Tag: Additive Manufacturing

07
Sep

Titan Robotics Bringing Large-Format 3D Printing to Foundry in West Africa

One of the largest foundries in West Africa is driving innovation and economic growth in the region by utilizing Titan Robotics’ large-format 3D printer, the Atlas. The application is using 3D printing to create patterns for metal casting. This past summer, Titan Robotics Founder and CEO Clay Guillory traveled to Lagos, Nigeria, to install the largest known 3D printer in West Africa at Nigerian Foundries Limited (NFL).

NFL first contacted Titan Robotics in the Fall of 2016 with the desire to improve their processes and expand their capabilities as a foundry. Encouraged by Titan’s video on 3D printing and pattern making, NFL owner Vassily Barberopoulos and his colleagues were ready to take the leap into additive manufacturing.

Atlas Nigerian Foundries Africa

Staff at Nigerian Foundries Limited print patterns on the Atlas 3D printer.

“It is the future of manufacturing worldwide,” Vassily says of 3D printing.

And the future, says Vassily, is full of opportunity for not just his business but also his country. It has been his life’s mission to build the family business and bring economic growth to Nigeria. The Barberopoulos family started NFL in 1969 as a small grey iron foundry, making municipal castings and water pipeline fittings. Now NFL has grown to become the largest ferrous foundry in Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa). Currently two NFL plants serve multiple industries such as oil and gas, construction, marine shipping, mines and mineral processing and much more.

“This is a big thing for us, because right now in Nigeria we’re at the stage where local content is very important,” said Vassily.

Using 3D printing to create higher quality and more cost effective patterns means NFL will be able to continue to expand its offerings to industries in Nigeria and globally. Traditionally, foundries like NFL carve patterns and tooling out of wood by hand. Vassily explained that this method takes them over a month, from the design to creating the wooden pattern and then casting it. But with 3D printing on the Atlas, that time is reduced by more than half.

Nigerian Foundries 3D printed pattern Africa

NFL employee prepares the 3D printed pattern for sand casting.

Vassily said, “For us, it’s an important aspect because it means for most castings that we can print, we could actually make a pattern within 48 hours and be in production and have a product within a week out, something that would normally take us a month and a half.”

NFL’s work with 3D printing is also part of a nationwide initiative to foster economic growth and innovation in Nigeria, called the Nigerian Local Content Act. Vassily explained that 3D printing patterns on the Atlas enables the foundry to fabricate better and more complex patterns, making NFL a more competitive company internationally.

Vassily says the goal is to create local goods that meet international standards and are ready for market in a timely manner, something most foundries in West Africa have not been able to do yet.

3D Printed pattern Nigerian Foundries Africa

NFL staff mount first 3D printed pattern for casting.

“So we are looking at going with 3D printing at a much higher level of castings and producing castings for the oil and gas industry, in particular like valves and pump housings and impellers and such things which before would be very difficult for us to actually make the patterns and be able to go through the trouble shooting,” he said. “Now it is within reach.”

And Titan Robotics is proud to be a part of that progress through its work with NFL.

“I think it has a lot of potential here, this country is very hungry for learning and very hungry for opportunity,” said Titan CEO Clay Guillory. “People are ready to compete on a global scale here, that’s one thing I took away from Nigeria is this place has a lot offer and it’s an up and coming country.”

Titan Robotics Nigerian Foundries Africa

Titan CEO Clay Guillory with NFL engineers and staff.

Watch the video here:

Bringing Large-Format 3D Printing to West Africa

16
May

Titan’s Faster 3D Printing Highlight of RAPID 2017

The Titan Robotics team is back after an exciting week at the RAPID + TCT 2017 3D printing trade show in Pittsburgh. The annual show is the premier event for additive manufacturing technologies, with leaders in all areas of 3D printing gathering to unveil and discuss the latest advancements.

Titan Robotics garnered a lot of attention by showcasing two of our advanced hardware machines: The new pellet extrusion system for the Atlas and the multi-gantry Cronus.

