Innovating Aerospace: JuggerBot 3D’s Hybrid 3D Printer Blends Pellets with Resin

By on February 28th, 2024 in news, printer

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Hybrid pellet – resin 3D printing system [Source: JuggerBot 3D]

JuggerBot 3D is to develop a unique hybrid 3D printer using both pellets and resin.

The Ohio-based company has long been producing large-format pellet-powered 3D printers. While there are now multiple companies producing pellet 3D printers, JuggerBot 3D’s experience is so deep they even created what they call a “material card” for pellet operations, analogous to a print profile. That was unique for pellet machines.

Another unique development is on the way with news that the US Air Force has granted the company US$4M to create a large format hybrid 3D printer.

The aim is to produce a 3D printer that uses both pellets and two-part resins during printing. Why makes such an unusual combination, which I believe has not been done previously? JuggerBot 3D explains:

”A critical line of effort to achieve the goals of the project is the maturation of composite AM, particularly with high-temperature structural epoxies and other engineered thermoset resin materials in combination with thermoplastic resins. Advances in the ability to print a thermoset composite material transforms the way aircraft structure is designed, fabricated, and sustained for limited-life aircraft.”

They believe that the combination of two-part resins and pellets will result in parts that are not only stronger, but also more consistent in their engineering performance. This is critical for aircraft parts, as you might imagine.

Massive Tradesman series 3D printer from JuggerBot 3D [Source: Fabbaloo]

The plan is to make a modified version of their massive Tradesman devices to accommodate the extra material type. The Tradesman series already uses pellet extrusion systems, so this would be a matter of adding the resin components, plus a ton of software work.

The project is expected to take up to two years to complete, with a series of milestones to reach along the way. It’s likely that JuggerBot 3D will reach out to partners to assist in the considerable project.

While this is an experiment by the USAF, JuggerBot 3D will retain the expertise and quite possibly launch the product in the future for other customers. If it’s good enough for the Air Force, it should be good for companies, too.

Via JuggerBot 3D

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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