Consumer 3D printing has now rebranded itself as an industrial manufacturing process, whether that’s through the production of jigs and fixtures or mass production printer farms.
Perhaps one of the most notable companies that uses printer farms for mass production is Brooklyn-based Voodoo Manufacturing, which has somewhere in the range of 160 MakerBot 3D printers spread across its factory.
Though the startup is working to compete with injection molding small and medium-sized parts with its printer cells, Voodoo has announced that it’s going to perform large-scale 3D printing as well.
The company now has added 10 Raise3D N2 Plus 3D printers to its factory. With a build volume of 300 x 300 x 600mm, the N2 Plus can print objects almost eight times larger than Voodoo’s MakerBot model, which features a build volume of 285 x 153 x 155mm.
Voodoo uses the example of a 6-foot tall mannequin to drive home this point. With smaller machines, 3D printing such a model would have required 90 individual pieces assembled in two to three hours. With the N2 Plus systems, the same model can be printed in 20 parts and assembled in 30 minutes.
What most excites me about this news is that Voodoo is able to expand its existing business and technology practices to new, larger machines. The startup has shown that it can automate aspects of its manufacturing workflow in a way that speeds up the printing process, decreases the manual intervention, and creates a 24/7 production environment. This is made possible utilizing a robotic arm, in the case of one 3D printer cell, and automation software developed in-house.
Read more at ENGINEERING.com