BigRep, a global leader in large-scale 3D printing, unveiled a “significant breakthrough” in Thermoplastic Extrusion (Fused Filament Fabrication – FFF). BigRep’s new proprietary MXT will power its two new 3D printers and “set a new standard for and redefine additive manufacturing.”
The BigRep PRO and EDGE are the company’s next-generation 3D printers, giving engineers and designers the ability to create functional prototypes, composite tooling, end-use parts in small-number serial production capacity. Both printers can print with high-performance materials for applications in industries such as automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, manufacturing and more.
Metering Extruder Technology (MXT) establishes a clear separation between filament feeding and melting and molten extrusion, which allows for full control over the amount and speed of material extruded at any given time. This technology takes full advantage of the printing materials BigRep, in partnership with BASF, develops.
PRO and EDGE are equipped with two MXT modular extrusion heads, which manage and synchronize the extrusion and printing operations. This translates into:
· Printing speeds of >600 millimeters per second (mm/s), when the PRO is used with its finest 0.6 mm nozzle. The EDGE surpasses that with speeds of 1,000 mm/s with the finest 0.6 mm nozzle in place.
· Demonstrated filament throughput rate of 5x at the maximum extrusion rate and 3x at the average extrusion rate.
“This new technology delivers the type of innovation that the industry has been awaiting, as our groundbreaking MXT system makes our new printers five times faster – with greater precision and quality – than current extrusion speeds,” said BigRep CEO, Stephan Beyer, PhD.
BigRep PRO is for the 3D printing of large-scale industrial parts and features a build envelope of one cubic meter and a large, temperature-controlled spool chamber for continuous printing with high-performance materials, like ASA/ABS, nylon and more. The insulated, enclosed metal frame ensures an optimal even temperature control. The heated print bed is mounted with polyimide foil for better adhesion during the printing process, and an integrated inductive sensor semi-automatically levels the bed.
BigRep EDGE, with a print bed measuring 1500 x 800 x 600 mm, is for high-end, high performance materials in large-scale format, allowing end-use parts, functional prototypes and composite tooling. Its heated build chamber provides a controlled, high-temperature environment of up to 200° C in the chamber and 220° C in the print bed. The EDGE also features automatic, upward-moving doors and an easy-to-use graphical interface on a large screen that enables full control over all print settings.
The technology powering these 3D printers is significant because extrusion technology has largely been unchanged for a quarter-century. The first major advance is a result of the development partnership announced earlier this year between BigRep and Bosch Rexroth. Through this partnership, the PRO and the EDGE will incorporate a state-of-art CNC control system and drives by Bosch Rexroth, making these systems IoT-ready with full connectivity and data.
Thomas Fechner, Director of the Business Unit New Business at Bosch Rexroth, commented: “Thanks to professional control systems technology, 3D printing is establishing itself as an industrial manufacturing application. In terms of hardware, the CNC control system by Bosch Rexroth is delivering the necessary performance, precision and durability. In our development partnership with BigRep, we are advancing the potential of 3D printing for its use in the environment of the Factory of the Future.”
BigRep PRO is available to order immediately. BigRep EDGE is scheduled for release in Q2 2019.