Introducing Flexibility to 3D Printing – The PRO FLEX Filament by BigRep

3d printing filament bigrep pro flex

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BigRep is excited to announce its latest filament innovation, which is a first for the large-scale FDM industry globally. World, meet PRO FLEX: a flexible material with engineering-grade properties for a various of industrial applications.

This new TPU-based material opens up a wealth of possibilities for manufacturers and customers. PRO FLEX has been expertly developed and tested by BigRep’s team to work in connection with BigRep’s largest industrial 3D printer, the BigRep ONE, on its standard 1 mm extruder. It’s not hard to sing the praises of this skillfully engineered material: high temperature resistance, low temperature impact resistance, a durable material with excellent damping behavior and dynamic properties… The list goes on, and most importantly, it is a filament that will enable companies to explore a broader range of manufacturing opportunities using 3D-print technology.

Discover our Industrial Use Cases

For the automotive industry, it enables prototyping for gear knobs, door handles, cable sheathing and more. The sporting goods industry could also foreseeably benefit, as the PRO Flex filament allows rapid prototyping of skateboard wheels, sporting shoe shells, ski tips and ends. For any objects requiring flexible parts – PRO Flex is the go-to printing material.

BigRep’s Chief Technology Officer Moshe Aknin is excited about the number of parts and applications that PRO FLEX will make possible, saying, “Printing elastomers is clearly one of the biggest challenges in the FFF AM industry, so we are proud to have found an industrial-grade solution. In terms of applications with PRO FLEX, we see high potential for 3D printing in fields like footwear, custom vibration dampers, and seals, due to its high chemical resistance.”

In developing the innovative thermoplastic elastomer, which is a Shore 98 A on the Shore Hardness scale, BigRep’s team of engineers working on the project were faced with issues such as stringing and oozing, particularly at the layer height and speeds with which they print on the BigRep ONE. To overcome this challenge, the team analyzed how elastomers behave with its printers’ extruders and achieved the end result by adapting its material evaluation procedure accordingly.

The PRO Flex is a 3D printing filament
The PRO Flex is now available for the ONE and STUDIO providing unique industrial use cases for manufacturers.

BigRep developed and meticulously tested the flexible 3D printing filament itself, which was an eye-opening, exciting journey. “The journey of evaluating a flexible material was quite challenging and exciting at the same time,” said Markus Bucher, Product Manager Materials at BigRep. “While the evaluation process was ongoing, we noticed very positive features of the TPU, such as good bed adhesion. The TPU sticks nicely to the Kapton tape delivered with the standard ONE v.3 setup, allowing us to print large parts without detachment issues.”

BigRep does advise that customers should be experienced in handling extrusion of flexible materials, as they can be more challenging than most. To help guide customers, BigRep will provide a guidance document for using the PRO Flex filament, and as part of the BigRep 360-degree service, customer service technicians are also on hand to assist with your printing needs.

As for more exciting photo and video sneak peaks at what PRO FLEX can do, and how it can change the ways companies can innovate, stay tuned to BigRep’s social media channels.

Key Characteristics of the BigRep PRO FLEX

Material: TPU
Density: 1.2 g/cm³
Diameter: 2.85 mm
Print Temperature Guideline: 195 - 230 °C
Heating Bed: 0 - 60 °C
Vicat Softening Point (ISO 306): 115 °C
Tensile Strength (ISO 527): 40 MPa
Tear Strength (ISO 34-1B): 175 kN/m
Ultimate Elongation (ISO 527): 470 %

BigRep PRO HT vs ABS

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FROM CONCEPT TO FUNCTIONAL PARTS

When it comes to printing large, affordable parts for concept modeling and basic functional testing, PLA is the most common material used to achieve a good result. PLA has a low-cost entry point and is easy to handle on any FDM 3D printer. But what happens when there is a need to print large functional parts with a material that has much better temperature and impact resistance properties? For this purpose, ABS would be a good choice for many closed platform printers. BigRep offers another option at a price from €52.50/kg, its high-performance PRO HT filament, which is suitable for open machines. PRO HT has various advantages over ABS which make it a candidate for closed-platform environments too.

