Moshe Aknin Discusses BigRep and the Technology that Will Redefine Additive Manufacturing

[wpseo_breadcrumb]

As BigRep basks in the glow of a successful Formnext, Moshe Aknin (Chief Technology Officer) talks technonology, the additive market, and what BigRep has planned for the future. The additive industry is growing at an accelerated pace, and the size of the market has attracted some big players, but like any growing industry, new technology and those who develop it will have a strong competitive advantage.

What was your motivation for developing the new MXT® technology?

MA: Technology is usually driven by a market need. For years, Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) was the industry standard in 3D printing technology, utilizing its main benefit—the ability to use engineering grade plastics. As the additive market advanced from rapid prototyping to additive manufacturing (AM), FFF’s shortcomings became obvious: low throughput and no repeatability. Throughput for those new to AM refers to the productivity of the printer over a specific time period.

The weaknesses inherent in FFF technology are well known in the industry but were dealt with mainly by trying to tighten the printing parameters. A better way to solve these problems is to change the machines’ design, and in this case, the extruder design. Bigrep’s next generation of printers will both come equipped with MXT® technology. Printing speeds of >600 mm/s will be possible when the PRO is used with finest 0.6 mm nozzle, making it five times faster than any FFF printer on the market. The EDGE surpasses that with speeds of 1,000 mm/s with finest 0.6 mm nozzle in place.

In addition, groundbreaking filament throughput rates have been demonstrated at 5x the maximum extrusion rate and 3x the average extrusion rate, compared to FFF technology, delivering material deposition control that allows for unmatched quality and precision.

Why did you feel the additive market was ready?

MA: The AM market was begging for it. In conversations with the biggest AM parts providers in the EU and the US, the shortcomings of FFF were a hotly discussed topic. The new MXT® technology will allow these suppliers to create end-use parts at a speed and precision unlike anything in the industry. The word disrupt has become an industry cliché, but MXT® is about to redefine additive.

What excites you most about Bigrep?

MA: The passion of our people. You can’t fabricate passion within a business: it’s either there or it’s not. The spirit of Bigrep as a truly international and diverse company with strong German engineering roots, which is well recognized by some of the renowned traditional German industries, was a major factor that convinced me to come on board as CTO. Since joining Bigrep, we have built an innovative, customer-oriented team, that is focused on accelerating AM. Everyone in the company understands the vision and strategy; where we are going and how we plan to get there. And that sense of togetherness is infectious. From sales to research and development, there is a feeling of partnership. In other companies, the silo effect is at play; where, for example, staff from R&D have never met or talked to people working in marketing and vice versa. The channels of communication are fluid at Bigrep and that harmonizes the plan of action. Our investors are also very enthusiastic and supportive of our mission, and they understand that we mean business.

What is the biggest advantage of Bigrep’s technology and its second-generation printers?

MA: Our second-generation printers will offer three main features that will reshape additive manufacturing: high throughput & repeatability, engineering-grade materials and connectivity through the Internet of Things (IoT). The feature that is most advantageous depends on the industry and application. For example, in manufacturing connectivity is key, as it allows for adaptive manufacturing and learning. These refinements will put additive manufacturing on an entirely different level, opening up the possibility for fast, precise, large-scale printing that with time will become a mainstay in the factory of the future.

Where do you see Bigrep in the next 5 to 10 years?

In the near future, Bigrep will become a leader in the thermoplastic AM market with a growing market share and a unique ability to deliver high-performance solutions to meet the needs of industrial applications. As we move further into the future, I see Bigrep as a major provider of fully-connected, automated and adaptive manufacturing equipment, which we will achieve through collaboration and innovation. Importantly, our R&D department is responsive. With flexibility built into the design of everything we do, we can provide customer-specific solutions that are tailored to the exacting demands of the manufacturing industry, allowing us to grow with the market.

DISCOVER OUR 3D PRINTERS

Moshe-Aknin-BigRep-115x115

Moshe Aknin is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at BigRep, leading a team of around 30 developers and engineers in the fields of mechanics, electronics, software, materials and testing. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from the Hebrew University.

BigRep CEO Stephan Beyer Talks Technology and New Printers on the Eve of Formnext

Stephan Beyer Bigrep Additive Manufacturing World Leader

[wpseo_breadcrumb]

On the eve of Formnext, BigRep CEO, Stephen Beyer PhD, speaks about industry redefining technology, life at BigRep, and what comes next for the fast-growing Berlin startup. Formnext, is the additive manufacturing event of the year, and this year is particularly special for BigRep, as they will unveil a new state-of-the-art large-scale 3D printer, new MXT technology and will have some other big announcements to make.

