4-Hour Parts! Fast 3D Printing in Large Scale

Fast 3D printing has been the goal of new additive manufacturing technology forever. Unfortunately, when it comes to industrial 3D printers, the size of parts just hasn't been conducive to quick and quality prints. Now, as innovative new technologies hit the market that change the extrusion process allowing industrial 3D printers to produce large-scale parts in just 4 hours, that's finally changing.

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A Fast Extruder for On-Demand Solutions

Thanks to the inclusion of BigRep’s proprietary Metering Extruder Technology (MXT®), the BigRep PRO is 3D printing large-format parts in just 4 hours - in this case a manifold for automotive applications. It's able to achieve these exceptional speeds because, unlike FFF, MXT melts filament in advance and stores it in an internal reservoir. The extra step enables unprecedented speed and precision in the printing process by separating the filament melting and material deposition processes, ensuring material passes through the hot end at its ideal temperature and viscosity.

With an identical nozzle size and layer height on a standard traditional 3D printer the parts take 14 hours, a far cry from the astounding 4 hours with MXT. At this speed, the PRO can help fulfill last minute or urgent part requests faster than any other large-format 3D printer. Beyond simply fast production, the full-scale manifolds were 3D printed with exceptionally strong PA6/66 filament (Nylon) - an advanced material with superior layer bonding. Even at speeds 3x faster than traditional FFF technology could produce with a standard PLA material the parts are stronger, breaking across layers before delamination. In urgent circumstances like Kawasaki’s 5-hour fixture for an aircraft cargo door, that kind of quality and on-demand responsiveness is priceless.

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When we talk about why you should invest in additive manufacturing the rationale is usually hard numbers: lower costs, faster lead times, and overall increases to productivity. Those are great talking points that speak to the metrics most businesses are looking to improve with a technology investment – or why your boss will be happy you bought a BigRep PRO. But really all of these metrics are just pleasant, measurable effects of how an industrial 3D printer makes your manufacturing operations more flexible. Having the fastest 3D printer in its category, capable of producing engineering-grade parts on-demand at high speed, just extends that flexibility.

The BigRep PRO is our ultimate industrial offering. It provides manufacturers with a variety of features to handle any circumstance you might be faced with. Its massive one-cubic-meter build volume enables the production of exceptionally large parts, or batches of parts that are either all the same or varying iterations. With other built-in quality of life features, like IoT connectivity to monitor ongoing prints and sequential printing to streamline print organization, the PRO gives manufacturers a lot of flexibility in how they want to produce parts. But what makes the PRO really special is that it raises the bar in not just how a part is produced, but the versatility of parts themselves – giving you the power to balance the PRO's enhanced production speed, strength, surface finish and other material properties as you see fit.

Fast 3D Printing Sample Part
Fast 3D Printing Sample Part Drawing

An Industrial Machine for Fast 3D Printing

Sometimes speed isn’t your first priority. MXT is unmatched in the fast creation of strong parts but, as a new technology, its compatible materials and resolutions are limited. That’s why the PRO includes BigRep’s fiber-ready Advanced Capabilities Extruder (ACE). It's a traditional FFF extruder for a variety of engineering-grade materials and resolutions to ensure the PRO meets your every need.

The PRO comes stacked with advanced components for faster printing with traditional FFF extruders, too. BigRep’s Precision Motions Portal enables high acceleration and stable printing with high-quality servo motor, a stiffened axis and a unique double rail that evenly distributes the weight of its advanced extruders. Meanwhile a Bosch Rexroth CNC Control System provides elevated responsiveness and repeatability with its 32 integrated sensors and spline interpolation for smooth surfaces. With its top-tier construction, even the PRO’s ACE extruder is capable of printing 1.5x faster than competing industrial 3D printers.

Manufacturing with industrial 3D printers costs less and produces more because they eliminate outsourcing, expensive molds, and all those other inefficiencies of traditional manufacturing. They’re faster because they can run unattended to produce parts in a lights-out manufacturing setting, and because they don’t need any retooling to work. But where industrial 3D printers really shine, and especially the BigRep PRO, is what can’t be expressed so well with metrics. The flexibility that the BigRep PRO brings to industrial manufacturers, from the how to the what, has enabled many businesses to rebalance production for any given task with just a single industrial tool.

1m³ Industrial 3D Printer

A large-format 3D printer designed for high productivity in industrial manufacturing environments. It's an additive manufacturing system with the speed and reliability to supercharge your production with high-quality industrial parts.

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