Turning traditional 3D printing on its side
24 August 2016
The Stratasys Infinite-Build 3D demonstrator builds parts with unlimited length at 10x speed and production-quality accuracy and repeatability.
The Infinite-Build 3D demonstrator is designed to address the requirements of automotive, aerospace and other industries for large lightweight parts with repeatable mechanical properties.
The Infinite-Build 3D demonstrator features a new approach to FDM extrusion that increases throughput and repeatability. The system turns the traditional 3D printer concept on its side to realise an “infinite-build” approach which prints on a vertical plane for practically unlimited part size in the build direction.
Aerospace giant Boeing played an influential role in defining the requirements and specifications for the demonstrator. Boeing is currently using an Infinite-Build 3D demonstrator to explore the production of low volume, lightweight parts. Ford Motor Company is also exploring innovative automotive manufacturing applications for this demonstrator, and will evaluate this new technology.
Ford and Stratasys will work together to test and develop new applications for automotive-grade 3D printed materials that were not previously possible due to limited size, enabling and accelerating innovative automotive product design.
“Additive manufacturing represents a great opportunity for Boeing and our customers, so we made a strategic decision more than a decade ago to work closely with Stratasys on this technology. We are always looking for ways to reduce the cost and weight of aircraft structures, or reduce the time it takes to prototype and test new tools and products so we can provide them to customers in a more affordable and rapid manner. The Stratasys Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator enables products to be made at a much larger and potentially unlimited length, offering us a breakthrough tool to add to our robust additive manufacturing processes,” said Darryl Davis, President, Boeing Phantom Works. “3D printing holds the promise of changing automotive design and manufacturing because it opens up new ways to innovate and create efficiencies in production. Our vision at Ford is to make high-speed, high-quality printing of automotive-grade parts a reality. We are excited about the future opportunities that the scalable and versatile Infinite-Build concept can unlock, and look forward to collaborating with Stratasys to help achieve our goals,” said Mike Whitens, director, Vehicle Enterprise Sciences, Ford Research & Advanced Engineering.
Video courtesy of Stratasys.
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