New 3D printer manufacturers are materializing all the time, all over the world. That, while it may seem strange, is the way the distributed manufacturing industry is disrupting the traditional centralized manufacturing industry. However, new projects are already beginning to disrupt even the blooming 3D printing industry, leading it in new directions. One of these is Kloner3D’s 240TWIN system, which uses two 3D printing heads that can work both synergically, on the same model, or independently, each on a different model.
Founded by Maximilian Turchi in Florence, Italy, Clevertek, the company behind the Kloner3D 240TWIN, is actually an example of both trends. It was born as a branch of Officine Verdelli a company specializing in precision mechanical machines. The mechanics powering the entire range of Kloner3D printers is actually based on medical machinery for DNA analysis, which Turchi had previously developed and later adapted to create the 3D printers.
While Kloner3D already offers as many as four different models, going from the smallest Kloner120 (120x120x120 maximum working volume) to the larger Kloner3D 320 (320x240x140 max working volume), the 240 TWIN is, without a doubt, the most unique and is the only one sold as a “production platform”.
Like all 3D printers in the range – including the smallest one – it is fully enclosed and it does not require calibration. It can achieve a maximum layer resolution of 50 microns and has a maximum working volume of 340 x 240 x 140 mm. This, however, is just the beginning: the real difference is that it can work in 4 different modes. Using just the right arm or just the left arm, the 240 Twin can exploit its entire build volume. If the two arms work independently at the same time, each one can operate within a box of 170 x 240 x 140 mm.
Ultimately, if the two arms work together on the same model, they can create a multimaterial object measuring as much as 260 x 240 x 140 mm. The machine is capable of using most common filament, including PLA, ABS, PVA, PET, and more. In fact Kloner3D, actively collaborates with TreeD by testing its more exotic materials.
It is my own personal opinion that one possible evolution of FDM will be that of setting the printheads free of axes; this means that more “arms” will work together towards the assembly and fused filament manufacturing of objects. While the Kloner3D 240TWIN arms are still confined to cartesian axis movements, the idea of getting two independent print heads to work together is a first step in this new, potentially disruptive, direction. Or, I should say, in these new directions.