Teknodizayn Introduces Injection Molding-Inspired LOOP Industrial Continuous 3D Printing Platform
We first heard about Teknodizayn, a major international distributor of industrial and professional grade 3D printers and scanners based out of Turkey, last year, when the founder of AVSAR Aesthetic Surgery Clinic in Istanbul was inspired by one of the company’s 3D scanning and printing demonstrations to purchase an Artec Eva handheld 3D scanner from Teknodizayn partner Artec 3D in order to give his plastic surgery patients a better idea of what their faces would look like post-surgery.
“In Turkish market the 3d printers became a point of attraction over last 2-3 years and the industry started to realise that a 3d printer it is not a luxury anymore but a necessity to keep up with the global industry,” Teknodizayn CEO Mehmet Erkan Ustaoğlu told 3DPrint.com when asked how 3D printing technology was growing in the Turkish market.
“As the consumer 3d printer market in Turkey already has many customers, the industrial market is still hungry for it and growing day by day in parallel with latest technological developments of 3d printers.”
The LOOP 3D printer represents a unique approach to continuous 3D printing – it uses a patent-pending automated system, inspired by the injection molding process, to rapidly remove parts. The company, which prides itself on its R&D activities, unveiled its prototype system to the world for the first time at formnext, and the LOOP platform could, according to Teknodizayn, “define new standards for batch production.”
“We have been working in both subtractive and additive manufacturing business for long years and we experienced the imperfections of these machines from first hand. It was always a burden that when a build finishes an operator intervention was always needed to take the part out, clean the build area and start the new build. It was especially a problem when the builds end in irrelevant hours like in the middle of the night so that only options were waiting until morning to start the next build or paying extra for another operators night shift which is mostly the case not to lose time,” Ustaoğlu told us.
“So we thought that we shall find a way to eliminate that need and to overcome this problem so this is when the idea of non-stop continuous 3D printer ‘LOOP’ came out. There were many ways to do it but we wanted it to be the most efficient way possible so while we were brainstorming we got inspired by the way that injection molding machines eject the parts so we adapted that to our technology. This way the idea of Loop 3D printer got shaped.”
Continuous 3D printing means that users are able to send multiple batches of 3D models to the system. Once a batch is finished, an automated cleaning mechanism inside the 3D printer removes the models from the build plate, and starts the next batch, without the need for human intervention, which enables 24/7 3D printing. We’ve seen other continuous 3D printing platforms, like the Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator by Stratasys, but none based off of injection molding.
The LOOP, which is the first industrial-grade continuous 3D printer on the market, has a large build chamber of 250 x 350 x 500 mm – more than enough to take care of industrial 3D printing projects. It also supports many high-quality industrial materials, such as PLA, PETG, and ABS, and high-end plastics like Nylon, ASA, PSU, Carbon Fiber Reinforced Nylon, and PPSU. Additionally, thanks to a hot end that can reach temperatures up to 400°C, the LOOP system will soon be able to support 3D printing with PEEK and ULTEM materials as well.
When asked about the LOOP’s target users, Ustaoğlu told 3DPrint.com, “Loop 3d printer is not only a continuous 3d printing system but also a highly stable industrial 3d printer with high end components and a big build area. This makes Loop 3d printer suitable for many types of users like 3d print service providers, prototyping centers, automotive part manufacturers, architectural model makers, education facilities, R&D companies, medical users and more. Basically whoever needs non-stop parts manufacturing, Loop 3d printer is there for them.”
The most important aspect of the LOOP 3D printer is its continuous fabrication capability, which is possible thanks to the company’s patent-pending ejector system. A system of spikes below the build plate easily pushes the completed part out, and then the ejector and storage systems collect the prints, which enables a non-stop 3D printing cycle. This lowers human operator costs, as they are unnecessary once they’ve sent their batch of models to the system, and gets rid of time lost between 3D print jobs.
“Our experience working as a distributor of several 3D printer models, including HP Multi Jet Fusion systems, has led to us creating a 3D printer able to cater to the future needs for large batch productions. The LOOP 3D Printer is unique and it will enable us to set a new standard for industrial 3D printing,” Ustaoğlu explained.
The LOOP system is easy to use and offers high repeatability and stability, making it perfect for both industrial and professional applications. The 3D printer itself, along with its linear guide rails, was built out of aerospace-grade aluminum, and features CNC-machined mechanical parts for high mechanical accuracy.
Other technical specs include:
- 12.5 microns of X and Y axis positioning accuracy, while a specially designed Z axis mechanism allows for accuracy as high as 0.3 microns
- High-end dual gear extruder system and durable hardened steel nozzle
- WiFi and cloud-based operations
- Embedded 10″ touchscreen panel and built-in computer enable 3D model slicing and printing from the LOOP user interface
- Permanently calibrated, as the specially designed and accurate build plate does not require manual calibration
The LOOP 3D Continuous 3D Printing Platform is now available for pre-order, and deliveries will be handled through Teknodizayn’s growing network of global resellers.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.[Images: Teknodizayn]
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