3D Systems recently announced Icon Technologies Limited, a thermoforming and rotational molding company based in Winkler, Manitoba (Canada), has purchased an EXT 1270 Titan Pellet 3D printer. The company is renowned for providing innovative custom thermoformed solutions to its OEM customers for a variety of industrial applications, including recreational vehicles, building products, and HVAC systems. With the addition of the EXT 1270 Titan Pellet 3D printer to its manufacturing floor, Icon believes they will produce large thermoforming molds with dramatically increased speed and significantly lower costs.
“With the breadth of industries we serve, and the large molds we produce, it’s imperative that we maximize our productivity,” said John Loewen, founder and CEO of Icon Technologies Limited. “3D Systems’ EXT Titan Pellet 3D printer is the best solution to help us provide high-quality products to our customers. The combination of build volume, industrial engineering, economical feedstocks, and the heated chamber along with materials that have been validated for thermoforming applications stand out above other large format printers. Additionally, I visited the manufacturing facility last year and was blown away by the application engineering team, and the breadth of projects they’re working on. Beyond the people, seeing the manufacturing line first-hand, the QA process, and the attention to detail reinforced that I was making the right choice to not only advance the service we provide to our customers but also to help our customers grow their businesses.”
3D Systems’ EXT 1270 Titan Pellet system is a versatile, reliable industrial additive manufacturing solution designed to leverage low-cost thermoplastic pellet feedstocks. The system features print volumes up to 50 x 50 x 72 in. (1270 x 1270 x 1829 mm) which makes it possible to print most large thermoforming tools, such as those required by Icon. EXT Titan Pellet systems are compatible with a range of nozzle sizes enabling printing finer layers than other available systems. This allows thermoforming molds to be produced, in most cases, without the need for post-machining. When Icon requires a finer surface or tighter tolerance on specific molds they produce, the spindle tool head will enable them to achieve a smooth, accurate surface without moving the print to a separate CNC machine.
EXT Titan Pellet 3D printers are helping a variety of manufacturers realize significant cost and lead time savings in the direct production of large thermoforming molds — up to 88% raw material cost savings and up to 65% lead-time reduction as compared to machined metal or cast ceramic alternatives. Not only are the 3D-printed molds less expensive and faster to produce, but they also perform extremely well. For example, composite materials like glass-filled polycarbonate are proven solutions for heavy gauge (.220 in.) sheet forming with molds reported to have endured well over 1,000 shots with little to no apparent wear.
“Icon has long-standing customer relationships and is highly regarded for delivering high-quality molds,” said Brad Mount, global director, business development – Titan, 3D Systems. “As the first manufacturer in Canada to add an EXT 1270 Titan Pellet 3D printer to their manufacturing workflow, they are demonstrating their commitment to continuous innovation, while also paving the way for their customers to transform their businesses. We take pride in our collaboration with Icon, both through the work of our Application Innovation Group which validates materials and print processes for Icon’s applications, as well as our global support network. I look forward to seeing how Icon is able to grow its business as it maximizes the benefits of this new system.”
3D Systems will showcase its large-format EXT Titan Pellet line of 3D printers at this week’s SPE Thermoforming Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, October 24-26. Attendees are invited to visit booth #217 to see examples of printed molds and formed parts, and to discuss their operations’ unique needs with the company’s experts. For more information about the conference, please visit the company’s website.