I recently had the opportunity to connect with Mark Huebner, Market Development Manager at 3D Platform. It came as a coincidence since, at the same time, SELLTek, one of Italy’s leading distributors of 3D Systems professional grade 3D printers, told me they had just signed with 3D Platform to both distribute and offer production services with the new 3DP Workbench system.
The 3D Platform Workbench system, an evolution of the 3DP1000, is one of the most affordable large size, industrial 3D printers on the market. It is built with solid components such as those used in industrial-grade traditional manufacturing systems. It is also a perfect complement to SELLTek’s line up, since they are specialized on high precision, high-end liquid resin-based 3D printing. The 3DP Workbench opens up a whole new range of business possibilities.
“We are very pleased to have Selltek as our channel partner in Italy,” Huebner said. “We were drawn to them for a couple of reasons. One is that they definitely bring a strength and depth of experience to the marketplace that provides customers with confidence. The second,” Huebner confirmed, “was the natural fit of the 3D Platform large printer to compliment the range of technologies they offer. Together, we believe it will be a strong combination to provide customers industrial strength large format FFF printing solutions.”
At the core of the 3D Platform Workbench is an industrial-grade machine. It is built on the same rugged mechatronics platform as plasma cutters, waterjets, and similar machine tool grade equipment.
“This means a user can focus on 3D printing, the process of additive manufacturing, and building their skills with complete confidence in the printer,” Huebner pointed out.
In fact the machine offers a 1000 x 1000 x 500 mm build volume and it uses components such as SurePrint servos to provide a closed loop system and industrial strength mechatronics to deliver improved performance and reliability. It also utilizes SIMO Series precision rails and Constant Force antibacklash lead screws and nuts from PBC Linear.
“So far it has been selling very well in the USA, but lately we have also been reaching around the world,” Huebner revealed. “We now have channel partners in the UK, Sweden, France, Turkey, Israel, India, China, and of course Italy. The network continues to grow, and we expect to more than double in size this year.”
Like other large-size industrial 3D printers which have been hitting the market, the 3DP Workbench is being used in a wide range of applications including artistic, architecture, character development, medical, and rapid prototyping.
“One of the areas we see emerging and growing is in the area of production support,” said Huebner, “many plants are finding ways to incorporate 3D printing and additive manufacturing into their operations.”
This means objects such as jigs, fixtures, tool holders, and shadow boards for assembly are saving companies money in their processes. Another area that’s growing is in the 3D printing of “end-of-arm-tooling,” in material handling and automation applications. By implementing 3D printing production in the workflow it is possible to increase savings in terms of time and material in producing the part, but also in the overall weight of the part.
This weight savings translates to less wear on the bearings, thus extending the life of the robotics. We are probably just scratching the surface of the benefits of 3D printing in all levels of production but judging but the rapid growth and expansion of affordable industrial grade 3D printers, we will be seeing a lot more of that soon.
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