BIGREP PRO HT

With 3D printers that have an open or otherwise unheated build chamber, low printing temperature is the limiting factor when it comes to producing heat-resistant prints. PRO HT was developed by BigRep and our filament producers to answer the need to produce large parts with improved mechanical properties for functional testing on such machines. PRO HT is composed of 100% renewable and naturally pure raw materials, is CO2 neutral, and exhibits excellent adhesion to the print bed.

Key Points - BigRep PRO HT

  • • Meets all requirements of European regulation for food contact
  • • Extrudes very well between 195°C and 205°C
  • • Has very low “warping effect”
  • • Withstands temperatures of up to 115°C
  • • Is compatible with BigRep’s Power Extruder with 0.6, 1 and 2 mm nozzles
  • • Produces no smell issues during extrusion
  • • Price from €52.50/kg

PRO HT vs ABS

Since it’s considered as an ABS alternative, one should ask about the differences between these two materials. Before we compare their performance, it’s important to mention a significant difference in their make-up: PRO HT is a Biopolymer while ABS is an oil-based plastic, making PRO HT in a basic sense more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Turning then to performance: PRO HT and ABS share similar tensile and flexural strength characteristics; in terms of impact strength, ABS shows good results, but PRO HT is much stronger still; finally, PRO HT can withstand a 15°C higher temperature than ABS.

bike design printed with bigrep pro ht 3d printing filament

A separate, important difference is in surface quality. PRO HT has a matt finish which is an increasingly valued property in the added manufacturing industry, while ABS has a gloss surface finish. Overall then, for open platform printers for which ABS is not usable PRO HT represents an excellent alternative to it. For closed platform machines PRO HT’s better impact strength and environmental credentials, greater temperature resistance, and matt finish will make it more desirable for many applications.

Learn About BigRep 3D Printers

Key Characteristics of BigRep PRO HT, BigRep PLA and ABS

Characteristic PRO HT PLA ABS
Temperature Resistance (VST) 115°C 60°C 100°C
Material BioPolymer BioPolymer Oil-based
Tensile Strength 44 MPa 60 MPa 44 MPa
Impact Strength 216 KJ/m2 7.5 KJ/m2 58 KJ/m2
Flexural Modulus 2600 MPa 3800 MPa 2030 MPa
Density 1.3 g/cm3 1.24 g/cm3 1.1 g/cm3
Finish Matt A range: from Matt to Gloss Gloss
Price/kg From €52.50 From €28.12 N/A for BigRep machines

Summary

BigRep PRO HT seems to be the perfect, cost-effective solution for printing large parts with high performance characteristics on an open platform machine. It may also often be the optimal material to carry out similar tasks on closed platform machines as well. It has great environmental features, a great matt finish available in several colorways, and is easy to print with on the BigRep ONE and BigRep STUDIO 3D printers, as well as many others.

Gil-Lavi-115x115

With over 22 years in the printing industry, Gil Lavi is a Sr. 3D-Printing Specialist with vast experience in implementing diverse 3D-printing technologies in design and manufacturing processes.

Connect with Gil on Linkedin HERE.

Stick by your print bed

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One key challenge presented by 3D printing, especially if there is a small area of contact for a large print, is detachment from the print bed. Add to that the fact that each material requires different printing conditions. So, even on a large 3D printer like the BigRep ONE, which works equally well for all materials, our printing experts were always on the hunt for a first-layer adhesive solution that was solvent-free and environmentally friendly, not to mention easy to work with.

BigRep and R&D startup Thought3D (based in Valletta, Malta) recently announced a cooperation to bring a first-layer adhesive to large-scale build area FFF industrial 3D printers. So, we’re pleased to introduce Magigoo – a glue stick that increases printing reliability and maintenance convenience.

magigoo-2-web

What began as a meeting and casual chat between some BigRep and Thought3D staff at IDTechEx in May, ended up in a cooperation to refine the Thought3D product and make it available for testing on large-scale prints at the BigRep Berlin office. Crucial to BigRep in using the adhesive has been the fact that it sticks and holds fast to the object when the print bed is hot, and releases when the print bed is cold.

“BigRep customers expect high-quality end products," said Moshe Aknin, Chief Technology Officer at BigRep. “Magigoo is a reliable product that helps our dependable workhorse printers to achieve great large-scale results.”

