AMS 2024

Join Caracol at AMS 2023 in NYC to Meet Heron AMTM: the Future of Large Format 3D Printing – AMS Speaker Spotlight

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Come meet Caracol at Additive Manufacturing Strategies in New York on February 7th to 9th. The company is returning as event sponsors this year to showcase their LFAM platform: Heron AM.

Caracol’s pioneering journey into Large Format Additive Manufacturing began 7 years ago, when its our four co-founders began researching Large-Format Additive Manufacturing and its potential. From day one they began looking into how they could overcome the limits of existing AM technologies, to better serve the needs of clients in the most advanced industries.

This journey led Caracol to develop and launch Heron AMTM: the integrated hardware and software platform. This is the company’s turnkey solution for companies to maximize flexibility, efficiency, process control, and performance when they manufacture large, advanced, and complex parts.

Heron AM is comprised of several key elements that can guarantee certain quality, accuracy, and performance standards. The platform was developed with an application-first approach: as Caracol is the system’s first end-user, they developed know-how on the type of challenges their clients might face when manufacturing parts and when working with LFAM technologies. After years of research and development, over 30 thousand hours of printing, and hundreds of projects with clients across sectors, the company decided to commercialize its system.

The platform includes extrusion heads developed and patented by Caracol, a robotic arm for movement and support, a direct and continuous feeding system for composites and polymers, a dedicated software platform for complex tool paths, and other features to fully integrate the system. It was developed as a modular system, so that it can be configured and customized for different applications and manufacturing requirements based on different end-users’ needs.

Furthermore, the company continues innovating its solution – at Formnext 2022 they launched two new products: the high flow extruder and the automated print bed. The new extruder was developed to work on large parts very fast, with a higher working temperature – up to 450°C – it was introduced to process an extensive range of materials with high melting points, while maintaining best properties and print quality given the greater thermal control. The automatic print bed was designed and patented to introduce two main features: an improved mechanical grip and automatized production thanks to the rotating structure of the bed.

The system can produce components with a wide range of thermoplastics and composites (both from virgin and recycled origins) in the form of pellets and shreds. This makes the system ideal for the production of several medium to large-scale parts, such as: structural elements, tooling such as jigs for positioning, drilling, and cutting, molds, assembly rigs, beams, prototypes, metal replacement, temporary or permanent substitution of parts, and an array of applications and components we continue to discover every day.

Within their HQ near Milan, Italy, the company has developed one of the largest LFAM production hub in the world. Hosting eight Heron AMTM platforms in their varied configurations – including insulated cells for high-performing polymers and a system with a 7th axis structure to extend size up to 15-meter parts. Within the space Caracol has also set up a dedicated post-production area, with a robotic CNC center, and a Quality department with state-of-the-art equipment to inspect and control both the process and all manufactured parts, in accordance with the AS/EN 9100 standard.

Overall Caracol keeps working with the aim to lead the manufacturing world toward a new production paradigm that helps companies be more efficient, performing, and sustainable.

The company will be present at AMS as event sponsor, and Francesco De Stefano, CEO and co-founder, will be joining the panel “The Growing Role of Large-Format Machines” on Tuesday 7th at 1:55 PM.

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