Italian firm Sandretto, perhaps best known for their Serie Dieci injection molding machines, recently rolled out a range of 3D printers specifically designed for professional additive manufacturing.
The Italian press manufacturer has, in the past two years, acquired a new owner, installed new management, and opened up new headquarters. As part of their new look, Sandretto unveiled a range of heavy-duty, industrial 3D delta printers, and that makes them the second injection molding machine manufacturer entering the additive manufacturing arena after Arburg launched their freeformer after having introduced it two years ago.
Sandretto says they’re intent on breaking into the additive manufacturing game, and they’ve “drawn up a very aggressive plan” which includes investigation of technologies from “hot-wire” deposition to polymerization of filled resins to sintering metal powders.
Though the company says they expect traditional production processes like CNC-controlled cutting machines and injection molding won’t be superseded by AM, their development plan is underway with the introduction of the professional delta-type printers which they say are among the among the largest — and fastest -– available on the market.
Sandretto says it’s their innovations in control functions, error handling, and firmware which will allow them to develop a full range of delta-based machines for mass production. The company is setting up a dedicated laboratory — Sandretto Skunk Works Lab — in Lazio to handle the development process.
Roberto Moretti, the COO for Additive Manufacturing at Sandretto, says the company’s new devices were designed to take on the major players in the sector.
“These printers have been specifically developed for heavy-duty industrial products,” Moretti says. “We developed them in response to demand from our existing injection molding machine customers. That is also the group whom we are initially targeting with this new product line.”
“Sometimes the series is simply too small to justify the expense of making a mold. If they need to produce 10,000 products or more, then injection molding is the answer,” Moretti says. “Sometimes customers are in a hurry and can’t wait for a mold to be produced. In that case, 3D printing can be a solution, as well.”
According to Moretti, Sandretto’s 3D delta printers are available in three sizes, and the company sells them only in group packages.
“We don’t sell just one. We sell them in sets. Customers can buy a set of 10 machines for an extremely affordable €20,000, which enables them to print anywhere from 500 to 1000 products in just three days,” he says.
The Sandretto line of printers use 1.73mm filament and have been tested with PLA, ABS, TPU, HIPS, SEBS, PET and PETG.
While Moretti says the resulting parts aren’t yet as strong as those which are injection molded, he believes advances in technology and materials, real-time processors and sensors and electric motors will mean AM and 3D printing will become a more integral part of the manufacturing process.
What do you think of Italian firm Sandretto’s plan to enter the 3D printing market by only selling their delta printers in groups to major customers? Let us know in the Sandretto Enters AM Market forum thread on 3DPB.com.