Italian 3D printer manufacturer Roboze is known for releasing desktop machines that can print using high-performance, industrial-strength materials, like PEEK and PEI. Last year, the company revamped its affordable Roboze One+400 3D printer into a fully industrial 3D printer, and the updated machine caught the eye of Roboze customer Zare Srl, a self-described additive manufacturing expert also based in Italy. Zare is a veritable AM factory, capable of making both prototypes and final parts thanks to 3D printing technology and a wide knowledge of materials.
At the end of 2017, Zare was in deep conversation with Roboze, to see if it was possible for the Roboze One+400 3D printer to be introduced into its standardized, UNI EN 9100:2009 certified production processes. Zare reduces production lead time and protects the confidentiality of its customer projects by ensuring a short internal supply chain, and the Roboze One + 400 would help the company continue to do so.
“It was necessary to define new company procedures that could bring both prototype and definitive pieces to the standards that already characterize every element created by Zare,” said Torelli, the Quality Manager for Zare. “We verified on-site that the application of the new processes occurs without any slowing down or impact on the delivery conditions.”
“Roboze has introduced various innovations in professional 3D printing on FDM technology,” said Ilaria Guicciardini, Roboze Marketing Director. “The Roboze Beltless System allows direct mechanical transmission to the X and Y axes through the insertion of helical racks in contact with the pinion. This patented solution allows a precision of up to 25 microns, for an unprecedented level of quality. Another innovative element is definitely the HVP (High Viscosity Polymers) extruder, which is internally designed and produced. The HVP extruder has an inner channel to accelerate the speed of high viscosity polymers during the extrusion process that, along with the proper temperature, reduces viscosity and controls the swelling process, increasing the speed of printing polymers such as PEEK.”
The Roboze One+400 installed at Zare will be subjected to continuous factory stress, so the company will be able to manufacture definitive pieces for its customers out of high-performance technopolymer PEEK.
PEEK (polyetheretherketone) is a super technopolymer that offers great 3D printed results. The unique material is stable in highly acidic or basic environments, as well as at high temperatures, and has excellent thermal stability and chemical inertia. PEEK is popular for high shock applications, as well as those requiring lengthy exposure to high temperatures, such as in the Aerospace and Defense, Biomedical, Motorsport, and Oil & Gas industries.
“Creating 3D printed elements using PEEK is useful in areas in which metals struggle to be an optimal choice,” said Zare General Manager Pasquali. “Offering our customers this opportunity broadens the number of applications for designs, taking advantage of the special features of the additive.”
Zare is using the Roboze One+400 3D printer, and high-performance PEEK material, to create small industrial instruments, like drilling templates, spacing elements, and support brackets, that can be used to make series manufacturing easier on a daily basis. The creation of aids like these in series production is what’s known as rapid tooling, which gives companies a slower, more cautious approach to industrial 3D printing as it impacts accompanying equipment that doesn’t actually change the production supply chain for industrial product construction.
By using PEEK material for these types of instruments, it’s possible to design them so they are wear-resistant and have a higher mechanical performance.
“Even with reduced print sizes on single pieces compared to the three Fortus 900mc in our FDM department (the Roboze One +400 operating chamber is 200x200x200 mm), the possibilities offered by the PEEK material are definitely cutting edge, combining excellent mechanical features and excellent chemical resistance,” said Pisciuneri, the Sales Manager for Zare. “Both in functional prototypes and for definitive applications, PEEK is a new, valuable opportunity to submit to customer assessment.”
The quality technological solution that Roboze offers in its Roboze One+400 3D printer convinced Zare that even a material like PEEK could be extruded in a way that will suit its customers’ needs, so that they in turn will take advantage of the many new production possibilities that additive manufacturing offers.
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