3DGence announced a new industrial, high temperature 3D printer, the F421.
The new device appears to replace the former F420 device, as it has disappeared from their lineup. This company still offers the smaller F340 and F350 units.
The company’s INDUSTRY line of 3D printers are targeted for industrial use, as they provide reliable 3D printing of high temperature materials and at considerable speed.
Speed is definitely one of the important features of the new F421. It is capable of 3D printing at up to an incredible 400mm/second, and travel speeds at 1000mm/second. 3DGence has designed the machine to ensure print quality and accuracy does not suffer at these extreme speeds.
The F421’s thermal parameters are extreme. The hot end can hit a blistering 500C, and the build plate can reach 180C. In addition, the build chamber itself is actively heated and can also hit 180C. These heat levels enable straightforward 3D printing of almost any high temperature material, including PEEK and ULTEM.
The build volume of the F421 is 380 x 380 x 420 mm, which just happens to be exactly the same as the prior F420 model. This build volume is still larger than the F340’s of 260 × 300 × 340 mm and the F350’s build volume of 340 x 340 x 350 mm.
The machine’s minimum layer height is a very small 0.05mm, enabling the production of fine details. The F421 is also equipped with dual printheads, enabling the use of soluble support for worry-free printing of complex objects. However, you will have to use specialized soluble support material if printing high temperature materials.
3DGence explained that the hot ends and nozzles in the system are hardened, making them suitable for use with abrasive filaments, such as metal or carbon fiber composites. These can be used to produce parts with much higher strength than with polymer-only materials.
Along with the F421 3D printer itself, 3DGence also announced an accessory unit, the Material Management System, or “MMS”. The MMS is designed to make life easier for those using high temperature materials, which are notoriously challenging to store properly.
The MMS is an intelligent storage device that has pre-programmed settings for many third party materials that have been certified by 3DGence. These will be stored in optimum conditions prior to printing, helping to ensure perfect print results.
There’s one more feature of the MMS that seems to be unique. 3DGence said:
“Material Management System (MMS) with pre-programmed configurations for proper storage, preparation, and annealing of industrial filaments with quick visibility and continuous data feed to 3DGence CLOUD.”
Hold on, “Annealing”?
Annealing is a post processing step in which a 3D printed part is exposed to specific thermal conditions that help with internal crystallization and produce a far stronger part. Evidently the MMS might have pre-programmed annealing sequences that could do this step automatically. That’s a feature I haven’t seen on other materials storage systems.
Finally, 3DGence announced a new industrial material, “PEEK Aero”, which is also ASTM 9100 certified. 3DGence explains:
“The AS9100 certification ensures full confidence in quality of production and traceability for this progressive filament – with UL94 V-0 flammability resistance and chemical resistance, while providing high-strength and ultra-light parts where high-operating temperature, strength, and anti-corrosion is required. The AS9100 Aerospace Quality Management System is based on ISO 9001 QMS standards, and tailor-made for Industrial and Military Aerospace applications.”
These products taken together provide a very intriguing platform for industrial 3D printing of parts with high temperature materials.