Mar 13, 2018 | By Benedict

French 3D printing company Bombyx Prod has developed a serial additive manufacturing service capable of printing “thousands” of parts per order. One of its 3D printers uses 10 print heads for printing identical parts simultaneously.

Multi-head 3D printers are a great way to reel off large quantities of a 3D printed part and a great way to tackle the problem of slow printing—a problem that prevents many businesses using 3D printing as a manufacturing process. Prototypes? Sure. But waiting hours and hours for a single copy of an object? It’s hardly ideal.

But while several 3D printer companies have offered dual or even quadruple print heads, few will have attempted 10(!) print heads at once like French company Bombyx Prod.

The Lyon-based company says it is revolutionizing additive manufacturing by embracing Industry 4.0 and IoT and offering customers unique printing options, and says it could theoretically equip a 3D printer with up to 250 print heads, which sounds utterly mad but also brilliant.

At present, Bombyx Prod operates five in-house 3D printers, which gives the company the printing power of 35-45 regular 3D printers. However, the company plans to scale up its number of machines (and presumably the number of heads on some of those machines) when its client base grows.

Usefully, Bombyx Prod says it can quickly assemble and disassemble its multi-head 3D printers according a client’s wishes. For example, a customer may need fewer than 10 parts, but need particularly large parts. In this case, the company could attach fewer than 10 print heads to its large additive manufacturing system.

“On 1 or 2 rails with 1 to 10 heads per rail, we adapt the 3D printer to the current production requirements,” Bombyx says. “For your specific needs, we can build shortly a new printer with optimized dimensions for your project.”

Although not a huge amount of detail is given, Bombyx Prod also says its print heads are equipped with IoT technology in order to “make the printer powerful and efficient.”

Accuracy would obviously be a concern with such a heavy setup, but Bombyx Prod says its multi-head systems are reliable and suitable for a range of applications.

Unfortunately for those who relish the idea of a 10-head printer in their workspace, Bombyx Prod intends to continue operating as a 3D printing service rather than a 3D printer manufacturer, but many businesses in Europe (Bombyx’s current market) may feel that the company’s unique talents could help them out.

For more high-volume printing innovation, check out the multi-gantry Cronus 3D printer developed by Titan Robotics and Autodesk last year.



Posted in 3D Printing Service



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Hendrik wrote at 3/13/2018 7:25:27 PM:

Love it!! And it’s adaptable. Clever.

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