Potential AM market: high temperature plastics
INTAMSYS has installed more than 1,500 3D printers with high-temperature capabilities and is a leader in the AM market for high-performance materials such as PEEK, PEKK, PAEK and PEI. However, adjacent to this, there is limited attention to 3D printing engineering plastics with excellent performance. These plastics also require higher temperatures, but the requirements for the printing process are not high. INTAMSYS has a complete industrial high temperature resistant filament printer production line. In addition to high-performance plastics, it also focuses on this market segment.
For standard materials such as PLA, there are already enough 3D printers. However, for industrial companies that want to use 3D printing applications with inherent characteristics of engineering plastics, the use of 3D printers has decreased. In this market, high-temperature industrial FFF printers, we hope to become the world’s first in the world from entry-level to industrial-level production of 3D printers. “IntAMSYS EMEA vice president Bart Leferink said.
Since its inception in 2013, the Chinese manufacturer INTAMSYS (Intelligent AM Systems) has made this technology mature in the industry. Last year alone, nearly 500 units of the industrial entry-level system FUNMAT HT have been sold. Starting in 2020, global expansion begins. INTAMSYS is currently investing in the establishment of a global organization. Bart Leferink, with experience in polymer and metal printing technology, is expanding in the European EMEA organization, with its European headquarters in Stuttgart. Paul Carlson has been active in the AM industry since 2003. He has 16 years of Stratasys experience and is responsible for managing activities in the Americas. “We have our own branches in Europe and the United States, and we hope to maintain close contact with customers and channel partners.” Bart Leferink said. These channel partners will provide support to customers through consulting, application development and services, and the most important customers will be managed and supported by the European INTAMSYS team and channel partners
Industrial and high temperature
INTAMSYS focuses on FFF printing technology for high-performance and engineering polymers. The reason for this is that using these materials, you can replace many existing metal and plastic milled and injection molded parts in the mechanical engineering of 3D printed workpieces. Bart Leferink: “FFF printing has an advantage over other additive manufacturing technologies, because compared with material powder extrusion technology, we can form products only by extruding the material, so the inherent properties of the plastic remain largely unchanged. These engineering plastics can meet the needs of the manufacturing industry in 80% of the cases.” Think of polycarbonate, carbon-filled nylon and ABS. 3D printing these relatively affordable filaments does not require very high temperature printers (180°C or higher). However, in a system with moderate temperature control, filaments are easier and more accurately processed.
Complete production line to expand the scale
INTAMSYS has developed a complete series of industrial FFF printers for all applications that benefit from high-performance engineering plastics, from rigid PEEK materials to ABS. In all 3D printers with high temperature function, INTAMSYS can customize the temperature setting to optimize the printing process. The entry model is FUNMAT HT. This entry-level industrial 3D printer is different because it was designed from scratch for high-temperature filament printing. FUNMAT HT is equipped with an extruder with a 450°C nozzle, a build plate heated at 160°C, and the entire build chamber is heated. The electric motor and other components were chosen to maintain correct function at high temperatures. Bart Leferink: “The development of a high-temperature 3D printer requires more than just heating the building room. In a high-temperature environment, all components must continue to operate normally.” FUNMAT HT can print high-performance like conventional engineering polymers, and most users will this way. By putting this FFF printer on the market at a price of 6,499 euros, the company can begin to develop its applications without having to invest heavily in the equipment to get the benefits of a high-temperature 3D printer. Based on the same design principle, FUNMAT Pro 410 and Pro 610 HT are larger industrial grades and models with production capacity, so the production scale can be expanded.
FUNMAT Pro 610 HT production system
The new FUNMAT Pro 610 HT will be installed in the first trial customers before the end of this year. INTAMSYS is now accepting orders, but from the first quarter of 2021, the system will be fully released for sale through its distributors. Bart Leferink: “FUNMAT PRO 610 HT can replace the few large-size high-temperature products currently on the market in many respects in terms of temperature, print volume, qualified materials and productivity. For example, the four ribbon spools on the market Printer. Auto-changing filament holder. This allows FUNMAT Pro 610 HT to print continuously. Just like FUNMAT PRO 410, 610 HT has two extruders for 3D printing two different polymers in one part , Or you can use a second extruder as a support material.
The other two key elements in the INTAMSYS strategy are open platforms (in all systems) and certification. INTAMSYS provides an open platform through the FUNMAT series, so customers can choose their own materials. These materials have been certified in cooperation with material suppliers and can provide customers with optimized parameter settings. In order to help customers comply with health and safety regulations, INTAMSYS has issued an MDS (Material Data Sheet) to understand the chemical composition. In addition, INTAMSYS enables customers to access all data during the 3D printing process. They can extract data from the FUNMAT PRO 610 HT printer and use it for authentication and verification. INTAMSYS also provides CE certification for the Machinery Directive. Bart Leferink said: “We support our customers to establish a complete additive manufacturing process that is safe for employees, compliant with regulations and has a competitive advantage.”