Roboze Improving Quality of 3D Printed Parts with Pre-Drying and Heating Equipment
It’s October, which means that this year’s formnext is fast approaching. From November 19-22, thousands of people will descend on Frankfurt to network, see what’s new in the AM industry, and show off their latest innovations. Some companies are already reporting what they will be showcasing at the event, and Italian 3D printer manufacturer Roboze is one of them.
The company, which debuted its XTREME 3D printer series at formnext 2018, says that the new machines it’s bringing to the show this year can manage a quality 3D printing process for composite and high-temperature materials through integrating pre- and post-printing systems.
“Our R&D team has developed a system that integrates the pre- and post-print phases. We called the new process ‘Heat Treatment Process,” Roboze Marketing Director Ilaria Guicciardini told us. “The goal is to offer higher quality of the produced parts and increase the productivity of the end users.”
Roboze engineers are constantly working to come up with precise, versatile solutions for 3D printing in the aerospace, defense, motorsports, and oil and gas sectors, as these are the fields that require extreme industrial applications. So this new Heat Treatment Process is joining some of these other Roboze innovations, like its patented Beltless system and patented HVP extruder for managing the viscosity of super polymers like PEEK and ULTEM, to make the company a provider for management of the complete manufacturing process of composite and high-temperature materials, all the way from start to finish.
The new Heat Treatment Process by Roboze can cover all the phases of fabricating finished components and functional prototypes 3D printed from high-temperature super polymers and composite materials, which is obviously great for lowering process costs and times. The process includes the HT Oven, which ensures thermal post-processing for crystallization of 3D printed parts, and comes with Roboze printers that don’t come with a heated chamber, such as the Roboze One and Roboze One+400 desktop systems and the Roboze One Xtreme and Roboze One+400 Xtreme.
The new HT Oven was created in order to lower any residual stress caused by mechanical processing and improve the dimensional stability of parts at high temperatures. For all Roboze 3D printers, including the production ARGO 500, the oven helps to increase the user’s productivity by making it possible to prepare filaments between a first print and a second one, without having to waste precious time by waiting around for the best conditions. In addition, because of the large space the spools for pre-print multiple drying are in, the HT Oven makes it possible to optimize and increase production rates. By using this kind of oven during post-processing, the parts can see reduced warping, and can also be de-stressed and annealed.
When a material undergoes a heat treatment to a specific temperature, remains at that temperature for a definite time, and is then cooled to room temperature for the purposes of altering its properties through microstructural changes and gradual de-stressing, the process is known as annealing. According to researchers A. Arzak, J. I. Eguiazábal, and J. Nazábal in their paper “Effect of annealing on the properties of poly(ether ether ketone),” annealing can increase the crystallinity of PEEK, which in turn lowers strain‐related properties. Additionally, annealing could give parts a higher impact strength as well. As Roboze deals a lot with high-performance materials like PEEK, annealing is a particularly helpful process for the company and its customers.
Speaking of drying, another important part of the new Heat Treatment Process is the Filament Dryer, which speeds up pre-printing procedures by offering automatic filament loading. But more importantly, Roboze designed the device ad hoc in order to dry, and monitor the quality of, the filaments both before and during the 3D printing process. Devices like filament dryers provide a constant humidity and temperature for the material, which helps eliminate process variables and ensures higher quality parts. Obviously, filament drying also rids filament of moisture, which can make it brittle and easier to break during printing, and pre-drying. This is especially necessary when dealing with polyamide filaments that suck up lots of moisture.
You can see the new Heat Treatment Process for yourself at formnext 2019 next month at the Roboze booth, 12.1-C61. Additionally, the company will be sharing more news once the show begins, so stay tuned!
Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.[Images: Roboze]
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