• M Aerospace RTC

The best industrial 3D printers for your company


This blog post will start by discussing the differences between the typical desktop printer and an industrial grade printer. Broadly speaking if it is the same printing technology a desktop printer and an industrial printer will be similar, but their capabilities differ and that is the key to being able to identify if an industrial printer is right for my 3D printing needs.


Accuracy

Generally, geometric tolerances and part accuracy are dependent on the calibration of the 3D printer and the complexity of the model to be printed. Typically industrial cutting 3D printers produce parts with higher accuracy than desktop printers, this is due to the more detailed control of the processing parameters during printing. Industrial 3D printers run calibration algorithms before each print they make.


Production Capabilities and Costs

A key difference between a desktop 3D printer and an industrial 3D printer is the associated cost. The rise in popularity of desktop 3D printers has dramatically reduced the cost of acquiring and using a printer as well as increasing the availability of consumables.

The production capabilities of an industrial slicing 3D printer are typically greater than its desktop counterpart, meaning that an industrial 3D printer can complete a large order much faster than a desktop 3D printer. Industrial 3D printers have a much larger printing surface, which means they can produce parts of considerable dimensions in a single print or print more smaller parts at the same time.

Industrial cutting 3D printers are specifically designed for repeatability and reliability. They can usually produce the same part over and over again. Desktop 3D printers require a higher level of user maintenance and regular calibration.


One of the main benefits of additive manufacturing is the ability to print – in a single action – huge objects that are traditionally made up of multiple small parts. Joints, seams and assembly points can be weak areas in any finished product and require designers and engineers to make adjustments to their designs. Large-scale printing frees designers from these limitations. From furniture to molds to sculpture, 3D printing enables complex geometries and unique functionalities that give designers and engineers a blank sheet of paper for innovation.


There are large industrial printers that can take up an entire room and cost hundreds of thousands, and robotic 3D printers capable of printing houses and boats, but we're going to see a growing niche in large-scale printers - those that can print something the size of a chair (1000 mm or just over 3 feet) with great detail, speed and quality.

Mawj chair 3D printed by the Middle East Architecture Network. (Source: inhabitat.com)

We have taken the task of collecting a selection of printers that are part of this segment for the consideration of our readers, below is a table with a summary of the printers to see.


Maker

Printers

Construction Volume (L x W x H) in mm

Printing Technology

Price (in USD)

BigRep

One V3, Studio G2, Pro

(1005 x 1005 x 1005),(1000 x 500 x 500),(1020 x 970 x 980)

FDM, Dual Extruder

$30,700 - $170,000

Cosine Additive

AM1

(850 x 850 x 1100)

FDM, Dual Extruder

$120,000

Cincinnati MAAM

MAAM

(1050 x 1015 x 1015)

FDM

$150,000

BLB Industries

Box 1500

(1500 x 1200 x 1200)

FDM

$150,000

Titan Robotics

Atlas-HS

(1270 x 1270 x 1829)

FDM/CNC

$250,000

Massivit 3D

5000, 1500, 1800

(1450 x 1110 x 1800),(1470 x 1160 x 1370),(1450 x 1110 x 1800)

Material Jetting

~$250,000

Voxeljet

VX4000

(4000 x 2000 x 1000)

Binder Jetting

$1,500,000

BigRep


BigRep One 3D printer. (Source: BigRep)

Made with German engineering, BigRep's BigRep One is ideal for industrial applications where high strength or full-scale prototyping is required, according to the company. Interchangeable extrusion nozzles allow for high-speed flow or maximum detail additive manufacturing in a variety of materials, including PLA, PETG, PVA and TPU.


The BigRep One is the smallest printer in the company's offering, being 4 in total, ending with the BigRep Pro with a build volume of 1020 x 970 x 980 mm. The BigRep Pro is a fully enclosed industrial 3D printer made to produce full-scale parts, large parts for functional prototypes, tooling for factories as well as patterns and molds, lastly, the BigRep Pro printer allows to produce end-use parts.


We add statements from the manufacturer about its 3D printer:


  • Shapes and Molds: Patterns and molds made by 3D printing can replace their traditional counterparts, those that are made with the help of CNC machines or handmade. By modernizing the early stages of many foundry applications, BigRep ONE allows you to produce in-house, iterate faster, reduce material costs and simplify logistics.

