3D printer manufacturer Nexa3D has announced the commercial availability of xWASH, a new automated washer designed to help manufacturers streamline, optimize, and scale their 3D printing and post-processing operations.
Working exclusively with the company’s eco-friendly xCLEAN washing detergent, xWASH can accept a full build plate from Nexa3D’s NXE 400 3D printer at volumes of up to 16 liters per print job. The firm claims customers can expect post-processing cost reductions of up to 75 percent when they use xWASH compared to other post-processing units.
“As demand for additively manufactured parts in volume production applications increases, the consistency of mechanical properties and finishing details is more important than ever, meaning there is greater need for automated, controlled, validated and sustainable post-processing solutions,” said Kevin McAlea, COO at Nexa3D. “Our new xWASH matches the build volumes and process requirements of our ultrafast NXE 400 3D printer, giving manufacturers repeatable and consistent control of their washing cycles.
“It also represents the final step in our end-to-end validated workflow, completing our suite of ultrafast photoplastic production system.”
Nexa3D’s ultrafast polymer production suite
Nexa3D has been busy ramping up its product development activities in recent years, starting with the launch of its flagship system, the NXE 400 ultrafast photoplastic industrial 3D printer.
Based on Nexa3D’s proprietary Lubricant Sublayer Photo-curing (LSPc) 3D printing technology, the NXE 400 reportedly delivers a 20x productivity increase over its competitors. The machine has so far been utilized within motorsport applications for the production of custom polymer parts, and for general manufacturing tooling purposes.
In October last year, the firm added to its polymer production suite with the launch of its xCURE post-processing system. The system is custom-made for the NXE 400 and is designed for the post-processing of parts on a production scale.
Shortly after, Nexa3D commercialized its NexaX 2.0 software platform to provide a comprehensive file-to-part software thread to extend the productivity of its 3D printers. The software covers all aspects of the pre-printing setup stage to optimize polymer part production.
Most recently, the company raised $55 million in financing rounds to fast-track the development and commercialization of its new polymer 3D printers, new performance polymer materials, and to continue developing its software platform.
Improving post-processing sustainability and productivity with xWASH
Deemed by Nexa3D to be both effective and environmentally friendly, xCLEAN is a washing solvent designed to be compatible with most photopolymer 3D printers and on the market. The solvent has three times the saturation limit of, and therefore lasts three times as long as, isopropyl alcohol (IPA), which results in less waste and fewer changeovers for manufacturers.
Regarding sustainability, xCLEAN can be easily recycled and recovered with a vacuum-assist solvent distillation unit. The new xWASH washer works exclusively with xCLEAN washing detergent in order to help Nexa3D customers to reduce the environmental impact of their operations.
To achieve higher production yields and consistent part quality, manufacturers are increasingly looking to leverage automation and validated workflows. Having access to an end-to-end post-processing solution also enables manufacturers to scale their 3D printing operations more economically.
Nexa3D’s new xWASH is equipped with bidirectional agitation and variable speeds to deliver efficient and consistent cleaning of a variety of parts. The machine’s adjustable cleaning cycle and saturation timers, alongside pre-programmed cleaning recipes, allows users to optimize the cleaning cycle based on part geometry and resin type.
For maximum throughput, xWASH is capable of cleaning two NXE 400 build plates simultaneously and also comes complete with a basket option for smaller loose parts. A touch screen interface makes wash cycle durations easy to program, while providing greater control of the speed and direction of water agitation.
Users can also automatically raise and lower the Z-axis that includes a built-in secondary lid in order to extend the life of the xCLEAN solvent while reducing potential evaporation.
“The arrival of the xWASH underscores our commitment to circular economy principles by minimizing process waste – it is optimized for our eco-friendly xCLEAN detergent, which lasts three times longer than isopropyl alcohol and produced less waste,” said Brent Zollinger, Head of Customer Success for Nexa3D.
“By leveraging the benefits of sustainable materials like this, our integrated washing solution empowers manufacturers to reduce their carbon footprint like never before.”
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Featured image shows a 3D printed part being washed by the xWASH system. Photo via Nexa3D.