At formnext 2019, Italian company WASP (World’s Advanced Saving Project) introduced its Delta WASP 2040 TECH system, which can 3D print PEEK (polyetheretherketone) pellets. Now, the next printer in this line has been revealed: the new large-scale Delta WASP 4070 TECH, designed specifically to print technopolymers and featuring a high-temperature build chamber that can reach up to 300°C. WASP refers to the system as its “new technical jewel,” and it’s not hard to figure out why.
Part of the PAEK, or polyaryletherketone, family of plastics, PEEK is a strong, high-performance thermoplastic with low flame smoke and toxicity, and great to use for industrial applications. It’s made of molecules that are both chemical and temperature resistant, and has many high technical characteristics that make it a good choice for the aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, and medical industries, to name a few. However, it isn’t always the easiest material with which to work. That’s why WASP has also started its own PEEK 3D printing service, where its experts will help clients optimize their files for PEEK 3D printing based on the specific application for which they need it.
“Why choosing a technopolymer and what are the benefits? Are they really necessary for your applications? We offer a 3D printing service for companies and professionals interested in discovering possible
opportunities with PEEK, using our TECH line,” WASP states on its website.
“All the expenses incurred in the process of 3D printing service will be later deducted from the overall list price of our Delta WASP 4070 TECH.”
That’s a pretty good incentive, if you ask me.
WASP spent several months developing the new Delta WASP 4070 TECH for large-scale, high-performance 3D printing, and it’s got some pretty cool features to show for all the hard work, which are, according to the company’s press release, “supported by the precise and reliable delta kinematics.” The first of these is a new water-cooled extruder, which can print thermoplastic filaments, like PEEK, up to 500°C. When paired with WASP’s proprietary FIRECAP system, which heats the build chamber up to 300°C, you should be able to achieve prints that have a stress-free internal structure; additionally, WASP says users won’t have to worry about uneven crystallization and delamination on their large-scale parts.
Another nice feature of the Delta WASP 4070 TECH is an onboard camera, which allows users to create time-lapse videos of print jobs and supervise the print process remotely. The 3D printer’s WiFi connection also allows users to operate the system remotely, and obtain remote support from company technicians if they need any help.
The new Delta WASP 4070 TECH system also features a proprietary inline drying system. Its active temperature control leads filament to the extruder directly from the spool, and dehumidifies it at the same time, which helps ensure better mechanical properties and surface quality for your prints. Additionally, a controlled vacuum system supports interchangeable build plates made of different materials, which helps improve adhesion, part removal, and “guarantees optimal grip.” A new mesh auto calibration, with smart bed leveling at multiple points on the build surface, helps the first print layer adhere strongly to the bed.
WASP also included several new firmware features, such as automatic analysis and error check of gCode, an auto-check system that performs self-diagnostics of print functionalities, and a Continuous Print feature, where the second filament extruder can take over to complete the print if the first one ends up empty.
The company has previously referred to PEEK as a “super polymer,” which is a fitting moniker for the high-performance material. SmarTech Analysis believes that in 2020, polymer 3D printing will generate as much as $11.7 billion, which includes sales generated by polymer AM hardware, like the new Delta WASP 4070 TECH.
“The last two years saw the fulfillment of many promises in the industrialization of polymer additive manufacturing, as well as many challenges still left to face for the industry. Technologies continue to move forward in various ways—especially in terms of end-to-end workflow automation and optimization. Some of the most significant progress and accomplishments in polymer additive manufacturing markets have been registered in material science and development/optimization of new materials for current technologies,” the SmarTech report continues.
A lot of these sales will likely come from more costly industrial polymer 3D printers developed by big companies like Stratasys. But if you’re interested in 3D printing with PEEK for a little less money, fear not—in addition to WASP, there are several other companies, such as Tractus3D, Roboze, Minifactory, Kumovis, Intamsys, 3DGence, and more, that have joined the trend of providing high-temperature systems at a lower price tag.
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