Question:What can we expect from BigRep tomorrow?

SB: We have been building up to this day for the past two years, with blood, sweat, and tears from every person in the company. I can’t be more excited on the eve of the grand unveiling of our next generation of 3D printers and of course, our new Metering Extruder Technology (MXT). We know that these printers will redefine additive manufacturing (AM) and we’re proud to show the world that this is the new standard in large-scale 3D printing.

Question: What excites you most about BigRep?

SB: Every day the people at BigRep inspire me. We’ve built a team of extremely passionate people; from research and development to sales and marketing and everyone in between. There is a shared feeling that what BigRep is doing is going to radically shape the future of the manufacturing. Apart from the people, the pioneering MXT technology that we have developed is something that not only BigRep, but the wider additive manufacturing industry is excited about. Old FFF technology left customers all over the world, frustrated and disappointed with AM. With a shift to high throughput and repeatability, endless new applications are possible; now let’s wait for AM to really take off.

Question: What does this new technology represent for BigRep?

SB: The new technology is our magnum opus and is the result of years of research, hard work, and creative thinking. We realized, a couple of years ago, that the market demanded much more from AM; that it was far from reaching its potential. MXT is a massive milestone for the company and will be a springboard for achieving our ambitious short and long-term goals. With our next generation printers, embedded with this new technology, we are sending out a message to the market that it’s time for BigRep, and this is now the industry benchmark for others to follow.

Question: Why is BigRep different?

SB: BigRep is different in a couple of ways. What set’s us apart is our customer-centric approach from designing to manufacturing. Applications, and how they can disrupt new and existing markets is our focus. We are not interested in following the status quo and neither are our customers like Ford, Etihad, Daimler, Toyota or Boyce Technologies. These behemoths of business didn’t get to market leadership by being cautious, they got there by being pioneers and by embracing new technology like advanced AM. BigRep is agile and responsive to market trends, and our research and development team, stay at the cutting edge of the industry.

In addition, NOWLAB—BigRep’s innovation and consultancy wing—was set up to provide new and existing customers with inspiration on how they can create completely new applications that will unleash new value or discover new ways to integrate AM into their existing workflows. These guys are doing some incredible work to showcase AM and put it on a global stage. The biggest companies in the world are finding out how AM is an integral component of Industry 4.0 and the factory of the future.

Question: Where do you see BigRep America headed in the next 5 to 10 years?
SB: That’s not an easy question. What I know for sure is that BigRep America will grow fast and will have an expanded presence throughout the country. It has always been BigRep’s strategy to partner with market leaders across different industries, and that will continue. In the near future, BigRep will become a leader in the large-scale AM market, with a unique ability to deliver high-performance solutions to meet the needs of industrial applications. Looking further ahead, BigRep will become a major provider of fully-connected, automated manufacturing equipment, that will future-proof businesses as manufacturing becomes digitalized. The factory of the future is closer than you think. We want our customers to dominate the markets of the future, and we will grow and adapt to stay at the cutting edge of AM.

Join Stephan Beyer and the rest of the BigRep team at Formnext tomorrow, November 13 for the launch of the next generation of large-scale 3D printing. Learn more HERE.

Stephan_Beyer-CEO-Bigrep-3d-printing-berlin-150

Stephan Beyer is the co-founder and CEO at BigRep. He holds a PhD in finance and a masters in Engineering.

Connect with Stephan on Linkedin HERE.

Q&A with President BigRep America: Growth, Expansion, and Challenges

Frank Marangell is EVP Global Sales at BigRep and 3D Printing unconditional

Still warm with the afterglow of a strategic partnership with Bosch Rexroth, Frank Marangell (FM)—President of US BigRep America — took some time out to talk about BigRep, its challenges and opportunities, and what the future holds as the business grows rapidly in North America.

Question: What is BigRep’s presence in North America currently?

FM: BigRep officially opened the US arm of its business in September 2016, with an office in New York City. Soon after, we opened our North American headquarters in Woburn, Massachusetts. Since I joined in August 2017, we have gone from a two-person, remote-based team to a team of seven with a reseller network that covers 100% of the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In addition, we also have a great partnership with Autodesk BUILD Space—a 34,000 sq. ft research and development workshop for building in Boston.