Cronus at 2017 RAPID

Titan Robotics’ Cronus showcased in 3D Playground of 2017 RAPID + TCT Event

Titan Robotics’ booth at 2017 RAPID + TCT Event

The high flow-rate, large aperture pellet extruder was developed through a long standing partnership with Push Plastic, a leader in 3D printing filament production and advanced materials.

With over 35 years of injection molding and extrusion experience, Push Plastic designed and built the pellet extruder that is now being tested and executed on Titan Robotics’ large-format 3D printer model, the Atlas.

“Pellet extrusion systems are an exciting breakthrough in large scale 3D printing,” said Nick Booth, Owner of Push Plastic. “Because we have extensive knowledge in large-scale extrusion systems, it was a logical step for us to use our expertise to advance additive manufacturing technology.”

Watch Titan Robotics’ Video on Pellet Extrusion

Pellet extruder

Faster print times with pellet extrusion

Pellet extrusion increases production speed of large parts, with flow rates during printing reaching 5 pounds per hour.  This technology greatly expands the number of materials available to use in 3D printing, opening up opportunities for hundreds of injection-molding plastics to be used in additive manufacturing.

Pellets

Low cost plastic pellets for 3D printing

Titan Robotics has successfully printed in several advanced, pelletized-form materials that have previously not been successful in traditional filament 3D printing. These materials include polypropylene, glass-filled polycarbonate, polyethylene and recent successful field tests with the Chemson Group’s new AM/3DP specific PVC, 3DVinyl™.

“Being able to 3D print with PVC in both pellet and filament form opens up 3D printing to many industries that require a product that can withstand outdoor, harsh environments such as the oil and gas fields, agriculture and architecture,” said Titan Robotics Founder and CEO, Clay Guillory.

Pellet extrusion on Atlas 2.5In addition to the implementation of advanced thermoplastics, pellet 3D printing has the advantage of lower material costs. Plastic pellets range in cost from $1.50 to $6 per pound, compared to filament costs averaging $10 to $20 per pound.

“When you’re trying to create something, the last thing you want to worry about is material cost. Now I just hit print and if I don’t like it I just print it again. It’s that fast and that affordable,” said Guillory.

Combined with better materials, faster print times and lower costs, Titan Robotics believes pellet extrusion will be ideal for a greater number of industrial and professional uses, including aerospace, prostheses, construction, metal casting, and the oil and gas industry.

Read the latest news on Titan Robotics at 2017 RAPID + TCT

The Titan Robotics multi-gantry Cronus was on display in the 3D Playground, demonstrating collaborative multi-head 3D printing technology. Powered by Autodesk® Netfabb®, the Cronus directs  five print heads working together on a single print surface to fabricate large complex parts at advanced industrial speeds. The Cronus allows for the fabrication of large parts without sacrificing detail or time, and is capable of printing in high resolutions ranging from 0.1mm to 0.8mm layer heights.

“At Titan Robotics, we’re always up for a challenge. That’s why we took on this project and built the Cronus, to take 3D printing to the next level and make large scale, high detail parts a reality by reducing the time it takes to make them,” stated Guillory.

Cronus

Multi-head 3D printing on the Cronus at RAPID

07
Jan

Titan Robotics Unveils the Cronus at CES 2017

Titan Robotics, a leading manufacturer of industrial 3D printers, introduces the next generation of 3D printing hardware, the Cronus, a multi-gantry 3D printer that uses five print heads working together on a single part. Titan Robotics began building the first commercial multi-head machine using Autodesk’s Project Escher technology in 2016. The technology that originally came from Project Escher intelligently distributes tool paths between multiple print heads working in unison on a single printer and is now a part of the company’s additive manufacturing software, Autodesk® Netfabb®.

Cronus

Titan Robotics will officially unveil the Cronus at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, January 5 – 9, 2017 (Booth 42441) where show attendees will be able to see the breakthrough technology in action. Combined with Autodesk Netfabb’s collaborative multi-head 3D printing technology, the Cronus provides a groundbreaking new solution for the additive manufacturing industry, allowing users to 3D print industrial scale parts at higher speeds and with greater detail than with traditional single-head 3D printing.

