ExOne, which already manufactures some pretty big industrial 3D printers, has just announced their largest 3D printing system to date, the Exerial™. With an eye on end-production parts, ExOne’s latest machine is made up of two separate build areas, each expanding on the print size of their S-Max 3D printer (70.9 x 39.37 x 27.56 in) by 1.5 times.
The new Exerial system is not only larger than the next biggest machine in the company’s portfolio, with a total build volume of 3,168 liters, it’s also meant to be faster, anticipated to be four times the speed of the S-Max, as well. The machine also improves upon the previous printers with the use of multiple stations, for continuous 3D printing and processing. And, with a new recoater system, multiple print heads, and automation controls, the Exerial releases drops of its binding material into each of the machine’s build areas.
With this technology, ExOne hopes to receive five patents for the Exerial. And, according to the company’s Chief Development Officer, Rainer Hoechsmann, ExOne has already received four orders for the new system. “We are investing in the latter stages of our R&D process for the Exerial as we respond to an initial purchase order of four machines. We expect to deliver the first beta machine and then the other three machines over the course of the first three quarters of this year, with additional commercial availability likely at the end of 2015 or early 2016.”
ExOne Chairman and CEO, S. Kent Rockwell, said of this latest offering, “ExOne’s industrial customers are pressing for latter stage technology to address their production needs with a 3D printing system that supports higher volumes and automation for the industrial production environment. When the Exerial system rolls out this year, ExOne will have addressed the industrial-level solution, further separating binder-jetting as a more cost effective technology than other 3D printing solutions. While our machine R&D focus in 2014 concentrated more intently on this type of customer base, ExOne continues to address the growing needs of our rapid prototyping and low volume production customers with further improvements in our existing machine portfolio platforms – the S-Max™, S-Print™ and M-Flex™ – and through the development of additional binder sets and printing materials.”
As the larger manufacturing industry pushes for larger 3D printing systems, capable of producing the intricate geometries offered by the technology in large volumes, ExOne’s Exerial gives them a great advantage in a space occupied by smaller machines. It also allows them to compete with voxeljet, which is known for its large sand printing machines.
Though the Exerial will receive wider commercial availability over the next year or so, as Hoechsmann states, the machine will make its formal debut at the GIFA International Foundry Trade Fair in Düsseldorf, Germany this summer, from June 16-20, 2015.