Question: What excites you most about BigRep?

FM: There are three things, which were the primary motivations for joining BigRep. First is new technology: our next generation of printers are poised to redefine additive manufacturing and set a new industry benchmark. Spearheading that drive for technological advancement is Moshe Aknin, who as Chief Technology Officer, brings a wealth of industry expertise to the senior management team. The second and third reasons go together: a strategic plan with an ambitious vision and the support of investors who believe in our mission. The combination of these three factors put BigRep in a strong position to reshape traditional manufacturing and introduce a new premium in 3D printing.

Question: What was the biggest change for BigRep over the past year?

FM: When I joined BigRep, we had just three resellers in the American market and only one sales person for the entire U.S. market. Since then, we have refocused our business to the industrial market, seeing a broader demand there.
In a very short amount of time, we have significantly elevated customer to the point where we’re actively being approached by resellers who want to offer BigRep machines in their portfolios - and by customers who associate BigRep with high-end, large-scale industrial 3D printing.

Question: What is the biggest challenge for BigRep?

FM: In the short term, one of the biggest challenges for any business in additive is identifying the industry and applications that fit best and then finding the right person within the company. There are limitless opportunities in almost every industry possible but it comes down to providing industry leading technology, and carving out a position of strength in that particular industry.
In the long term, the challenge is to create a mindset that will accept 3D printing as an essential evolution in manufacturing. As BigRep prepares itself to be a leader in additive manufacturing for end use parts, we need to actively educate companies that additive can play an important role in the manufacturing process and is a great compliment to traditional manufacturing processes like milling, molding, casting, forming, etc. and not a threat.

Question: Where do you see BigRep in the next 5 to 10 years?

FM: For BigRep America, I think the biggest change we will see in the next 5 to 10 years is growth and expanded presence. It’s crucial that we build up the support structure from sales and marketing to customer support and logistics.
BigRep’s strategy is to partner with the best, and this will remain a strong focus. We will continue to partner with companies to provide state-of-the-art technology that can help BigRep reshape manufacturing.
Lastly, as we sell to companies that intend to make end-use parts, the demands will be much higher than just prototyping customers and BigRep will need the infrastructure to support that development.

Final Thoughts?

As the adoption of 3D printing continues to grow, the industry continues to dream and think bigger about the possibilities that additive can provide. And with the comes that expectation that you can print a part in full scale and not have piece together many smaller pieces. For this you need a big, industrial 3D printer that can provide you a high quality part, like a BigRep. BigRep’s large-scale 3D printers are providing value that customers are increasingly able to understand.

DISCOVER OUR 3D Printers

Frank-Marangell-bigrep

Frank Marangell is President of BigRep America Inc. and Executive VP of Global Sales at BigRep. He has been operating at the top level of the additive manufacturing industry for over a decade.

Connect with Frank on Linkedin HERE.

Your Questions Answered – 3D Printing Webinar Q&As

Picture of 3D printing experts brainstorming about their next architectural project

[wpseo_breadcrumb]

Our recent webinar ‘How to Revolutionize Your Architecture and Construction Business with 3D Printed Formwork’ was an exciting opportunity for us to connect with other 3D printing, construction and architecture enthusiasts. We had a great group of attendees there on the line asking questions of our webinar hosts, Jörg Petri and Tobias Wallisser. Due to limited time, Petri and Wallisser were not able to answer all questions on the day, so we contacted each participant with answers to their questions afterwards.

Many of the questions were very topical and great opportunities to explain some more context behind the scenes of BigRep and NOWlab projects, and Petri’s view of construction in the future with additive manufacturing. So, we decided to publish the answers here below!

Remember, you can easily watch the webinar for free here.

Can you go over the purpose and type of sensors you are embedding? Are you embedding them in the concrete or the plastic part?

The sensors were embedded in the concrete using a 3D-printed protection ring. We used capacitive sensor technology, so the closer you get with your hand, the stronger the signal. The sensor itself can be printed as well, as we did in another project: The Modular Wall.

Discover our Industrial Use Cases

Can you address cost of 3D printing vs. milling at this scale? We have found machining to be a lot cheaper.

To do a proper calculation, you have to look at the whole process chain. As print times are increasing, this calculation is no longer valid anyway. One of the clear advantages of 3D printing the formwork is less material waste. If you are milling, you will always use a massive block of a low-quality material like styrofoam, the waste for which cannot be easily recycled. After on-site use, the casting element is declared as toxic waste that has to be disposed of at high cost to the producer. In addition to this, you generally have to cover the milled part with epoxy to achieve the necessary strength.

