July 14, 2015 | By Alec
While bigger is almost always better in the world of manufacturing, this isn’t always completely true for 3D printers. After all, while small 3D printers are perfect for prototyping small components quickly, large scale 3D printers and large prototypes can take agonizingly long – partly negating the benefits of the technology. However, one Barcelona-based startup called Allied Dimensions has just unveiled a solution: the LSBP 3D printer, specifically designed to 3D print up to six large components at high speeds and with multiple materials. Perfect for efficiently prototyping on a large scale.
The young startup Allied Dimensions is completely run by Jere Hiltunen who, as he explains to 3ders.org, specialized in designing well-tailored custom tech solutions for clients. The first of these designs to reach continuous production is this LSBP 3D printer, which is short Large Scale Batch Printer. ‘I have been working on the printer project since last summer very intensively. The initial idea for it came when I wanted to print small series of mechanical products to sell and realised that the current models just don't deliver fast enough printing to make a viable production possible,’ Jere explains. ‘The initial design has gone through many changes and iterations and there has been somewhat 3500 hours of designing and prototyping and test using.’
But the machine he came up with is definitely impressive. You will have doubtlessly seen footage of those 3D printer farms before, but this machine has been specifically designed to be an alternative to them. ‘LSBP combines the benefits of a fast large volume printer (W840 mm xD840 mm xH800mm) with the benefits of a multihead serial printer covering everything in between them,’ Jere tells us. The secret to its high speed, meanwhile, is in the ultra-light carriage system made from carbon fiber. Without explaining too much of the details, Jere says it features a novel bearing solution that provides a super sturdy yet light and fast system. In short, everything you need to open the way for a large variety of 3D printing options and functions.
Of course, several large scale 3D printers are already commercially available, but Jere tells us that his machine stands out due to its printhead flexibility. The LSBP 3D printer will come with six different printing heads that can be snapped in place and be used separately or simultaneously, depending on your own printing needs. ‘The real difference to the ones already on the market is the ultimate flexibility and modularity to scale the build space for the amount of the printheads and also mix the way the printheads work,’ he argues. ‘With only 1 head you can print a massive piece and adding heads divides the space accordingly without marginals. You can also configure the printer to be a multi-material printer with several heads - Let’s say 3 materials for 2 sets of heads or 2 for 3 or even 6 for 1.’
But at the same time, users are expected to have little more than regular knowledge of 3D printers, as the machine depends on open source firmwares and a very easy system for changing printheads. ‘Also cleaning and adjusting the printheads is easy since you can pop it out the machine for closer inspection and then just push it back on its place,’ Jere adds. And with the entire printbed being heated and the 3D printer itself being able to use a whole kilogram of filament at a time (with larger spool feeder systems optional), it has everything you need for some serious large scale printing.
Of course, a 3D printer of this capacity is huge (weighing about 80 kilograms and features exterior size of 1120 x 1040 x 1230 mm) and not cheap, with the basic setup costing €12,000 (or about $13,250 USD). Other building options (including smaller units) will also be made available. Unfortunately, these very remarkable 3D printers haven’t quite hit the shelves yet, but will enter production in Barcelona in September 2015 (alongside a series of fabrication machines that include CNC mills and laser cutters). However, pre-ordering is already available, so if you’re interested you can contact Allied Dimensions through their website here to get your hands a machine customized to your preferences.
Posted in 3D Printers
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JD90 wrote at 7/14/2015 3:56:25 PM:
Their web site is basically a photo and a contact page. They don't have any social media accounts. I haven't found any videos of the machine in operation. Even a time lapse would be interesting.