Colossus, a machine development startup based in Genk, Belgium, has released what is said to be the largest Fused Granular Fabrication (FGF) 3D printer specifically designed to process recycled materials.
“Clients requested a way to make furniture and other large-scale objects from plastic waste, so we searched the market [for a] large-scale printer and everything we found was either too slow, too expensive, or could not work with high-temperature materials,” said Philippe Mérillet, co-founder of Colossus. “We decided to develop a printer made for materials.”
The transportable, configurable Colossus
Housed inside a shipping container, the Colossus has a build size of 2.67m x 1m x 1.5m (L x W x H) equating to a volume of 4m³. Despite its size, the developers say that it is designed as a transportable 3D printing system, presumably in the same vein as the mobile Fab Lab from the U.S. Marines.
Yannick Aerts, CTO of Colossus, explains, “We wanted to build a printing system that really adjusts to our customer needs, so making it as transportable and upgradeable as possible was a main priority.”
The print bed, extruder and screw types are all features of the system designed to be configurable by the customer. According to Aerts, “This flexibility makes the Colossal 3D FGF highly relevant for various applications and industry sectors.”
Partnership with Mitsubishi Chemical
The Colossus FGM 3D printer print supports speeds of up to 15kg per hour from a granulate fed extruder and includes a dehumidification unit for improved print quality. A heated print bed is also featured that allows easy print removal.
In partnership with Mitsubishi Chemical, Colossus has successfully tested 10 material compound profiles for optimal performance of FGM system. According to the company, this printer is the first of its scale to use rPET, recycled PET, and rPP, recycled Polypropylene profiles.
Following the release of the first prototype, Colossus is now working to build and improve on the first 3D printer design to build a multi-head system, as well as a higher print output of up to 25kg per hour. The end product of this development process is currently available for pre-order.
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Featured image shows the Colossus FGM 3D printer at Formnext. Photo by Beau Jackson.