The 3D Printing world is moving fast. It’s time to print fast

The 3D Printing world is moving fast. It’s time to print fast

During 40 years of fierce innovation battles in the 3D printing field, manufacturers have been able to reduce their production costs and delivery times, designers can unleash their creativity, customers can accelerate their product development strategies and the web stimulates them all to move even faster.

After 40 years, we know that 3D printing is very slow. And very expensive. And post-printing processes are usually required to get a good surface finish.

x3D Group SAS, located in Lyon-France, launched in Europe the Rapid Series, a range of patented High Sped 3D printing solutions. And not only it is marketing it, it is also using it for its own online 3D printing service.

MFP technology, that is its name, is the new disruptive 3D printing technology that will help its users to reduce their prototyping costs. Take an example of a part that would usually print in 30 hours, that means that we wait for about 30 hours to get the part (or not). 30 hours, that also means one part every day or two. With the Rapid Series, you print parts from 1 to 10 hours top.

Beside, printed parts come out the machine with a super surface finish. Perfect one, very smooth. No hand polish required. No need to say more here.

The technology comes from the photo industry, where the patented lighting technique was used to print high quality photos at high speed. After 2 years of R&D, this light source has been brought in the 3D world, to make the SLA technique print much faster. The process resides in that light source exposing each slice of the 3D model on the whole surface of the resin tank, therefore curing all the parts at the same time.

Continuous printing or MFP layer-per-layer? Well the Rapid Series does not print only miniatures Eiffel towers. But although both printing processes give the same surface finish, layer-per-layer will help users to overpass some challenges that continuous printing may face. For example, large surfaces can print right away. Also, discontinued pins would come out just nicely. And whether you print 2 models or 200 on the platform, the printing time will be identical.

So how fast? Let’s stay on that little 5 cm high Eiffel tower and that you need 400 of them. With that high, its base measures about 2 x 2 cm (yes, it’s small). While some printers will deliver them in about 6-8 hours for some fast printers up-to 10-12 hours for the slowest ones, the Rapid Series will grow them in less that 2 hours. That can mean about 2.000 miniatures per day!

Expensive? No. Affordable? Yes. The Rapid Series are offered in the €40-80 K range, making them even more attractive compared to the usual 200K average we see on the market. And x3D Group is investing a lot on it, with a full Parts & Labour 12-month warranty and Maintenance Contract for those who wants to ensure their machine is well looked after. Consumables are very affordable too, starting at €130 per kilo, and x3D Group is expanding its line of materials.

Beside, the Rapid400 is a beautiful machine, awarded in January 2016 with the German IF Design award.

“We make a breakthrough of the visual image by getting rid of the dull and stereotyped image of the traditional machining and manufacturing machine. The unique trihedral modeling allows users to observe the printing state from three perspectives and demonstrates the dynamic molding process in an all-around way. The unique shape and the scientific and technological sense endow the product with the unique visual value. ASSESMENT CRITERIA: Aesthetics, Practicability, Innovation”.

And the Rapid Series offers two bonuses. Firstly, the Rapid400 (the most popular) can print in large build envelope of 384x384x216mm. That makes it perfect to print several parts at the same time, or to print large models.

Secondly, for the first time in the industrial 3D printing history, it offers Open-Source technology. Due to the increasing demand of customized materials, the Rapid Series can allow its users to run it with third-party resins. And x3D Group is committed to help its customers to optimize this benefit, with dedicated staff skilled in materials elaboration.

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