3DGence announced a new high temperature 3D printer with some unusual characteristics, the INDUSTRY F420.
3DGence is one of the countless Polish 3D printing companies, and has been producing 3D printers of increasing capability since 2014, only five years ago. Today they offer a line of industrial devices that specializes in high temperature materials to clients worldwide.
This week they’ve announced an addition to their lineup, the INDUSTRY F420, which follows on from their popular INDUSTRY F340 device.
F420 Build Volume
The INDUSTRY F420 sports a rather generous build volume of 380 x 380 x 420 mm, enabling the production of reasonably large parts. 3DGence positions the device as being best used for end-use parts, prototyping and jigs & fixtures for manufacturing optimization.
Like 3DGence’s prior machines, the INDUSTRY F420 is a high temperature 3D printer, enabling it to accurately 3D print in high performance engineering materials such as PEEK, ULTEM and similar materials. This is a capability of strong interest to certain industries, such as automotive, aerospace and oil & gas, where 3D printed parts are often subjected to extreme conditions.
INDUSTRY F420 Print Speed
The most notable feature of the INDUSTRY F420, however is its print speed, which seems quite fast in comparison to some of its high temperature competitors. 3DGence’s Product Manager Remigiusz Synowiec explains:
“The high print speed is the key aspect of our industrial 3D printing process. 3DGence INDUSTRY F420 pushes the boundaries of printing speed for industrial 3D printers. With 1 m/s travel speed and printing speed up to 400 mm/s, it makes the machine a perfect choice if you want to cut manufacturing costs and print spare parts to dramatically reduce downtimes. This 3D printer is a perfect tool for quick production of end-use parts that can be used in final products.”
To put this in perspective, a typical 3D printer would have a travel speed of 400 mm/s and a maximum effective print speed of around 100 mm/s. If 3DGence can manage printing at this speed, then we would see a dramatic increase in the number of parts the machine could produce.
However, I suspect that the 400 mm/s speed is more of a peak speed that is achieved only under ideal conditions. Those would be straight-line extrusion paths only, whereas the print speed would necessarily have to slow down during corners or changing direction.
To handle such high speeds it’s likely 3DGence has equipped the INDUSTRY F420 with a sophisticated printer controller with the speed and capacity to compute the motion directives rapidly and in real time during print jobs.
INDUSTRY F420 Safety
One feature I am impressed with is the filtration system on the INDUSTRY F420, as many 3D printers do not come with proper filtration. The INDUSTRY F420 is capable of filtering VOCs (Volatile organic compounds), PM 2.5 and PM 10. The “PM” metrics are European standards for filtration of particulate matter. PM 10 means that particles larger than 0.010mm are captured, while PM 2.5 indicates particles larger than 0.0025mm are captured.
The name “INDUSTRY F420” is not just an attractive name; it actually indicates that the device is compliant with known Industry 4.0 standards and protocols, meaning it is possible to integrate the INDUSTRY F420 into modern manufacturing lines.
Finally, it seems that 3DGence has dramatically improved their software control system for all of their devices, including the INDUSTRY F420. Their cloud system permits operators to not only prepare and submit 3D print jobs to 3DGence equipment, but also to queue jobs, schedule maintenance and provide some administrative & security functions, all done via Internet.
The most surprising aspect is the price of the INDUSTRY F420, which is set to between €49-75,000 (US$54-83,000), depending on options. That’s a very reasonable price for a competent high temperature 3D printer.