3D printing still has a reputation among many people as a technology that is mostly good for making small trinkets. That’s understandable – a lot of people’s first experiences with 3D printing are “Hey, look at that cool action figure my friend made with his desktop 3D printer!” So it comes as a shock to learn that the same technology that produced that little action figure has also been used to create motorcycles, boats and other large-format items.
Massive Dimension is a company dedicated to large-format 3D printing and the recycling of waste plastic into usable products. It specializes particularly in pellet extruders, which are frequently used in large format 3D printing.
“Pellet heads have been used to print the first 3D Printed Car, Bus, Motorcycles, soon the list will be as long as the objects that have been printed by standard small format printers,” the company states. “Large format printing will change how human sized items are made, from tables and chairs to industrial and commercial applications. Large format is the next area of development for additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology.”
Massive Dimension has now introduced a new pellet head extruder called the MDPH2. The MDPH2 is a direct print pellet head extruder designed specifically for large format 3D printing where higher output is needed. Higher output is responsible for shorter print times, which are especially crucial when 3D printing giant objects that could take weeks if the output is too slow. The extruder can use a wide variety of materials by using pellets, including materials that cannot be converted into filament during the conventional extrusion process.
The MDPH2 pellet head can be mounted on any movement system, including XYZ systems and industrial robotic arms. It features a single part feed tube for uninterrupted pellet feeding, and is powered by a servo/stepper motor with multiple data input modes. Active cooling keeps the feed tube cool for the whole duration of the print. The pellet head is easy to operate and maintain; a removable enclosure allows the user to easily access internal parts and a removable screw is easy to clean and upgrade.
Large format 3D printing may seem like a novelty – a 3D printed car, wow! – but in fact it could genuinely change the way things are made. 3D printing larger items enables them to be made in one piece or in very few pieces, as opposed to multi-part assemblies. It’s also a more environmentally friendly technology in a number of ways – 3D printing the majority of a car, for example, enables it to be made more lightweight without sacrificing strength, allowing it to be more fuel-efficient. 3D printing also uses less waste than other more traditional manufacturing techniques.
The MDPH2 retails for $4,949, and other models will be coming soon.
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