  • Prototyping: Producing prototypes quickly and cost-effectively opens up new development and design possibilities for innovators. BigRep's large-scale 3D printing technology allows more iterations to be manufactured quickly and easily, without increasing costs.

  • Large-scale 3D printing: Massive build volume: With a build volume of 1 cubic meter, the BigRep ONE is designed to perform massive 3D printing for demanding and geometrically complex applications. Go beyond the limited capabilities of small systems and use the ONE to print your parts in full scale.

  • Secure and Accessible: Its frame construction: Open design ensures unobstructed print monitoring and easy access to the print bed. Check print quality and progress at any time with access to the print bed from all 3 sides. The enclosure attachment ensures a consistent printing environment and provides operator protections.

  • Consistent and Efficient: The semi-automatic print bed: heated print bed is coated with a polyimide foil that provides optimal adhesion throughout the entire printing procedure. Thanks to an integrated inductive sensor, the ONE uses a semi-automatic print bed leveling system to simplify print bed calibration to ensure the best performance and consistent prints.

  • Safe and Spacious: The spool enclosure: The newly designed spool enclosure ensures optimal material handling and accepts all standard spool sizes, including two spools up to 8 kilograms. A sensor that detects when the printer runs out of filament stops printing so you can replace the empty spool, which is particularly useful for large part prints. The dry box attachment protects the filament from dust and moisture (some filaments are sensitive to moisture).

Cosine Additive


AM1 printer from Cosine Additive. (Source: Cosine Additive)

Cosine Additive's AM1 printer introduced in 2015 is a large-scale, extrusion-based 3D printer with multiple extrusion options including single, dual and tandem. The pellet-based extrusion system offers flexibility and savings.


The fully enclosed system features a heated bed and nozzle that can print industrial grade materials such as ABS, PETG, TPU, PC-PBT, carbon fiber and fiberglass composites.


We add statements from the manufacturer about its 3D printer:


  • Sublime Exterior: With powder coated exterior finish, our Cosine AM1 is as sleek and stunning as it is powerful and effortless. With double-coated glass and a choice of colors, our Cosine AM1 can match and represent the essence behind your brand.

  • Size. Space. Volume: The external dimensions offer a full-size construction volume. With an insulated enclosure, the AM1 reaches temperatures up to 100 °C. Higher temperatures mean better distortion control and a wider choice of materials to use in your prints.

  • Superior hardware: With a high-end motion controller as well as ball screws and servo motors, positional accuracy of 50 nm and high speeds of up to 15,000 mm/min are achieved.

  • Aluminum Bed: Reaching temperatures up to 200 °C, our fixed aluminum bed promotes a "set and forget" mentality, requiring leveling adjustments only during installation.

  • Extruders: The filament feed system is our standard quality printing system. Heating up to 500 °C, it provides an open material market for your 3D printing needs. Our pellet feed system represents a reduced cost and faster alternative for 3D printing. Pellet 3D printing is 10 times faster and 10 times cheaper than filament printing in addition to having a wider variety of materials mixed with polymers.

  • Open material market: Cosine encourages its customers to continue to use their own material suppliers or use our list of suppliers to develop new materials for specific industry applications. Cosine also provides materials upon request. While maintaining high repeatability is always paramount, moving to an open material market allows our customers to find the perfect balance between cost, material quality and customer service.

  • Specialized software: Our software is designed in-house, specially modified for our AM1 printer. With its intuitive and data-driven design our software provides extended functionality at your fingertips.

  • Plug in. Connect: Connecting to you is no problem for us. Our printer can work with wired WAN, WiFi, or even Verizon 4G. With a variety of network connectivity options, Cosine can easily service your printer remotely.

  • Remote Management: Our AM1 provides remote monitoring of prints with our ethernet camera. The remote monitoring system is able to give you a comprehensive view of your printing progress 24/7.

Cincinnati MAAM


The MAAM Printer - Medium Area Additive Manufacturing. (Source: Cincinnati Incorporated)

The Cincinnati-based company's MAAM (Medium Area Additive Manufacturing) printer is an industrial additive manufacturing machine made for production manufacturing with a rigid welded frame, CNC controls, and single or dual extruder options. With the ability to print two materials simultaneously with any combination of filament and pellets, the MAAM is an open source material solution.