In one particular instance, BigRep was printing a section of its creative team’s bionic propeller design on The ONE printer. Given the propeller model’s area of contact was rather small, the BigRep team needed Magigoo on the print bed to aid in printing the large part’s challenging geometry. Moreover, the object’s overhangs and sharp details could have led to object detachment, but with the Magigoo adhesive, BigRep was able to successfully print several sections of the model for prototyping.

magigoo-3-web

“We enjoyed working with BigRep to extend our product range for large format 3D printers and we are glad to provide a product that meets the high demands of industrial clients,” said Dr Keith M Azzopardi, Co-Founder and R&D Lead at Thought3D. “We hope to continue this collaboration with BigRep. Magigoo’s development road map is underway. We are expanding our product portfolio to include an even wider spectrum of smart adhesives targeting engineering materials.”

You can read more about the Magigoo’s glue stick on their website, or on 3Dprint.com and 3D Printing Media Network, where the announcement was also covered.

Filling in the Filament Blanks

Black Propeller Detail, printed in one of BigRep's filaments the PRO HT

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To truly harness the potential of FDM technology, a few things need to fit together in a neat puzzle: the hardware (the machine) needs to work tirelessly and with accuracy; the software must function seamlessly; the 3D printer materials need to be of high quality and suit the nature of the print project. For industrial 3D printers, the stakes become higher when printing large-scale objects for either prototyping or end-use. In these situations, the printing time is longer and therefore printing failures can waste valuable time and money.

To ensure this triad of quality is complete, and that its high standards for hardware, software and innovation are complemented by the best printing materials, BigRep develops its own 3d printer filaments for its large-scale printers. We toil over a new generation of high-thermoplastic materials that are suitable for industrial applications. Only when 3D printers and materials are developed side by side, can it be possible to ensure optimal stability and high quality results.

Over the coming weeks, we will dive deeper into each kind of filament that BigRep produces to learn more about their mechanical properties, possible applications and share some tips and tricks on how best to use and post-process them to achieve superb large-scale parts.

We marry up German machinery with self-developed dedicated thermoplastics, offering a powerful solution for producing large objects for both concept and functional prototyping. Innovation is central to the BigRep philosophy, so there are numerous R&D projects currently running to develop exciting new filaments for its materials portfolio, which currently includes:

BIGREP PLA

Perfect solution for prototyping, art projects, producing end-use parts and rapid tooling applications. This filament extrudes very well and has very low moisture absorption.

One example of how BigRep PLA can be used was demonstrated by BigRep customer Geiger, with its concrete casting formwork. Our e-book on this use case provides further details on the use of this filament for a complex building restoration.

Our experts with +25,000 hours of experience in industrial 3D printing are waiting to sink their teeth into your unique and challenging use case.

BIGREP PVA

BigRep PVA is a water-soluble support filament. The warmer the water, the faster it dissolves, so users can spend more time creating prints and less time refining the results.

BigRep PVA Support Structure Filament
BigRep PVA Support Structure Filament

BIGREP PRO HS

The PRO HS is a robust biodegradable material matching the mechanical properties of BigRep’s PLA. However, its distinguishable by its particularly high extrusion rate, which enables large-scale 3D printing at higher speeds.

Shelf Unit in fast-printing PRO HS Filament
Shelf Unit in fast-printing PRO HS Filament

BIGREP PETG

PETG is characterized by its strength, toughness and thermal resistance, as well as very low warping behavior – it is a real alternative to ABS.

BigRep’s mechanically and thermally resistant PETG Filament
BigRep’s mechanically and thermally resistant PETG Filament

BIGREP PRO HT

In the BigRep PRO HT (HT = high temperature), users have a high-performance filament as an ABS alternative that can easily be used in low-temperature printers, providing even better thermal and mechanical properties.

Learn more about modeling, building and testing custom products fast and cost-efficiently.

Gil-Lavi-115x115

With over 22 years in the printing industry, Gil Lavi is a Sr. 3D-Printing Specialist with vast experience in implementing diverse 3D-printing technologies in design and manufacturing processes.

Connect with Gil on Linkedin HERE.

