3D Printers

AON3D to showcase M2+ IDEX capabilities and new 3D printing materials this month

Montreal-based 3D printer manufacturer AON3D has announced plans to showcase several new developments at the upcoming RAPID + TCT show from May 17 – 19.

Back in March, the firm announced a new firmware update for its high-temperature AON M2+ 3D printer. The upgrade was designed to enable users to utilize Duplication Mode and Mirror Mode for the very first time, unlocking the full potential of the printer’s high-temperature independent dual extrusion (IDEX) system. These IDEX capabilities will make their debut at the company’s booth.

AON3D will also showcase three new materials for use with the AON M2+ system: Zymergen Z2 Polyimide, VICTREX AM™ 200 LMPAEK™, and Braskem FL900PP-CF.

The AON M2+ 3D printer. Photo via AON3D.
The AON M2+ 3D printer. Photo via AON3D.

What’s so special about AON’s IDEX system?

IDEX FFF printers like the AON M2+ are characterized by their use of a double printhead gantry. In essence, both of the system’s nozzles are housed in their own individual printheads, together with their own extruders. Since these printheads share the same Y-axis but are free to move independently on the X-axis, they can be used at the same time to print two parts at once, doubling the throughput of the 3D printer.

With Duplication Mode, the two printed parts are completely identical in geometry, size, and orientation. They’re printed on opposite sides of the build plate. Mirror Mode, on the other hand, creates identically sized parts but they’re mirrored down the center of the print bed, like reflections of each other.

There are plenty of IDEX systems out there already but the AON M2+ claims to be the first industrial 3D printer in its price range to offer Duplicate and Mirror Mode. As such, it’s reportedly the only one capable of printing two parts at once using high-temperature materials such as PEEK, PEKK, and ULTEM.

Randeep Singh, Chief Product Officer at AON3D, said, “With the initial release, AON3D’s Duplication and Mirror Modes will support several commodity and engineering grade polymers. We look forward to adding new and high-performance materials in the near future.”

Moving forward, the firm expects its system to enable previously impossible low-volume batch production applications in critical industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical, and more. The M2+ sports a large-format build volume of 450 x 450 x 565mm, a maximum nozzle temperature of 500°C, and an actively heated build chamber capable of 135°C.

AON3D expects to roll out its IDEX upgrade via a firmware update by the fall of this year. All existing AON M2+ customers on a success plan will receive the update free of charge.

The AON M2+ IDEX setup. GIF via AON3D.
The AON M2+ IDEX setup. GIF via AON3D.

Three new filaments for the AON M2+

To complement the system’s new IDEX firmware, AON3D will also be demonstrating a new set of high-performance materials compatible with the AON M2+. Zymergen Z2 Polyimide is an upcoming amorphous polymer defined by its easy printability and low warpage. According to the firm, the filament will be suitable for parts that require high mechanical performance.

Similarly, VICTREX AM™ 200 LMPAEK™ is a low-melt thermoplastic from the polyaryletherketone (PAEK) family. The semi-crystalline polymer offers a blend of excellent thermal, mechanical, and chemical properties. The filament is also said to deliver better interlayer weld strength and printability over other polymers in the PAEK family.

Finally, Braskem FL900PP-CF is a carbon fiber-reinforced polypropylene. Designed to be six times stronger than standard unreinforced polypropylene, it is also up to 15% lighter than ABS. The low-density composite is characterized by its high-performance mechanical and thermal properties, while also comprising 100% recycled carbon fiber.

Industrial part 3D printed using VICTREX AM 200 LMPAEK. Photo via AON3D.
Industrial part 3D printed using VICTREX AM 200 LMPAEK. Photo via AON3D.

The IDEX space is an active area of 3D printing with new printers launching all the time. Just recently, French 3D printer OEM eMotion Tech announced the launch of its new IDX420 3D printer. The latest addition to the firm’s ‘Strateo3D’ portfolio packs independent dual extruders and is built to be easy to use. With its €6990 price tag, it’s well-placed to address the high-end professional market.

Elsewhere, 3D printer manufacturer Raise3D announced the launch of its new RMF500 3D printer. The large-format IDEX machine is designed to address the need for large industrial-grade parts, offering a build volume of 500 x 500 x 500mm and carbon fiber filament extrusion capabilities.

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Featured image shows the AON M2+ IDEX setup. Photo via AON3D.