Fabrica Group (formerly Nanofabrica) announced that it is showcasing its micro AM technology — the Fabrica 2.0 — at the upcoming Formnext event in Frankfurt on booth C131. It will also be displaying an array of parts fabricated on its machine.
Avi Cohen, Head of Strategic Sales for Fabrica Group notes, “For manufacturers looking at the possibilities of using AM to complement or replace conventional production technologies for micro plastic parts, there are a number of compelling considerations. Through the Fabrica 2.0 micro AM technology, micron tolerances can be achieved repeatably on features and parts measuring less that a millimeter in all dimensions. Many micro plastic parts today are required with extremely exacting tolerances and feature sizes, and not only can the Fabrica 2.0 attain these levels of accuracy, but it can also allow the production of parts with a geometric complexity impossible using legacy manufacturing processes. Micro 3D printing essentially promotes design freedom, and so facilitates the production of parts and components without many of the limitations associated with more conventional production processes. In addition, micro AM requires no tooling, and so the lead times for production are significantly reduced as are the costs of production, especially when looking at short to medium volume runs.”
Capable of single micron resolution, Fabrica Group’s technology is targeted at the optics, semi-conductor, micro-electronics, MEMS, microfluidics, and life sciences sectors. These sectors exhibit high-level demand for accuracy and complexity, and until now the only route to market has been through disproportionately expensive or restrictive traditional manufacturing technologies.
The Fabrica 2.0 micro AM system has 250 trillion voxels in the build volume of the printer. There is no other machine with such a voxel capacity, and it is because of this that the Fabrica 2.0 has the ability to apply a huge amount of data onto one part, which means highly precise and micron level accuracy can be achieved.
The voxel capacity means that a large number of end-use parts can be accommodated in one build volume. For example, the Fabrica 2.0 can manufacture over 10,000 1 mm x 1 mm x 1 mm parts in a single build, from which it is easy to see how true mass manufacture is now attainable through the use of AM.
For many manufacturers, the goal when looking at AM as a production technology is high volumes. The ability to mass produce AM parts without the need for time consuming and costly hard tooling, and with all the advantages AM brings in terms of agility and geometric complexity impossible using traditional production techniques is a goal the Fabrica 2.0 makes attainable on the micro scale.