3D Software

AON3D’s new firmware update will double the productivity of its M2+ IDEX 3D printer

Montreal-based 3D printer manufacturer AON3D has announced the launch of a new firmware update for its high-temperature AON M2+ 3D printer.

The optional upgrade is set to unlock the full capabilities of the printer’s independent dual extrusion (IDEX) system by enabling users to leverage Duplication Mode and Mirror Mode for the very first time.

According to the firm, the AON M2+ will be the first industrial 3D printer in its price range to offer these features, paving the way for a new level of productivity with high-temperature materials such as PEEK, PEKK, and ULTEM.

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

Utilizing the IDEX setup

The AON M2+ is an example of an IDEX FFF 3D printer. With IDEX gantries, both of the hotends are housed in their own separate printheads that are locked together in the Y-axis but free to move independently in the X-axis. This system enables both printheads to be used at the same time, allowing for double the throughput (provided the parts being printed are identical).

In Duplication Mode, the printer creates a completely identical copy of a part on the other side of the bed – both in terms of size and orientation. On the other hand, Mirror Mode creates an identically sized part on the other side of the bed but it is mirrored down the center of the build area.

Of course, IDEX 3D printers are also able to use just one of their printheads at a time, so multi-material and soluble support builds are still possible.

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

The AON M2+

With the full potential of the IDEX system soon to be unlocked, all new and existing AON M2+ customers will be better equipped to deal with low-volume batch production. The printer already prides itself on being one of the more cost-effective methods of high-temperature 3D printing with a sub-$60k price tag.

The M2+ comes complete with a large-format 450 x 450 x 565mm build volume and an actively heated build chamber capable of 135°C. It also offers a maximum bed temperature of 200°C and the print surfaces are swappable, depending on the application and the desired first layer.

Equipped with a maximum nozzle temperature of 500°C, the material capabilities of the AON M2+ are really where the system shines. The recommended filament list is an extensive one and includes PEEK, PEKK, ULTEM, CF-PEEK, PPSU, and even ESD-safe polymers. AON3D customers in over 25 countries are leveraging the system for applications in aerospace, automotive, medical implants, and more.

As it stands, the Duplication Mode upgrade is expected to be rolled out via firmware update by the fall of this year. Any existing AON M2+ customers on a success plan will receive the update free of charge.

End-use handles 3D printed on the AON M2+. Photo via AON3D.
End-use handles 3D printed on the AON M2+. Photo via AON3D.

The M2+ isn’t the only IDEX 3D printer out there, with more and more of these systems released every year. Just recently, 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.

Elsewhere, French 3D printer OEM eMotion Tech recently 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. 

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