Tennessee-based DPP Technologies has released a large-area direct pellet extrusion (DPE) 3D printer that dramatically cuts the cost of high-grade materials.
Mid area additive manufacturing
The DPP XL MAAM DPE has a maximum build size of 1200mm x 1200mm x 500mm, and is capable of 3D printing at a layer resolution of 70 microns. The standard nozzle on the DPP XL MAAM DPE is 0.75 mm. It is interchangeable and producible in different diameters on request.
The 3D printer works with standard materials such as PLA, ABS and PVA, but also high-resistance plastics like PEI, HIPS and ULTEM 1010 that is used for the inside of aircrafts. Other grades of ULTEM are used to make parts for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.
As 3D Printing Industry reported at the start of the year, 3D printing with higher grade engineering plastics is one of the key themes we’ll be looking at in 2017.
The cost of PEEK
With an ability to perform well under mechanical and atmospheric pressures, the cost of materials like ULTEM PEI is above more standard materials. While PEEK is even higher. In filament form, a kilo of PEEK can be priced at over $1,000.
To accelerate the pace of 3D printings adoption by industry, and make the material more effective and accessible, significant research is being done to bring down this cost. One successful way of reducing the cost is to pelletize the material instead of concentrating it into a wire, a process presented by 3Devo at Formnext 2016.
Pelletized feedstock is also used in the Big Area Additive Manufacturing process developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and commercialized by Cincinnati Inc.
Patent pending Direct Pellet Extruding Print Head
DPP Technologies have a patent pending for their direct pellet extruding process, and ensure the quality of prints by providing their own materials releasing their own materials to work seamlessly with the printer.
Prices for the DPP XL MAAM DPE start at $19,500, and are exclusively available from the company’s website.
Featured image shows the DPP XL MAAM DPE 3D printer from DPP Technologies.