The advantage of 3D printing over milling is that you only use the material you need to form the concrete, and you can print using high-quality polymers that are recyclable. If the strength is sufficient, you can print PLA as a biopolymer – you do not need to recycle it, as it is biodegradable. It is also possible to produce undercuts with flexible materials like a TPU-based filament (Pro FLEX) or a water-soluble PVA.

For each company, the cost and time saved used 3D printing will vary. However, we have found that many customers manage to significantly reduce their time to market. Milling can be cheap, but then can also take up to
several weeks longer than 3D printing molds, for example. So, the saving in terms of resources, material and competitive advantage are substantial. Here is a video providing some examples of time and cost savings that some of our customers have experienced.

Furthermore, the advantage of 3D printing is that it can fit into the production process – it does not have to replace it all together. We find that sometimes customers use traditional milling methods for some parts, while they use 3D printing technology at other stages of the production chain.

Can you also address direct 3D printing of concrete without molds vs with molds?

As mentioned briefly in the webinar, both technologies will play their part on the future building site. The current resolutions for 3D printing do not allow for the production of a visible concrete wall with the necessary surface quality demands.

Furthermore, speed will be an issue. If you reduce the printing resolution,it will be too slow and thus the advantages of using 3D printing are somewhat diminished.

The issue of reinforcement of 3D printed concrete walls is still waiting be solved. That is the advantage of the molding – we are tapping into an existing method and simply changing it slightly. This way, we retain the standards and methods used on-site with in-building pipes, establishing reinforcement, etc. Eventually, this technology and requisite methods will have been developed, but for now, it’s a good start: we’re focused on how replace or optimize some parts in the process chain.

What are the UV properties of BigRep materials? Have you done any testing for outdoor end-use applications?

We are moving through this process currently, to put our latest materials through new tests. We are using modified PLA, which resists temperatures up to 115 degrees Celsius. This is enough for the concrete, which would likely be exposed to the heat from sunlight. Our material development continues, and we will be working on new ones to withstand high temperatures and retain their strength and surface quality. Stay tuned for the end of the year when we have a big announcement surrounding this topic!

Can you develop on formworks recycling process?

We are in the process of testing this right now, to understand the best ways to clean the prints, ensure the safety of any toxic materials etc. So, there is no firm guideline for recycling yet, but it certainly is an important factor in the construction process, as 3D printing moves forward to become an important part of the process.

Brian Lilley 3D Prints Ecological Solutions: Insights from a BigRep Innovation Award Jury Member

Joris Laarman Lab series based on the Diamond Chair 2014

[wpseo_breadcrumb]

Nova Scotia-based architect Brian Lilley is fascinated by how architecture, ecology, computation and art weave together to create solutions for communities. Now calling Halifax home, the architecture professor has honed his craft in cities such as London and Berlin, and since beginning to teach fulltime has had a focus on the potential of 3D printing. When he first began lecturing at Dalhousie University, Brian was responsible for forming a rapid prototyping lab with laser cutters, CNC milling, and depositional printers. He has worked on many collaborative projects with digital makers and thinkers across North America and Europe, one of which eventually resulted in a prototype ceramic printer.

As a jury member for the BigRep Innovation Award, we asked Brian more about his work background and for his take on integration of computation and 3D printing into design – specifically, furniture design.

Could you please tell us a bit about your background and experience as a designer?

My formative experience in Design was in London, at the Architectural Association, where exceptional projects are the expectation. Computation was just coming into play. My Tutors, Nigel Coates and Daniel Weil, both had young design firms that specialized in furniture and smaller-scale architecture.

Then, working in Berlin with sauerbruch hutton architekten, we employed a sophisticated colour sensibility meshed together with a progressive set of environmental strategies. My major project was the GSW headquarters building, including furnishing for the gardens, restaurants, and conference rooms. The use of computation as a design tool really began with forays into physical simulation (with Arup Engineers), augmented reality, and animation.

Most recently I have been working with a group named 'Narratives in Space and Time' on a series of projects related to the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion. A collaborative approach resulted in an iPhone app called 'Drifts' meant to encourage story-sharing, and the 'Pyschogeographer's Table', a milled topographic tabletop that incorporates both augmented reality projections above and real physical artifacts in drawers below. Another project for the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has focused on a digital-material-craft reproduction of a key artifact; a panel from the RMA Titanic's first-class lounge area.