Starting at $155,000, the MAAM is a highly modifiable machine. Its massive build volume can be expanded in any direction and numerous other configurations are available, according to the company. There is also on-site installation training and ongoing support from the company's Cincinnati application engineers.


With its wide variety of nozzle diameters for both pellet and filament extrusions, the MAAM printer can print a variety of layer resolutions with versatility in size, speed, detail and surface quality for all your 3D printing projects.


We add statements from the manufacturer about its 3D printer:

  • Custom Additive Solutions: The MAAM is an industrial additive manufacturing printer built to facilitate production manufacturing. A rigid welded frame, CNC controls, and the latest extruder technology are combined in this machine to print parts accurately and consistently at speeds unmatched in the 3D printer market. Single and dual extruder options as well as any combination with filament and pellets make the MAAM ready for the toughest and most complex printing jobs. Its open source material solution, as well as its enclosure temperature capabilities, print bed and print heads allow it to 3D print the most highly engineered thermoplastics in the industry.

  • User-friendly operation: The MAAM is designed for easy operation and installation. The simple yet effective HMI interface provides everything you need for successful print control and remote access monitoring. Slicing software is included with customized profiles and preconfigured parameters for quick startup and easy programming. On-site training and ongoing support from our application experts are included with every printer.

  • Fast, Accurate and Reliable: The MAAM's rigid welded base, precision ball screws and large profile linear rails ensure accuracy, stability and speed. Yaskawa motion control and encoder feedback servo motors on each axis provide unmatched power and control. A suite of environmental, temperature and power system sensors ensure reliable 3D printing.

  • Flexible Printing: Thanks to its wide variety of nozzle diameters for both filament and pellet extrusion, the MAAM can print a range of layer resolutions. This means maximum versatility in the size, speed, detail and surface quality of all your 3D printing projects. The MAAM is built to handle the intricate details of a desktop 3D printer, the production speeds of a large format 3D printer, and anything in between.

  • Prints the most resistant materials: The MAAM is an open source system, which means it is compatible with any pellet or filament available on the market. It can print general and high temperature resistant parts with the industry's strongest thermoplastics such as Ultem and PEEK, thanks to the temperature capabilities of its print chamber, print bed and print heads.

BLB Industries


BLB Industries Box 1500 printer. (Source: BLB Industries AB)

Swedish manufacturer, BLB Industries AB, offers the Box 1500 3D printer with up to two extruders and pellet extrusion. The unit also features the patented silver vacuum heating system with air cooling and a camera-based print monitoring system.


BLB says the Box 1500 can be used for prototyping as well as mass production.


Titan Robotics


Titan Robotics' Atlas-HS 3D printer with CNC capability. (Source: Titan Robotics)

Titan Robotics, the Colorado USA-based company that specializes in large-scale 3D printing solutions for various industries, unveiled its new Atlas-HS hybrid 3D printer, which is a multi-head FDM printer with CNC capability. The company has incorporated a pellet extrusion system seen in its Atlas line of 3D printers with a 3-axis milling system.


The Atlas-HS features a heated chamber for printing high-performance polymers, including PEI with carbon fiber, glass-reinforced PEEK and nylons. With a print volume of 1270 x 1270 x 1829 mm, the Atlas-HS gives industrial customers the option of incorporating both pellet and Titan filament extruders on the same gantry crane.


The Atlas-HS allows its industrial users to 3D print a part with its near-final shape thanks to pellet extrusion and then post-machine it to meet the requirements of the final part, as well as produce complex geometries with its in-situ machining capabilities, according to the company's CEO.


Titan also manufactures the Atlas (762 x 762 x 1143 mm), which is an industrial additive manufacturing system available with pellet extrusion, filament extrusion or a hybrid extrusion system (pellet + filament).


We add statements from the manufacturer about its 3D printer:

  • Shorten cycle times: Print fast with pellet extrusion on the Atlas-HS, then quickly obtain a smoothly finished end-use part by machining the part during or after printing on the same machine.

  • Reduce parts costs: Reduce material costs up to 10 times with pellet feeders and reduce labor costs with automated machining of parts on the print bed.

  • Ready for end-use manufacturing: The Atlas-HS is proven for industrial applications such as creating patterns, molds, jigs, fixtures and end-use parts.

