German industrial 3D printer manufacturer EOS has announced the forthcoming launch of a new polymer additive manufacturing line, starting with the P 500 laser sintering system.
In an event held at the company’s Customer and Technology Center in Krailling, Germany, 3D Printing Industry has been given a deep dive on the latest EOS technology that is “shaping the digital factory of the future”.
Quality, automation and materials
Welcoming international press and corporate customers, EOS CTO Dr. Tobias Abeln states that the P 500 is the company’s “first step” toward digitization, contributing to the cyber-physical system of Next Gen AM – a vision shared by industry partners at Daimler and Premium AEROTEC.
Overall, the machine has been developed with three main goals in mind:
- Reproducible part quality job to job and between machines.
- Automation for Industry 4.0 – capable of delivering all kinds of data, and easy integration with existing manufacturing environments.
- Material versatility – pursuing 3D printability for any kind of powdered materials.
A complementary polymer platform
The P 500 consists of 4 modules, and an external dock to enable automated transfer between jobs.
The modular design continues on the interior, preparing the machine for future innovations including addition of a third laser, and larger build plate.
In comparison to the P 396, one of EOS’s existing laser sintering systems, the new P 500 is capable of producing double the output, with a 30% reduction of cost per part.
High performance plastics
Adding to a building trend in the industry, the EOS P 500 system opens up development of high performance polymers to external partners and research institutions.
Specifically, R&D focus is in materials that are 3D printed at around 300 degrees Celsius, offering mid range temperature resistance.
PEEK/PEKK is one industrial grade plastic that can be considered as an example material, but EOS are aiming for still more advanced polymers capable of enduring higher stresses.
The P 500 system will be officially launched by EOS at Formnext 2017 in Frankfurt, with first deliveries of the system expected mid-late 2018. Sign up here for updates from 3D Printing Industry.
Featured image: Graphic demo of the EOS P 500 polymer 3D printer. Image via EOS