Detail from the Psychogeographer's Table, 2017
Detail from the Psychogeographer's Table, 2017

You reference the Joris Laarman Lab as a key inspiration. What specifically about their approach to digital technologies and furniture design do you recommend for aspiring student designers?

Joris Laarman works in a clever way that stimulates design ideas across a range of possibilities involving character, material and production. Fabrication technologies are queried in a way that cross-pollinate with cultural expression and design constraint. For example in an iterative design series, the 'Diamond Chair' (2014), it is materially re-imagined as a magnesium mesh, a walnut maze pattern, and ultimately as a set of puzzle pieces that require assembly. His 'Soft Gradient Chair' exploits postural flexibility with a thermoplastic polyurethane mesh. A further development, the 'Adaption Chair', fuses copper plating onto a 3D-printed polyamide form. His work has been hailed as a masterpiece of digital design by the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York.

Given the potential of large format 3D printing what do you see as the major impact for designers as it relates to structure, design and ergonomics?

From my experience, three things spring to mind: firstly, the possibilities for exploration of form and character that (perhaps) need to be tempered by concerns with materiality + elegance. Secondly, the exploration of a 'Monolithic' sculptural approach and/or the consideration of the joint detail – in allowing combination with other materials or the potential flexibility of moving parts. Thirdly, in combination with smaller prototypes, the ability to simulate a design and test aspects of both structure and ergonomics in an iterative way.

As an educator and designer, what news sources, blogs or publications do you devour for inspiration and industry news?

Certain designers and artists, for example Ross Lovegrove, Olafur Eliasson and Mark Goulthorpe, have always piqued my interest, especially in relation to architecture. The digital design communities that I value include ACADIA and Smart Geometries, for the integration of scholarship, computation and making. Social media input is sometimes useful (and sometimes not!), such as Instagram, for exposure to new ideas.

Learn about Brian Lilley’s fellow jury member Lindsay Lawson and her approach to creating art using 3D printing technology. Read here an interview with two other BigRep Innovation Award jury members, Amir Fattal and Gregor Ash, about their approach to designing furniture for 3D printing. Full competition details, including the entry form, can be found here.

Brian-Lilley-S-115x115

Brian Lilley, Dalhousie School of Architecture. BigRep Innovation Award Judge

Connect with Brian on Linkedin HERE.

BigRep Innovation Award’s Lindsay Lawson: Bending the Rules of 3D Printing

[wpseo_breadcrumb]

To create something truly original, sometimes you must throw the rulebook out the window. Berlin-based artist Lindsay Lawson knows all about challenging the boundaries of what is possible, especially when it comes to technology – in fact, it’s an essential facet of her work creating sculpture and other artworks for 3D printing. Lindsay has had her works exhibited extensively across Europe and the United States, where she is originally from. When she is not exhibiting in cities like Vienna, Los Angeles, London or Rome, Lindsay works with BigRep on special projects that challenge its large-scale printers to develop interesting and complex 3D-printed objects.

It was Lindsay’s experience raising artistic works from the 3D print bed, fusing form and function, that made her a clear choice for the jury in the BigRep Innovation Award’s open call to students in Canada. As part of the four-person jury, Lindsay will help decide the ultimate winner of a Canada-wide competition, with a $3,000 cash prize, for the most innovative design of a 3D-printed chair. Following a public vote, a select number of entrants’ designs will be presented to the jury members, who will all be looking for originality, strong understanding of 3D printing principles, aesthetic innovation and structural integrity.

We sat down with Lindsay to find out how she approaches 3D printing in her work, and get her tips for competition entrants.

BigRep: Could you please tell us a bit about how and why you developed your expertise in 3D printing as an artist? 

Lindsay Lawson: My artistic practice is centered around sculpture and video. While my initial foray into 3D modelling was animation, I soon wanted to translate those skills into 3D printed sculptures. Any type of art-making is somehow affected by the tools and materials one chooses to use. With 3D printing the process is how to turn a virtual form into a physical object, and that opens up many new paths to creating something interesting.

BR: With your use of 3D printing technology in your work, how do you balance form + aesthetic with function + structure? What are the challenges you encounter in striking this balance?

