Tag: pellet

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
Oct

Pellet Extrusion 3D Printing on the Atlas

img_6670

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.

img_6669

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.