Magnum Venus Products (MVP) has not too long ago unveiled a large-scale Reactive Additive Manufacturing (RAM) system that may course of fiber-reinforced thermosets. In utilizing one of these polymer, RAM unlocks new advantages for large-scale prints akin to elevated energy and diminished value in comparison with printing thermoplastics.
RAM was developed at the side of Oak Ridge Nationwide Laboratory (ORNL) and materials-supplier Polynt. The machine is ready to deposit about 60 lbs per hour and might print elements measuring eight × 16 × three.5 ft. Apart from the scale and the supplies, the system comes with a roll-in / roll-out print desk, which is useful when loading / unloading big 3D printed elements.
The RAM system hosts a floor-mounted pumping system which measures and controls the quick glass fiber-reinforced vinyl ester resin and peroxide initiator right into a static mixer within the printhead. This combination is then extruded by way of a nozzle as resin, in a way much like most FDM methods.
The corporate states that they imagine it could possibly be most helpful for Marine, Building, Automotive and Aerospace industries. As they notice, the thermoset market is way older and extra developed than the thermoplastics market. Thermosets are additionally notably cheaper together with offering extra adhesion which is very a welcome property for bigger elements. In response to the corporate, their RAM system can be extra power environment friendly as there isn’t a heated chamber or heated print mattress crucial.
The thermoset benefit lies within the cross-linking of polymers between printed layers leading to stronger, extra thermo-tolerant merchandise. In comparison with thermoplastic strengthened fiber supplies, thermoset supplies considerably improve z-layer energy, even with out using strengthened fibers, reducing thermal growth and optimizing isotropic growth.
Thermoset Supplies & Resins
The important thing distinction in processing thermosets and thermoplastics is that thermoset polymers retain their last stable type, very like resins utilized in SLA printers. Nonetheless, in contrast to SLA, the RAM system makes use of a reactive resin that cures at ambient temperature, versus counting on UV-curing.
The supplies present a complete vary of helpful materials traits because of their chemical make-up. Thermosets include polymers that, throughout the curing course of, chemically react to type a strong bond. This type of curing is in contrast to that of thermoplastics, which requires warmth to melt pellets to make them extra fluid, due to this fact want cooling time to treatment correctly. This typically ends in weaker bonds.
Featured picture courtesy of MVP.