“It’s really exciting to upend what has been traditionally been regarded as a desktop prototyping technology and show that it’s a powerful way to make large parts – such as molds and fixtures – out of high performance materials,” said Andreas Bastian, Principal Research Scientist at Autodesk.

Ball screws and servo motors

Titan Robotics uses its proven concepts and technology to minimize any compromise to detail or accuracy when printing large, complex parts on the Cronus. When printing on a large scale, Titan Robotics knows precision, rigidity and durability of the machine are crucial to ensure a successful print. That is why the foundation of the Cronus is a welded steel, precision machined frame fitted with the highest quality components, such as 16mm ballscrews, profiled linear rails and Yaskawa servo motors.

“At Titan Robotics, we know what it takes to make a truly industrial large-format 3D printer,” said Titan Robotics Founder and CEO, Clay Guillory. “This collaborative control technology is going to change everything we know about 3D printing and CNC manufacturing.”

A versatile design allows the Cronus to be fitted with various types of tool heads for subtractive and additive manufacturing, including pellet extruders to allow for extremely fast fabrication of large parts at 5 lbs/hour per print head.

The Cronus has a standard build volume of 72x30x20 inches, but can be customized to a customer’s needs. While open air printing is possible for PLA and PETG, the Cronus is also available with a fully heated enclosure to allow for use with higher temperature plastics such as ABS, PC+PBT and other polycarbonate blends.

“Machines running collaborative multi-head 3D printing technology require a higher level of precision than is typical of large format deposition systems. This is why we’re excited to use the Cronus as an ongoing development platform,” said Bastian of the Cronus.

The Cronus will be available for commercial sale February 2017, for more information email info@titan3drobotics.com.

Multi-gantry design

 About Titan Robotics

Titan Robotics is a leader in manufacturing large-format, custom 3D printers that are built to lasT. Founded by mechanical engineer Clay Guillory in 2014, Titan fabricates every 3D printer using the highest quality components and precision machined American-made steel at its facility in Colorado Springs, Co. Titan’s flagship industrial 3D printer, the Atlas, is one of the largest FFF 3D printers on the market, with build volumes up to 42x42x48 inches, and can reliably print in high temperature plastics thanks to an industrial heated enclosure. More at www.Titan3DRobotics.com

08
Dec

Titan Robotics Unveils the Improved Hyperion Design

In pursuit of our mission to provide the highest quality large-format 3D printers on the market, the Titan team is excited to unveil the improved Hyperion design. The first thing you’ll notice, the new Hyperion is larger than the previous model, with a build volume of 24 x 24 x 24 inches. The frame is now a heavy duty welded steel frame that is precision machined to provide a solid foundation for the printer, with a custom sheet metal heated enclosure to allow for reliable prints in high temperature plastics.

The Hyperion

The Hyperion still maintains the overhead gantry, core XY design, but we have upgraded to the stronger 15mm GT3 belts. The Z axis is still driven by 16mm direct drive ballscrews. As with all of our machines, the Hyperion comes with the option to upgrade to Yaskawa closed loop servo motors as opposed to all stepper motors. With all of these improvements, the Titan team has verified rapid travel speed up to 1,500mm/second on the Hyperion.

Heated Build Chamber

Titan has also made improvements to the heated bed by now offering a vacuum plenum for the polycarbonate surface and an auto bed leveling system. The build plate itself remains a precision machined aluminum plate that can be heated to 175C. With the heated bed and heated build chamber, the Hyperion can reliably print in most FFF style materials, such as ABS, PLA, PETG, Nylon, PC+PBT, HIPS and carbon fiber filled filaments.

