High Speed 3D Printing with the BigRep PRO – MXT versus FFF

Your production speed defines your potential. How much faster could it be with the BigRep PRO?

For years now, BigRep has been setting the standard in industrial 3D printing. With award-winning large-format systems like the BigRep ONE, we’ve created faster and more reliable additive manufacturing solutions. Now, with the BigRep PRO, we’ve leaped forward even further to create faster, truly repeatable parts with engineering-grade materials.

BigRep printers are designed for industrial applications from the ground up. German-engineered for reliability, all our systems use the high-quality components needed for fast, dependable manufacturing. Now, with the advanced BigRep PRO and its proprietary Metering Extruder Technology (MXT®), we’re raising the bar again to print industrial parts from start to finish in half the time with demanding engineering-grade materials.

BigRep PRO versus BigRep ONE

To measure our new flagship product, we pitted the BigRep PRO against the ONE – our lauded large-format 3D printer that already exceeds industry standards in printing speed – to see just how much faster it gets the job done.

You know the importance of engineering-grade materials and their growing relevance in industrial applications. To reflect this changing mentality in our testing, we added an extra challenge to the PRO. We used our specialty, engineering-grade, PA6/66 material in the PRO and our easy-to-use PRO HT filament in the ONE – a PLA material specialized for effective large-format and industrial applications. Even with a more demanding engineering-grade material the BigRep PRO prints at nearly twice the speed of the ONE, showing how MXT 3D printing outperforms traditional FFF technology.

See the difference for yourself:

3D Printing Faster with the BigRep PRO - MXT versus FFF

In manufacturing, lead time and output are vital for success. There are many ways to improve these metrics, but both are often limited by production speed – making it a vital consideration in new hardware.

We decided to share the PRO’s speed in its production speed (part completion, or “real-world” print time) instead of the usual extruder throughput. This way, we express the speed of our printers in a genuine production context. There’s no room to bluff with theoretical extruder throughputs that are easily limited by other hardware. You get the time it takes to print a real part in the quality our industrial users expect.

Theoretical extrusion rate (max. throughput) can be bottlenecked by a variety of factors when actually producing a part. An extruder only reaches its theoretical max speed in long straight lines, an uncommon shape for a production technology often sought to create complex geometries. Otherwise, pushing a printer faster than it can handle will lead to problems outside the extruder like a shaking gantry (the arms controlling x, y, and z motion also called the “portal”). These external hardware issues result in misaligned layers, uneven surfaces, washed out details, and generally poor part quality that’s unacceptable for most industrial applications. To make the most out of an extruder’s throughput, it must be matched by a portal designed for high accelerations – like the PRO’s.

Production speed is a deliverable metric. We often use it to assess the effect on lead times when optimizing production workflows with an additive system. It’s likely that you use it in your own workflow to measure part or hardware efficiency and are familiar with a quality lead time.


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Industrial FFF printing with the BigRep ONE

With an installed base of over 400 systems, our award-winning BigRep ONE has already optimized an incredible amount of manufacturing workflows around the world. The ONE boasts one of the best build volume to resolution ratios on the market. It’s specialized, German-engineered hardware makes it the choice for many leading industrial manufacturers due to its exceptional speed and reliability.

With the BigRep PRO, we’ve outdone our previous success to produce parts at nearly twice the speed. Even with the more demanding engineering-grade materials, like PA6/66, that industrial users need, our reimagining of FFF printing with MXT has proven successful.

The MXT extruder for higher speed and precision in 3D printing

METERING EXTRUDER TECHNOLOGY (MXT)

A conventional FFF extruder pushes solid filament through until reaching the hot-end just above the nozzle where it’s melted – sort of like a hot-glue gun. The process is effective, but has its limitations in throughput, especially during certain motions.

The BigRep PRO uses our proprietary Metering Extruder Technology (MXT). Unlike traditional FFF, MXT separates the filament melting and extrusion processes to prevent common FFF extrusion issues. This enables fast printing by eliminating those previous limitations of FFF technology during regular motions like turning sharp corners. Rather than drooling filament like FFF printers, MXT extrudes highly controlled deposits for faster, repeatable parts with the quality you’d expect from BigRep.

Faster FFF 3D printing with ACE

The PRO also comes with an Advanced Capability Extruder (ACE) for traditional FFF printing where desired. This enables a variety of extruder and material combinations to fit any manufacturing need. For example, you can pair an ACE FFF extruder using BVOH support material with MXT and PA6/66 to save the valuable PA6/66 material and simplify post-processing.

Wide range of 3D printing filaments

In industrial applications you need a range of materials that are either highly efficient and serve multiple purposes, or are highly application-specific. As a result, BigRep offers an increasing selection of high-performance, engineering-grade filaments. As we continually grow this portfolio, new materials can take full advantage of our large-format 3D printers’ speed, precision, and quality. Unlike many manufacturers we’re also dedicated to third-party material compatibility, so you keep your freedom of material choice.

 

With the BigRep PRO’s industrial-focused hardware, we’ve raised additive manufacturing standards to new heights. Integrated data-collection and 5G connectivity for industry 4.0 ensure high-quality performance and ease of use well past other large-format 3D printers on the market. And by implementing all-new Metering Extruder Technology (MXT), the PRO prints at twice the speed of our previous award-winning successes.

Industrial leaders around the world are investing in the BigRep PRO to reinvent their manufacturing processes. With this advanced system and engineering-grade materials, innovative producers are creating more than they thought possible.

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