The Next Level
The Rapid TCT 2022 held in Motor City Detroit came to a fascinating and inspiring end the other day. As North America’s largest and most influential Additive Manufacturing event, what trend of additive manufacturing can we expect from it?
Take a peep at the keynote presentations on the event agenda:
One thing interesting is industrializing metal additive, it saves like a century time for some fields. If you have ever watched the live stream by 3D Printing Nerd you may recognize how additive manufacturing plus metal material application give industrial and aerospace a big solution for making parts.
The future can also be seen from the perspective of the AM Industry Achievement Award 2022 which was won by Dr. Gardner who is recognized for his contributions over a distinguished career for advancing industrial metal additive manufacturing, and for his recent work with large-scale metal-hybrid AM. Throughout his career he has invented, developed and transitioned materials, equipment and processes for a multitude of large AM capabilities.
Guess we can see more accessible desktop 3D printers which are capable of printing metals in near future.
Additive manufacturing consultant Todd Grimm introduced that the event would show us the products in five categories on event preview: printers, software, materials, post-processing, and 3D scanners which we can’t miss. The companies he mentioned represent the frontier of AM field.
From Todd’s introduction, the breakthroughs of the different techniques bring considerable benefit to industrial level 3D printers which is also a lead to hobbyist level 3D printers. Upgrades could be brought to desktop 3D printers too.
Desktop Printers the Next Level
The intention of doing upgrades to a 3D printer is undoubtedly a better printout. From construction to every part implemented in the machine, every detail would affect the printout. For sure a printer capable of DIY is needed first.
Dual gear extruders use two toothed gears to grip the filament. The gear ratio of the extruder allows more force to be applied through the nozzle. This helps reduce skipped steps and filament grinding on traditional extruder mechanisms. A dual geared extruder is useful for printing all types of filaments but it is a must-have for printing flexible filaments.
Flexible filaments are plastics with rubbery properties like TPE, TPU, or TPC which are usually soft and elastic and can thus withstand high loads. Flexible filaments are sort of "notorious" for their features of difficult to print, poor bridging characteristics, and the possibility of blobs and stringing. If these problems require makers’ technique of slicing and setting, an upgrade to dual gear extrusion can help you fix most feeding issues. Besides the extruder, upgrade for heatbreak is also an option.
Moreover, if a single extruder is too boring, the IDEX printer can step up to the next level.
The independent dual extrusion 3D printer is using a technology that allows two separate print heads to move independently. First of all, the two independent extrusion heads allow the 3D printer to achieve more functions, and complete independent operations without interfering with each other. Double the print objects in a single print time while maintaining print quality. It also provides users with greater freedom in designing models and more applications.
An IDEX printer can guarantee more room for creation, at the same time it would be hard for a new maker who just picks up 3D printing as a new hobby. It doesn’t mean it is exclusive to pros.
Jason from Carbon said in Nerd’s live stream: “ We don’t want people afraid to ask the dumb question, we want people to embrace every question.” Begin with an IDEX printer with its single-color mode, keep on embracing questions and solve them, everyone can be a pro.
IDEX the Next Printer
Bored of printing with a single extruder 3D printer? Next or the first printer could be the best IDEX 3D printer. Besides the single-color mode which can do the same job as what normal printers can, the other extruder makes the printer an IDEX.
Two extruders allow you to mix & match to generate possibilities for unexpected effects or printouts. Two kinds of material filament, dual-color, better efficiency, and double productivity which known for dual-color mode, mirror mode and duplication mode.
Dual-color mode is the most impressive function of an IDEX printer. But inside it, the possibility of using two kinds of material can help meet different needs and bring much convenience.
Mirror mode prints a model and an inverse of that same model at the same time. It is convenient because it eliminates the need to create an additional design file for the inverse model, and it saves the time that is usually spent printing the inverse model separately.
Duplication mode is synchronized printing, meaning it uses both extruders to print a model and an exact copy of that model at the same time. It can double production capacity within the same timeframe.
The Whole next level
Makers are the ecosystem of the 3DP, we define the next.