produce complex plastic parts at scale.”
QSuite eliminates the need for manual tasks such as job scheduling (and rescheduling), part removal, print bed reset, and printer restart. QSuite uses a proprietary suite of hardware and software technologies to mass produce high quality plastic parts. No need for specialized or dedicated operators, QSuite comes complete with fully automated dynamic scheduling that reprioritizes jobs based on changing deadlines or parts, operates 24/7 in a continuous production loop, provides fully autonomous part removal and delivery without the use of tapes, glues, or robotics, and gives operators control through real-time reporting and management data – all managed remotely so users can do other work while the printer delivers parts.
QSuite capabilities will be available to end users for license by FFF/FDM 3D printer manufacturers in September 2019.
QPod is 3DQue’s 24/7 production-on-demand unit powered by QSuite. QPoD has 9 printers in a compact 3×3 array with a total footprint of 10 sq ft. In a field trial conducted in January, QPoD printers produced switch cube frames (25 x 25 x 25 mm – 2.7 grams) at a rate equivalent to 100,000 parts per year translating to a production capacity of more than 8,000 parts/sq ft. QPoD comes with internal conveyors and collection bins, enabling autonomous fabrication of plastic parts. A limited number of pre-production QPoDs will be available for lease starting July 2019.
Each QPoD production-on-demand unit powered by QSuite comes with enclosure, conveyor and parts collection system, control panel, 9 printers, and automated part delivery.
Full production of QPoD commences in January 2020.
With QSuite, pre production units are available for a one-time cost of $45,000, which includes: (1) on-site installation of one QPoD; (2) 5-year QPoD equipment lease; (3) 3,000 print-hours of QSuite software; and (4) 18 months of QSuite software support.
This equates to $0.80 per switch cube frame for the first 3,636 frames ($0.89/frame once the free print-hours have been used) for equipment and software. In a field trial, filament, electricity and rent added another $0.08 for a total unit cost of $0.97/frame. 3D printer manufacturers who want to incorporate QSuite’s non-invasive automation solution into their next-gen printers can apply for a license starting September 2019.
3DQue Systems Inc.