Nov 13, 2017 | By Benedict

NXT Factory, the 3D printing company behind Quantum Laser Sintering (QLS), has completed the development of a beam delivery system that converts a single laser into several million micro lasers without power degradation. It will use the technology in its forthcoming NXF1 QLS 3D printer.

Former 3D Systems chief Avi Reichental has his fingers in many 3D printing pies these days. Since leaving 3D Systems, the experienced additive manufacturing businessman has worked with established names like Nano Dimension and Techniplas, in addition to setting up the XponentialWorks venture investment and product development company.

As part of the latter project, Reichental has been working as the executive chairman of NXT Factory, a 3D printing company founded by Reichental, Jakub Graczyk, and Tomasz Cieszyński that’s looking to implement its “Quantum Laser Sintering” technology on a wide scale.

NXT Factory today reported that it has finished the development phase of a game-changing beam delivery system that converts a single laser into several million micro lasers without power degradation.

This technology will be put into NXT’s first industrial-grade high-speed additive manufacturing systems, designed to “replace traditional injection molding of plastic parts at scale.” The company predicts that QLS will be used to make parts currently produced via injection molding, only making them “better, faster, and cheaper.”

“Initially our idea was to just develop a low-cost laser sintering 3D printer, but after many months of deliberations, we concluded that the world doesn’t need another cheap LS 3D printer,” explained Graczyk, CEO of NXT Factory. “Instead, inspired by HP’s success with high-speed Jet Fusion, we decided to go after [a] factory floor-ready, high-speed thermoplastic 3D printer and create a new category.”

The 3D printing technology warranting this “new category” is a proprietary light engine with the ability to multiplex a single laser beam into several million micro lasers without power degradation. The engine produces a single beam from a 1,070 nm laser source, and a high-power projector multiplexes the single beam, reshaping it into full imaged slice of the cross-section of a print layer.

According to Reichental and co, this results in printing speeds of up to one second per layer, much faster than current laser sintering systems.

After 18 months of bootstrapped research and development that consisted of dozens of experiments, NXT thinks it now has a technology that removes a significant bottleneck from laser 3D printing.

Reichental said of the process: “We challenged ourselves with the question: can you really take the single laser beam and shape it into an entire cross section of a layer? Or simply put; can you sinter an entire XY slice at once really fast?”

The answer is apparently yes, and NXT will therefore put its new technology into the forthcoming NXF1, NXT’s first complete 3D printing system.

The NXF1 is described as “both cognitive and connected to harness fundamental industry 4.0 capabilities like big data, cloud computing, and sensoring,” and will use deep-learning algorithms to make real-time predictive and prescriptive choices related to the print job.

NXF1 3D printer specs:

  • Technology: QLS
  • Layer fusing time: under 1s
  • Laser power: 3000W 
  • Z Resolution: 50-200 microns
  • XY Resolution: 75 microns
  • Build area: 300 x 400 x 400 mm
  • Material delivery system: Counter roller and overhead powder delivery

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Technology

 

 

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