BigRep Launches High-Speed PRO HS Filament

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  • BigRep Pro HS Filament reduces printing time by up to 50 percent
  • No machine modification necessary
  • Ideal for large format objects and prototypes

Cost-efficient production is essential in times of smart production. With Pro HS, the Berlin-based technology start-up BigRep brings a unique printing filament to the market. The innovative material reduces production times in 3D printing by up to 50 percent and makes additive manufacturing more efficient and cost-effective for companies.

The BigRep Pro HS Filament is, in addition to the high-temperature-resistant filament Pro HT, the second product of the BigRep "Industrial Filament" line. The mechanical properties and also the printability of Pro HS are similar to those of PLA, but the material is somewhat more robust and has twice the flowability. The production of this non-oil-based biopolymer is also much more environmentally compatible than that of ABS plastics. The raw materials come from sustainable and renewable resources.

Pro HS can be used in various industrial areas, but is particularly suitable for printing large-format objects and prototypes. "With the BigRep Pro HS Filament we have developed a versatile material. In addition to the significantly reduced printing time, a major advantage of the product is that machines do not need to be modified for the application. It can be used on both new and older BigRep models. Especially when working with our large-format printers BigRep ONE and BigRep STUDIO, we offer our customers a flexible, complete solution for the most diverse requirements", explains René Gurka, CEO of BigRep GmbH.

BigRep Pro HS Filament is available in natural and basalt colors. Both paints are matt after extrusion and give the objects a refined look - even at large layer heights. On request, the color can be customized.
The BigRep Filament Pro HS is now available in the three coil sizes 2.5 kg, 4.5 kg and 8 kg in 2.85mm diameter in the BigRep-Onlineshop.

BigRep Pro HS Filament - Technical Data:

Material: BioPolymer
Density: 1.4 g / cm³
Diameter: 2.85 mm
Print Temperature Guideline: 170 - 210 ° C
Heating Bed: 0 - 60 ° C
Heat Distortion Temperature (ISO 75): 48 ° C
Tensile Strength (ISO 527): 43 MPa
Impact Strength (ISO 179): 59 KJ / m²
Flexural Modulus (ISO 178): 3500 MPa

About BigRep:

BigRep is a technology start-up with headquarters in Berlin and offices in New York and Singapore. One of the groundbreaking developments of the company founded in 2014 is the BigRep ONE, which is supplemented by the smaller BigRep STUDIO. Interdisciplinarity and well-founded experience in the field of additive production characterize the multi-national team of BigRep, now more than 60 employees. In addition to new products, the Berlin Kreuzberger company is now concentrating on complete solutions for industrial customers in the form of integrated additive manufacturing systems. Such as the continuous printing project with TNO, which was announced in Autumn 2016. The aim of the highly innovative engineering company is to revolutionize design, prototyping and industrial production from the ground up. Over the next five years, BigRep intends to become a leading international supplier of additive manufacturing systems.

For further information as well as picture and video material please contact:

Maik Dobberack
PR & Kommunikation
BigRep GmbH
T +49 30 208 4826-38
E [email protected]

More information:

Web www.bigrep.com
Facebook www.facebook.com/BigRep
Twitter www.twitter.com/BigRep

BigRep Releases Long-Awaited Large-Format Plastic

Fabbaloo

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BigRep has solved a major barrier to large-format 3D printing in a very ingenious way.

The problem being solved is warped prints.

Wait a moment, you say, “hasn’t that already been solved”.

Well, yes, it has - but only for smaller machines. Smaller desktop units would typically employ a heated print surface that keeps the temperature of the first layer of plastic just at the point where it won’t warp. Too high and it would deform, too low and it would contract due to cooling and a warp would develop.

Warping is an insidious problem because it not only deforms the object’s shape, it can also cause the print to fail entirely if the print becomes loose from the print bed. I hate warping!

But it’s a property of the majority of plastics used in 3D printing. When heated, they slightly expand. When cooled, they slightly shrink. And you need it hot during printing and cool to use the object. It’s unsolvable, or so it would seem.

Major players in the industry overcome the problem by simply heating their build chambers. Stratasys, for example, tends to keep their printers at around 70C internally during printing. When the print completes, the plastic simply cools uniformly in all directions, preventing warp.

But open-format large-scale 3D printers such as BigRep’s ONE are more affected by this problem than smaller machines, simply because larger prints offer more warp opportunity: shrinks are amplified over the longer axes of the model.

Keep reading… (on fabbaloo.com)

 


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