Massavit 3D


The Massavit 5000 printer from Massavit 3D. (Source: Massavit 3D Printing Technologies)

MasMassavit 3D Printing Technologies, the Israeli manufacturer of high-volume 3D printers for industrial use, unveiled its newest printer in 2021 offering faster prints while maintaining the same massive size as its other two printers, an impressive 1450 x 1110 x 1800 mm.


The Massavit 5000 features the company's gel dispenser technology that extrudes a photopolymer gel at high speeds before curing it into solid layers under UV light. The new printer addresses the automotive, marine and railroad industries' need to reduce lead times for large parts, prototypes and tooling.


We add statements from the manufacturer about its 3D printer:

  • 5 print modes that optimize speed and size

  • 3 printing materials including HD 0.5 mm (Dimengel 110)

  • Dual material system

  • Produce full-scale parts, prototypes and molds in hours instead of days

  • Massavit SMART Pro automated file preparation system including self-guidance

  • Simple monitoring with 3 internal cameras plus a flat panel displaysavit 3D Printing Technologies, the Israeli manufacturer of high-volume 3D printers for industrial use, unveiled its newest printer in 2021 offering faster prints while maintaining the same massive size as its other two printers, an impressive 1450 x 1110 x 1800 mm.


The Massavit 5000 features the company's gel dispenser technology that extrudes a photopolymer gel at high speeds before curing it into solid layers under UV light. The new printer addresses the automotive, marine and railroad industries' need to reduce lead times for large parts, prototypes and tooling.


We add statements from the manufacturer about its 3D printer:

  • 5 print modes that optimize speed and size

  • 3 printing materials including HD 0.5 mm (Dimengel 110)

  • Dual material system

  • Produce full-scale parts, prototypes and molds in hours instead of days

  • Massavit SMART Pro automated file preparation system including self-guidance

  • Simple monitoring with 3 internal cameras plus a flat panel display

Voxeljet


The voxeljet VX4000 printer. (Source: voxeljet)

With a build volume of 4,000 x 2,000 x 1,000 mm, voxeljet describes the VX4000 as the "world's largest industrial 3D printer for printing individual molds and sand cores." In addition, the printer can produce small components in series and has a resolution of up to 200 dpi.


The VX4000 uses Binder Jetting technology, which works by depositing droplets of a bonding agent to fuse powder material. In contrast to many other systems, the VX4000's build platform is not lowered after each layer is completed; instead, the printhead and coater are elevated. This allows the printer to support considerable weights on its build platform. The system also promises virtual continuous production thanks to interchangeable build platform elements. Suitable for cast metal molds, the printing platform has proven to be a boon to the foundry industry as well as companies that use casting or molds in any way.


On interchangeable construction elements, the VX4000 was designed with construction platforms that are alternately inserted into the process station allowing for continuous 24/7 operation.


Remarkably, the VX4000 printer can print a 4 meter by 2 meter layer in just two passes, as a result the system not only ensures fast manufacturing of large objects but also enables efficient production of small batches of parts.


By using standard casting materials, 3D printed shapes can be seamlessly integrated into existing value chains. The VX400 uses Furan resin optimized for 3D printing and standard silica sand.


To recap, among its highlights:

  • Continuous operation with multiple construction platforms (arranged alternately)

  • Variable use of construction volume for individual applications

  • Effective and continuous operation due to robust design and high quality components

  • Fast and cost-effective manufacturing of large components and batches

  • Fully automated production based on CAD files


One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the VX400 comes with a price tag to consider, at around $1,500,000. But if making an investment of this nature is impossible for you, voxeljet's 3D printing services give you the opportunity to take advantage of this printing platform.


Sources


https://inhabitat.com/the-mawj-3d-printed-chair-is-inspired-by-the-arabian-sea/

https://bigrep.com/bigrep-one/

https://www.cosineadditive.com/en/am1

https://www.e-ci.com/maam

https://titan3drobotics.com/atlas-hs/

https://massivit3d.com/massivit-5000/

https://all3dp.com/1/large-format-3d-printer-large-scale/

https://amfg.ai/2018/09/18/top-10-large-scale-industrial-3d-printers/

https://www.voxeljet.com/industrial-3d-printer/serial-production/vx4000/

https://www.hubs.com/knowledge-base/industrial-fdm-vs-desktop-fdm/

https://pick3dprinter.com/blb-industries-the-box-small-review/


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