LL: The key is to design objects that are particularly suited for additive manufacturing, otherwise it’s like eating soup with a fork. I’m all about printing fast and light so I like to design objects that require no support with minimal infill and few perimeters. Often this means bending some rules of 3D printing – for example, sometimes I like to over-extrude so that I get a thicker wall on a single perimeter print rather than making it double perimeter, therefore cutting the print time in half. But if you’re going to break some rules it’s crucial to design intelligently for the technology you’re using, rather than working against it.

I particularly like to work with some of our more challenging 3D printer materials like transparent PETG, wood filament, flexible TPU. By “challenging” I mean that these materials may not print certain geometries as well as standard materials like PLA. I recently designed some light fixtures that were printed with transparent PETG because the material has a beautiful, silver luster when it refracts light. That project required that I first consider the limitations of FDM in addition to the printability of PETG to inform the functional design of the structure. For me, aesthetic decisions always come last.

How to Submit Your Design

BR: Do you have any words of advice to any students for whom the Innovation Award is their first official design award submission?

LL: If you want to 3D print an object, there is no point in designing something beautiful that can’t be printed. My biggest advice for Innovation Award submissions would be to understand how FDM works and then use the constraints of the technology as a starting point for inspiration.

BR: Which news sources, blogs or publications do you devour for inspiration and industry news?

LL: Since my background is in art, I pay a lot of attention to contemporary art publications and exhibitions, but for design inspiration I like to look at Dezeen and designboom. There are many innovators here at BigRep, so I get a lot of industry news shared from curious colleagues.

Read more here from two other BigRep Innovation Award jury members about their approach to designing furniture for 3D printing. Full competition details, including the entry form, can be found here.

Lindsay-S-115x115

Lindsay Lawson is an artist and a 3D printing specialist, NOWLab @ BigRep

Big Inspiration: Marco Mattia Cristofori on furniture design and the Terra Stool

The Terra Stool, a model of furniture design

[wpseo_breadcrumb]

With a deadline of 11 February, creative young Canadians have just under a month left to submit their innovative 3D-printed chair designs for the BigRep Innovation Award. Over the final weeks we will be interviewing three inspirational design professionals, all 3D printing experts, to spark the creativity and guide the efforts of our competitors on the way towards the finish line.

For the first in the series we sat down with Marco Mattia Cristofori, Product Designer at BigRep, to talk about his latest design, the Terra Stool, which is printed on a BigRep ONE. Marco explains how he developed this intriguing, head-turning piece and gives some handy hints on how best to approach the process of furniture design for production on a BigRep large-format printer.

Could you tell us a bit about your background and experience as a designer?

As an architect who decided to focus on smaller-scale designs, working as a Product Designer at BigRep has opened up new creative possibilities for me. When I started here large 3D prints seemed complex and time consuming to produce, but I discovered that the reality is very different. On our printers you can produce literally whatever you want, only your creativity is the limit and the day after you make a design, you have a prototype. The extra options the printers give me inspire me to move in new directions.

Regarding my background, I’m originally from Italy, and during my formation process I had the chance to live in Spain, the UK, Turkey and before moving to Germany. I worked for two years in an architecture studio based in Istanbul, where I was involved in projects on different scales – from urban planning to furniture design. I discovered that what fascinates me most is designing items for individual use in specific situations, like for sleeping, eating or, in this case, sitting!

How did you approach designing this stool for large-scale 3D printing?

The inspiration for this design was the Ocke Stool which is a really impressive design by Beatrice Müller, a former Product Designer at BigRep. I wanted to re-work the concept in a way which let me experiment with new design ideas and explore what the BigRep machine is capable of. To direct myself I set two constraints: to avoid using any support structure, and to exploit the flexibility of the ‘layer-by-layer’ process of FDM by making every single layer in the design different. An early decision after setting these rules was to have the seat rooted to the print bed which would make avoiding using support structure easier.

The Terra Stool, a model of furniture design
The Terra Stool was designed by Marco Mattia Cristofori. Each 3D-printed layer of the stool has a unique shape

Your re-designed stool draws upon natural design/bionic principles? What’s the thinking behind this? 

I decided to use a bionic shape partly because organic shapes tend to vary constantly in their cross-section so this would fit my aim to avoid layer repetition. The beautiful thing is that this typology of design helps to improving the stool’s strength. The gradual curvature of the supporting sections enables this by giving a load applied to the top of the stool an easy path through the object. The sharp angles on rectilinear designs can be weak points which are less able to deal with such forces.