Dual Extrusion

Another upgrade to the new Hyperion design is a wipe system for the dual extrusion option.  Titan continues to use the Bulldog XL extruder on the Hyperion, but now offer the E3D V6 or E3D Volcano hot end for smoother prints or faster prints. We have found the E3D V6 to be effective in printing high resolution parts. And when it comes to large parts that need to be printed fast, the E3D Volcano is the right hot end for the job with nozzles ranging from .4mm-1.2mm

The Hyperion is Titan Robotics’ answer to affordable large-format 3D printing, ideal for businesses of all sizes to improve their manufacturing processes through additive manufacturing. For more information or to request a quote on the Hyperion, please contact us at info@titan3drobotics.com.

21
Oct

Sharing 3D Printing with the Community

While 3D printing has been around for quite some time, and has become more popular in the last few years, there are still many in the community who aren’t familiar with the technology and its practical applications.  Part of what we do here at Titan Robotics is expose new people to the disruptive technology of 3D printing and how it will be a game changer for so many industries.

Founder and CEO Clay Guillory speaking at TEDx Arena Circle

Founder and CEO Clay Guillory speaking at TEDx Arena Circle

Recently, founder and CEO Clay Guillory spoke to a group of several hundred people at the TEDx event at the University of Northern Colorado. His TEDx Talk was not only his story of getting involved in the 3D printing community, but what is next for the industry. Clay shared his experiences with the non-profit E-Nabling the Future by 3D printing prosthetic hands for children with missing limbs. Clay says that experience of helping others made him realize that 3D printing was his future and inspired him to build a career out of it.

TEDx Arena Circle 2016 Speakers

TEDx Arena Circle 2016 Speakers

The TEDx event allowed Titan Robotics to share with people how 3D printing isn’t just being used to make novelty items or small parts. Clay talked about Titan’s goals of using large-format 3D printing to design and fabricate full size prosthetics and adaptive devices, and how by improving speed and scale industries can manufacture parts at a much more affordable rate.

UCCS College of Business Forum at Titan Robotics

UCCS College of Business Forum at Titan Robotics

Titan Robotics also welcomed 40 students and their mentors from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs College of Business this Friday as part of their Career Coaching Program.  Students, mentors and faculty had the chance to tour Titan’s new facility and get an up close look at the manufacturing process.

It was a chance for community leaders and the next members of the work force to see how a start-up manufacturing company operates on a daily basis. From starting the company in his garage, to hiring on a full-time staff, Clay shared his story of being a young entrepreneur. Not to mention everyone enjoyed seeing all of the large 3D printers in action and the unique parts they create.

UCCS College of Business Students Tour at Titan Robotics

UCCS College of Business Students Tour at Titan Robotics

The Titan staff enjoyed hosting tours and a Q&A session with the UCCS group. Students and mentors asked great questions about the company and Titan’s business model, as well as how 3D printing will change manufacturing.

UCCS College of Business Tour at Titan Robotics

UCCS College of Business Tour at Titan Robotics

As an innovative company, Titan Robotics wants to expand its outreach beyond potential customers. Titan is an active member in the 3D printing community, from contributing new ideas to getting involved with people and organizations on a local level.

We believe it’s important to open up our doors and share what we’re doing with large-format 3D printers. It helps the 3D printing industry expand and inspires people to come up with new innovative ways to utilize large-format 3D printing.

07
Oct

Pellet Extrusion 3D Printing on the Atlas

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Pellet extrusion system mounted on the Atlas

In the age of large scale FDM 3D printing, there are a number of limitations with typical filament extrusion systems. By incorporating an extrusion system that extrudes directly from plastic resin instead of filament, a number of these limitations can be avoided. 3D printing with plastic pellets has several benefits which include faster print times and lower cost. Titan Robotics recently partnered with Push Plastic to design and build a pellet extruder that fits on Titan’s flag ship large-format 3D printer, the Atlas. (See video below)Push Plastic logo

 

By eliminating part of the manufacturing process, the price to print parts can be much more affordable.

Instead of melting down plastic pellets and extruding it into filament, the pellets are melted and extruded directly onto the 3D printer bed. Consider this, 1kg of filament can cost anywhere from $20 to $30, but the same amount of plastic in pellet form costs $2 to $5 and are widely available.

