Dec 12, 2016 | By Benedict

Mumbai-based 3D printer startup Divide By Zero has introduced its patented Advanced Fusion Plastic Modeling 3D printing technology, a new additive manufacturing process capable of precisely controlling the temperature and flow of material.

Divide By Zero has integrated AFPM into its massive Aion 500 3D printer

Indian 3D printing specialist Divide By Zero has been around for a few years now, providing some of its country’s most advanced 3D printing technology in the form of its Accucraft, Aion, and Aeqon 3D printers, as well as a number of printing materials. The company can now also claim a place in India’s 3D printing history, having registered the first patented 3D printing process to come out of the South Asian country. Billed as a more precise, dynamic, and reliable form of plastic 3D printing than Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Advanced Fusion Plastic Modeling (APFM) uses changes in temperature to produce high-quality plastic parts, and could soon begin to oust traditional FDM 3D printing both in India and abroad.

According to Divide By Zero, its APFM 3D printing technology was created specifically to address the problems inherent in other processes, including metal 3D printing. The company’s press release states: “Additive technologies such as SLS, FDM, and FFF have been around for some time and, at the time, it looked like they were here to stay. Most machines today support these technologies and that has a direct correlation with their popularity. These technologies, while functional, inflict issues such as compromised quality and finish of the output. SLS, which uses laser technology, delivers with unmatched precision and excellent quality, involves higher costs and affordability is not an option.”

Many 3D printer users who swear by FDM might dispute the claim that the technology inflicts issues like “compromised quality and finish,” at least in high-end machines, but Divide By Zero nonetheless claims it can do better. Specifically, its APFM 3D printing process goes about the deposition of plastic in a somewhat different way to FDM, by controlling the temperature and flow of the build material depending on the geometry of the part. This, according to Divide By Zero, helps to improve part strength, tensility, and accuracy.

High-quality plastic parts 3D printed using AFPM

In a white paper detailing the APFM technology, Divide By Zero explains how this temperature and flow technology works: “This technology by Divide By Zero relies heavily on intuitive automation and smart software application to automatically [determine] potential pitfalls, take corrective measures, and minutely calibrate the extruder to optimize the movement and flow to deliver an output quality far superior to all other FDM and FFF 3D printers currently available [on] the market.”

If that doesn’t paint a clear enough picture of what Divide By Zero is all about, the Mumbai-based 3D printing startup has distilled its APFM 3D printing process into its three most important features: layer feature size recognition and temperature estimation and control; material flow deposition estimation and control; and extrusion failure repair and control. These features are used to dynamically adjust printer settings in response to the specific shape and level of complexity in the layer being printed, and Divide By Zero claims that this dynamic approach delivers noticeable results in terms of strength, resistance to stress, and appearance.

The first step of the APFM process, layer feature size recognition and temperature estimation and control, involves the slicing software reading various aspects of the print, such as the length and temperature of the layer embedded in the gcode, to work with the PID controller and heater to put the extruder to the optimum temperature.

During the second step of the APFM 3D printing process, material flow deposition estimation and control, the slicing software determines the length and flow rate of the layer embedded in the gcode to affect the flow control subroutine, improving extrusion movement for accurate material deposition.

In the third and final step of APFM, extrusion failure repair and control, the slicing software reads aspects such as length and extrusion length for the current line to monitor how much material is being used by the machine. Based on this information, the machine can run diagnostic tests to repair errors or safeguard the extruder head by notifying the user with an error message.

Divide By Zero's Aion 500 3D printer

Divide By Zero acknowledges that Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printing, an established technology for printing with metal powders, is also capable of producing strong, precisely printed parts. Given the price tag attached to most SLS 3D printers, however, the Indian startup believes its APFM technology gives 3D printer users a more reasonable option for creating high-strength, high-performance 3D printed parts.

APFM technology has been integrated into Divide By Zero’s line large-scale (500 x 500 x 500 mm build volume) Aion 500 3D printers, industrial-grade machines that have reportedly been adopted by a number of technology companies and design firms in India. Divide By Zero recommends that APFM could be used for any application where prototype development is done on a daily basis, and estimates that the technology can print at as low as $0.09 per cubic centimeter.

3D printing price and strength comparison provided by Divide By Zero




Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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Nik wrote at 1/3/2017 10:33:15 AM:

I have seen AFPM output personally, finish of the component was not better than FDM but build component strength is much better I have tested my own designed component on their machine. They have done a great job in terms of addressing FDM component strength issues. They are not the only ones doing this but rize3d printer also claims to have similar technology. What matters to me most is cost of prototyping is going down and machine looks sturdy and professional.

Julia wrote at 12/16/2016 3:42:47 PM:

It's obviously still FDM, just with more sophisticated slicing and extrusion controls. Not that it's not possibly a great innovation, but still, why diss FDM when your thing is FDM? Obfuscation helps no one.

MarcC wrote at 12/15/2016 8:07:38 PM:

Contacted them to mention that they should remove images of other peoples models and asked for a price guide on the Mk 11 printer. That was 3 days ago no messages however they have managed replaced the images with their own (great move and they look ok) on the first link I provided but still they left these: The image of a SLS intake manifold from Ford development Detroit trying to brush off an EOS SLS quality built component as their own?

mambo wrote at 12/13/2016 3:13:47 AM:

According to what I understood, it is entirely in software... so I hope to see the public patent!! Or should we press the bullshit alarm button?

MarcC wrote at 12/12/2016 7:34:50 PM:

I want to believe that they genuinely have something new over and above FDM to improve part quality however when a company claims one thing and uses images from others (EOS SLS parts in nylon) its becomes difficult to take them seriously.

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