An engineer at BigRep, Paul Worms, showed me some studies and images explaining these bionic principles. If you just look at the way the trunks of trees emerge from the earth, and branches emerge from the trunk, you clearly see this idea of the gradual curvature of structural sections.

What material did you use for this design? What features our Canadian entrants look for when choosing a material?

I chose our most-used 3D printer filament PLA, which allowed a nice polished finish to the seat top when it is printed flat on the print bed. It also meant that I had to limit overhang angles in the design to a maximum of 60 degrees in order to meet my rule of not adding any support material.

I suggest Innovation Award competitors think about other options. For example, it can be nice to use dual extrusion to combine two materials for a new effect, as in [sg_popup id="44" event="click"]this table[/sg_popup] BigRep produced in 2017. In that design we used on of our transparent materials which can produce interesting outcomes, especially if you experiment with infill pattern. Our PRO HT filament is a high-performance ABS-like material, its tensile and impact strength properties open up additional design possibilities.

Terra-Chair-With-Small-3D-Model-Macquette-2

As a designer, what news sources, blogs or publications do you devour for inspiration and industry news?

I still keep up to date with new developments in architectural design, I really like ArchDaily. I find that I can be inspired by ideas expressed in architectural language, and it influences my product designs. I also really like Dezeen which is more design-focused. And then there is iGNANT! I discovered this around six years ago and it’s a super nice, simple blog that covers different creative media. They’re from Berlin and posted this piece on our colleagues at NOWlab, which is actually about some nature-inspired furniture.

What advice would you give a Canadian student preparing a designs for the February 11 BigRep Innovation Award deadline?

I could talk for hours on this … but let me just say three things. The more research you can do into ideas which inspire you and into 3D printing technology the more likely you can create a really strong, boundary-pushing concept. Also, I would definitely recommend you set some rules for your design and make some quick decisions early on to take some pressure off the process and give a clear direction to your creativity. And the most important thing? Manage your time from there so that you have time to produce a design that expresses your unique perspective, in plenty of time for submission before 11 February!

More information about the Innovation Award, including entry requirements and student resources, can be found HERE.

marco-m

Marco Mattia Cristofori is architect and 3D printing specialist at BigRep GmbH

Connect with Marco on Linkedin HERE.

Launching the BigRep Innovation Award – Open Call to Canadian Students

[wpseo_breadcrumb]

After much work across months and time zones, we are thrilled to launch the inaugural BigRep Innovation Award in cooperation with our partner NOVACAD Systems. The Award is an open call for Canadian students to submit an innovative 3D printed chair design, in pursuit of seeing their creation made a reality on the BigRep ONE and a C$3,000 cash prize. The winner will be decided by our four-person expert jury, following a public vote.
We looked to two of our jury panelists to provide some inspiration and direction to potential entrants on designing for 3D printing: NOVACAD Systems’ Gregor Ash and BigRep’s very own Amir Fattal. They shared their insights on how large-format 3D printers are changing the rules of furniture design and production, and offered some wise advice on harnessing the potential of the technology.

Amir,do you have any tips for young designers as they approach designing a chair for 3D printing, i.e. finding inspiration for structure, colors, materials?

3d-printing-inspiration-object-chair-stool-sofa

The Ocke Stool. Take a seat, and get inspired

Amir Fattal: First, I would really try to understand the technology - what its advantages and disadvantages are - and then I would try to work to its strengths. In the case of FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling), a key advantage is that you can realize complex geometric structures with internal features as intricate as those on the outside.
Sometimes building a support structure is a method of making it possible to print at a certain angle. If you can avoid that need with a clever bit of design or, if needed, build the support structure in a smart way, this can help increase the quality of the final print. I draw design inspiration from a number of design sites, such as de zeen and Design Boom.

How do you see large format 3D printing changing manufacturing and design?
Gregor Ash: Well, just the name entails the fact that designers are now able to produce their designs at near full or full scale, which is a huge game changer. They've been relegated in the past to smaller models and having to do testing on a very small limited scale. So, this combined with some incredible things happening with materials and that fact that designers are able not only just to prototype, but also to produce finished products, will change the way people conceive and produce their ideas.

3d-printed-sofa-chair-bigrep-large-scale

Another demonstration of the diversity of forms which can be 3D printed

Do you have any tips for the latter stages of the design process? What do entrants need to make sure they get done/avoid falling into/focus on as the submission deadline closes in?
Gregor Ash: We're looking for design and function as well – the whole idea of ergonomics and comfort. So, having a sense of how conceptual design from an aesthetic point of view connects to the concepts of materiality, in terms of how the item is constructed overall and going to hold together, is essential.

