Firms Exhibit Variety of 3D Printers (1)
3D printers drew attention at the 24th Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo (DMS 2013), which took place from June 19 to 21, 2013, in Tokyo. 3D printers were densely placed in the Rapid Prototyping/3D Printer zone, which was very crowded.
Marubeni Information Systems
Marubeni Information Systems Co Ltd (MSYS) showed the "Mojo," a low-price 3D printer manufactured by Stratasys Ltd. It accumulates layers while ejecting molten plastic from a nozzle. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) can be used as a material.
The maximum size of an object that can be formed is 127 x 127 x 127mm. The pitch of accumulation is 0.178mm. The time it takes for the printer to form a 127 x 127 x 127mm cube is five to six hours.
The cost of plastics (modeling and supporting materials) is ¥99,800 (approx US$1,017) per 1,311cm3. The price of the printer's main body is ¥1.58 million (¥1.28 million by the end of June 2013). The maintenance cost, which will be incurred from the second year, is ¥198,000 (only hardware).
Aspect Inc exhibited the "RaFaEl 550," a 3D printer that accumulates layers by sintering powder. It deposits a thin layer of plastic powder on a table and applies a laser beam to the area that needs to remain as a model to melt and solidify the powder. By repeating this process, it is possible to form an object.
The printer does not require a supporting material, which is used to keep the shape of an object during the forming process.
As materials, the RaFaEl 550 supports polyamide (PA) 11, PA 12 (including those that contain glass beads or carbon fibers), thermoplastic synthetic rubber (Shore A hardness: 60 and 90) and polystyrene (PS). The maximum size of an object that can be formed is 550 x 550 x 500mm. The pitch of accumulation is 0.08 to 0.20mm.
The laser used in the printer is a 100W carbon dioxide laser with a beam diameter of 0.48mm or a 50W fiber laser (option) with a beam diameter of 0.30mm. Its maximum scanning speed is 15m/s.