Firms Exhibit Variety of 3D Printers (2)
Continued from Firms Exhibit Variety of 3D Printers (1)
Toyotsu Machinery Corp exhibited the "ProJet 460Plus," a full-color 3D printer manufactured by 3D Systems Inc. It deposits a layer of plaster powder and sprays adhesive and ink (for coloring) from a nozzle to the area that needs to remain as a model. An object is formed by repeating this process.
The maximum size of an object that can be formed is 203 x 254 x 203mm. The pitch of accumulation is 0.1mm. The resolution is 300 x 450dpi. The shaping speed in the direction of the layer's thickness is 23mm/h, which is about 30% faster than the shaping speed of 3D Systems' previous product.
CKB Corp showcased the "Concept laser Mlab," a 3D printer that accumulates layers by sintering metal powder. It was developed by Concept Laser GmbH. The materials that can be used for the printer are stainless steel, cobalt chrome, copper, 18-karat gold and silver.
The maximum size of an object that can be formed is 90 x 90 x 80mm. The pitch of accumulation is 20 to 50μm. The shaping speed is 1 to 5cm3/h, depending on material used.
The laser of the printer is a 100W fiber laser with a spot diameter of 20 to 80μm (maximum scanning speed: 7m/s). The consumption rate of chamber gas is 4L per minute or less (nitrogen gas or argon gas).
To use a formed object as a mold, the surface roughness needs to be reduced in the back-end process, and its strength needs to be increased in a quenching process.
Tanabe Kenden Co Ltd showed the "3Z Pro" 3D printer, which is manufactured by Solidscape Inc. It is a printer for making a wax model to be used for lost-wax process.
The printer accumulates layers by spraying wax melted in a tank with a head similar to an inkjet printer head. When the height of the wax reaches about 15μm, it is cut down to 12μm. By repeating this process, a desired shape can be obtained.
The maximum size of an object that can be formed is 152.4 x 152.4 x 101.6mm. The resolution is 5,000 x 5,000 x 4,000dpi. The margins of error in the x-, y- and z-axis directions are all ±0.254mm.
The price of the 3Z Pro is ¥6.3 million (approx US$64,417, ¥5.9 million by the end of June 2013). The price of 10 sets of the waxes for modeling (melting point: 100°C) and supporting (melting point: 50°C) materials is ¥43,000. With this amount of wax, about 100 rings can be formed.