What is the most exciting design/object you have seen printed recently on a BigRep ONE? 
Amir Fattal: One of my favorite designs is the Ocke Stool that was created in-house by our designer Beatrice Mueller. This is a design which utilizes the steepest angle you can print in FDM without using a support structure. The design grows from the print bed upwards in a very similar way to how a natural structure like a tree or leaf develops. The print emerges directly from the machine as a complete chair, needing no other post-processing.

Ocke-stool-design-award-apply-now

The Ocke Stool: clearly thought out and executed

More information about the Innovation Award, including entry requirements and student resources, can be found HERE.

Seven Questions With BigRep CEO René Gurka

[wpseo_breadcrumb]

Source: Fabbaloo

We spoke with BigRep CEO René Gurka, whose company produces the gigantic BigRep ONE 3D printer, to find out how the company has changed and where it’s headed.

Fabbaloo: BigRep was just a small startup only a few years ago. Now things are a bit different. What happened?

René Gurka: We definitely started at the right time with the right idea. We were THE pioneer for large scale affordable printing at the beginning of 2014 and still are the segment leader in this market today.

Since our launch, we have gone a long way. Six weeks after building the first prototype in January 2014, we took the prototype to the 3D Print Show in New York and people went crazy: We got hundreds of inquiries both from resellers as well as media from all over the world after the show which helped a lot to make BigRep known in the 3D printing community.

But of course, this alone does not make a company successful. After getting all the attention, we had to start building the company. We recruited great people and great investors – all with a background and knowledge in hardware start ups, so we could grow from 3 to 50 people in only 15 months.

I have to say that at BigRep, the execution of creating a prosperous company went very well and I am convinced that the right execution is sometimes more important than the idea itself. Making the right decision is definitely not easy and it will always take a few bad ones to find the right path for you. My tip for founders is: Get help before making too many mistakes in the early days.

Keep reading… (on fabbaloo.com)

 


Hold on!
Subscribe to our newsletter for useful tips, news and resources around industrial 3D printing.

close-link

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audience is coming from.
By choosing I Agree you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

PageSense's activities, like tracking visitor behavior on websites and targeting specific visitors for A/B tests, generate data that's considered private under GDPR. All of this tracked data is stored with anonymized IP addresses, so you can safely capture, process, and use it without infringing on visitors' data privacy. PageSense doesn't collect personal data from any website visitor who participates in any experiment. The cookie data used to map experiments isn't associated with any IP address.
  • zabUserID
  • zabVisitID
  • zabSplit
  • zabBucket
  • zabHMBucket
  • { exp_key }
  • zabme
  • zabPZBucket
  • zPersonalization
  • zia_ { projectkey }
  • zpc< projectkey>
  • zps_permission_status
  • {exp_id}+

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

For perfomance reasons we use Cloudflare as a CDN network. This saves a cookie "__cfduid" to apply security settings on a per-client basis. This cookie is strictly necessary for Cloudflare's security features and cannot be turned off.
  • __cfduid

We embed videos from our official YouTube channel using YouTube’s privacy-enhanced mode. This mode may set cookies on your computer once you click on the YouTube video player, but YouTube will not store personally-identifiable cookie information for playbacks of embedded videos using the privacy-enhanced mode.
  • VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE
  • PREF
  • CONSENT
  • GPS
  • YSC

We track anonymized user information to improve our website.
  • GTM

This website uses ActiveCampaign (AC) as the designated CRM to track user interaction (trough trackcmp.net) AC cookies are necessaries but no IP or personal data will be saved if you don't convert on one of our forms (cookie visitorEmailAC). We use this to better understand how people interact with our site and to see their journey through the website.  
  • ac_enable_tracking
  • visitorEmailAC

Contains the current language of the admin and the user.
  • _icl_current_admin_language
  • _icl_current_language

Cookie required to allow a user to stay logged in to a web site without needing to submit their username and password for each page visited. Without this cookie, a user is unable to proceed to areas of the web site that require authenticated access.
  • PHPSESSID

These cookies are set by WordPress are used for indication and identification of the logged in user. Those are session cookies.
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec_
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wp-settings-
  • wp-settings-time-
  • utm_source
  • utm_campaign
  • utm_medium
  • handl_url
  • handl_landing_page
  • http_referrer

Decline all Services
Accept all Services