Another advantage is speed. Speed can be a limiting factor when 3D printing large objects. When strength and speed of production are of utmost importance, pellet 3D printing is the best solution. Pellet extrusion can push plastic three times faster than high volume filament extrusion. At Titan Robotics, we’ve achieved flow rates of 5 lbs per hour with a 3mm nozzle and feed rates of 7,000 mm a minute with 1 mm nozzle. With further modifications, we hope to increase the flow rate up to six or seven pounds per hour. Compared to filament extrusion, you’d be lucky to reach a flow rate of 7 lbs over an entire day.

Titan Robotics is also pushing the envelope of pellet 3D printing by using a heated enclosure with the extrusion system.

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Flow rate of 5 lbs per hour

Most pellet extrusion systems are open air which limits them to materials that do not warp or that are highly filled with carbon fiber. Titans pellet extruder will be able to print with high temp plastics such as unfilled ABS, and Polycarbonate resin. So far, open air test prints with PLA and HIPS resin proved to be extremely successful. Titan is currently working on optimizing printing in an enclosure with ABS and Polycarbonate.

So how did Titan do it? Thanks to Push Plastic, Titan was able to swap out a traditional filament extruder with the pellet extruder directly onto the Atlas.

Because the Atlas is a robustly designed machine, no other auxiliary equipment was needed to adapt the system for pellet extrusion.

This type of affordable pellet extrusion 3D printing is groundbreaking in the 3D printing industry. This 3D printing method is ideal for those looking to combine additive and subtractive manufacturing, where a part is quickly printed using a pellet extruder and then finished with a CNC machine.

For more information about the pellet extrusion system compatible with the Atlas, please contact us here.

16
Aug

Titan Robotics Engineers Help Paralympic Athletes Using 3D Printing

Titan Robotics is known for our industrial large-format 3D printers, but another arm of the business is helping others through 3D printing. 3D printing prosthetics for children and stability devices for athletes has proven to be revolutionary for people with a physical disability, especially athletes. Titan’s own Allison Jones, a mechanical engineer and Paralympic athlete, has a passion for using her skills as an engineer to develop new and innovative ways to use 3D printing to improve her own performance and the capabilities of others.Continue Reading..

29
Jul

Being a Young Entrepreneur: No One Said it Would be Easy

There is a saying that an entrepreneur will “work 80 hour weeks to avoid working 40 hour weeks.” When I first started Titan Robotics in my garage two years ago, I don’t think I quite grasped that  idea, but it didn’t take long to figure it out.

1MC pic 2Lately, I’ve been asked to speak in the community about not only being an entrepreneur, but a young  founder of (so far) a successful startup company. Events, like 1 Million Cups, have been great opportunities to share Titan’s story, our vision and where we’re going in the future. But these events have also provided me a chance to face constructive criticism and questions, and receive helpful input along the way. That advice and community support has been vital for Titan since its inception, especially for a mechanical engineer who decided to start his own business at the age of 26.  I think for anyone venturing into entrepreneurship, especially young people, community support and mentors are key components.Continue Reading..

22
Jun

Titan Robotics Expanding to New Space

It’s an exciting time at Titan Robotics, as we continue to grow and expand our facility in Colorado Springs.  Titan just moved into a new building with 8,000 square feet that we can kick out in and still have room to grow. It’s a huge step for the company, and couldn’t have happened soon enough. Now we’re able to hire on more employees, adding to our growing team, and manufacture multiple machines at a time in the large industrial space.Continue Reading..

22
Jun

Titan Taking Large 3D Printer to RAPID

SME’s RAPID conference in Orlando, Florida is the premier event for 3D printing and additive manufacturing and this year Titan Robotics will have a spot on the floor. RAPID draws companies and innovators from all over the world and is the unrivaled authority on 3D printing and expertise. We’re really excited about being a part of this conference, and showing off what we’ve been working hard on for two years now. We’re bringing a brand new Atlas we just built in-house and plan on printing actual parts for customers, including dinosaur bones, at the show.Continue Reading..