The 3D printing industry is growing and so is the demand for large scale 3D printers within enterprises that are capable of handling in-house productions.
The 3D printers designed for industrial use must be proficient in printing multiple parts at a time. Hence, the printers are bulkier than the desktop 3D Printers and can solely be designed for usage within niches with a huge workload.
There are many 3D printer manufacturing companies that produce such machines. These 3D Printers occupies their own space of fame and are constantly in need.
These gigantic 3D printers are very helpful for large scale productions. Hence, the number of models and options are growing with time.
There are a number of large volume 3D Printers that are being used within companies for producing XL size products. From furniture to automobile parts, a lot of things are being designed using these powerful machines.
But not every extra-large 3D printer would serve you the best. It is important to consider other factors too.
Hence, let us explore more about the gigantic machine and what you must consider before buying one.
Do You Need a Large Scale 3D Printer?
Definitely, this is the first question to ask before you end up feeling sorry for your decision later. In short, find out if replacing your traditional production methods with a 3D Printer would add value to your workspace.
Apart from size, here are a few more reasons for choosing a huge 3D printer over your conventional methods.
When Assembly is Required: Using the traditional methods, some models cannot be created as a single part. However, it needs to be assembled by joining different smaller parts.
There is a huge difference between these two models. The one produced in one go would have higher strength and strong mechanical properties as compared to the other option. In such cases, moving to a 3D Printer would be a cleaver choice.
Production Time is More: If you are looking to increase your production rate and decrease the production time, the large scale 3D printer is your way to go.
These printers are faster and do not require setup time usually prominent in traditional methods.
A large model may take more time to print, but when considering the entire production process involved in a traditional method, the production rate will always be higher through 3D Printing.
When Part Weight is Too Much: Weight is a huge factor that brings with itself various other limitations. Parts that are heavier are difficult to handle and expensive to ship.
When using the older methods, users usually consider wood, metal, and sometimes injection molded plastics. The weight of these parts can be considerably reduced with 3D printing.
There are many ways to do that. One can use plastic for designing these models if the material isn’t a constraint. Moreover, the adjustment with infill settings can bring a huge change to the weight of the parts.
Even when doing nothing and creating parts as a single object instead of assembling smaller parts through bolt and screws will also help reduce the weight.
Problems Producing Certain Designs: If you are looking for freedom to design anything you want, 3D printers would help you do so.
The designs that are not possible to produce using conventional manufacturing methods, can be easily created with 3D printers. Even the complex lattice structures are possible with this technology.
Production is Expensive: One more reason to move to 3D printing. Isn’t it? If you wish to cut down the production cost and save a little money, you can switch to 3D printing.
This is because 3D printing does not involve any tooling cost. Also, material wastage is less when producing parts through 3D printing.
There could be other reasons too for choosing a 3D printer over traditional methods. So, research well before you takes that decision.
The printers are highly expensive and may require you to borrow a loan. So, consider everything before you take that decision.back to menu ↑
Things to Consider
If you are soon going to get a 3D printer to your production center, you must be prepared to take full advantage of the machine.
Identify What Your Need From a 3D Printer: This must be the first thing to consider even before you choose the one to buy. You must be aware of what exactly you want from your 3D printer.
These 3D printers come in different shapes and sizes and are based on different 3D printing processes. Your production aim may vary from others, hence, the choice of the printer would too.
For example, what if you need a printing bed that has a wider horizontal axis than a higher vertical axis considering your model’s shape. The slightest requirement could make a huge difference. So, choose wisely.
What Material You are Looking for: Depending on your production needs, your material choice would be limited. And, you must buy a 3D printer that lets you print using that material or range of materials.
It will also help you finalize which 3D printing process you wish to go with. All these things much are considered before you plan to get your 3D printer at your place.
Get the basic tools in Place: To handle your printed models, you would need a couple to tools to carry on post-processing.
If you do not know, the 3D printed parts can still be adjusted to your needs after they have been printed completely.
And, these changes can be made using very basic shop tools. If you feel that perfection is still a bit far away, you can bring it closer.
For example, the sandpaper of differing roughness in case you wish to reshape the finer details. Drills for fixing pieces together. Apart from that hammer, chisel and paint must be kept handy.
Ensure Safety: Last but not least. The safety of your employees must be the priority. Hence, you should take special care to ensure that those working close to the machine aren’t in any kind of danger.
The large scale 3D printers emit fumes which could be toxic and can pose health hazard with continuous exposure. Hence, perfecting the ventilation of the production plant is very crucial. Make sure to have a first aid kit always ready in case any accident occurs.back to menu ↑
What to Expect?
Although most of the job is completed inside the 3D printer, there are few things that are expected from the user’s end as well.
These are the routine jobs that must be tackled with propriety for taking complete advantage of the technology.back to menu ↑
Cleaning the Parts
3D printers like any other machine need cleaning from time to time, sometimes, more than often. This helps in keeping a check on the health of the machine and letting you exploit the best side of the technology.
The parts that ship filament from the spool to the extruder, tubes must be cleaned after every use. Also, the printer uses polymers of materials and these do not melt easily as the standard filaments.
If not cleaned, they often clump together resulting in clogged nozzles as well as pipes. So, take care of these parts and the printer would perform as expected.back to menu ↑
Calibrate Machine Precisely
Many times, companies do not invest time in calibrating the machine beyond the technical specified need. This often results in failed prints.
This is not just a time waste but results in huge loss. At such a large scale, users must be extra vigilant with calibration. Hence, using a stiff measuring tape along with a level to check if the calibration is done properly would help save from disaster.back to menu ↑
We have already discussed this before. The post-processing may or may not be a requirement.
However, if you feel that the printed object is still not the way it was expected, you can make changes to the last finish using recommended tools.back to menu ↑
Pros and Cons of Large Scale 3D Printer
These massive built 3D printers are very helpful in the large scale setup. However, these do come with their own drawbacks. It is important that you understand both sides of the coin to make an informed decision.back to menu ↑
Freedom to Choose the Scope: The biggest challenge when manufacturing using traditional methods is the limitation of scope.
One cannot think of expanding work very often. It needs huge setup tools and other prerequisites to include other variants of products in the company’s portfolio.
For example, if you are manufacturing furniture, you may face challenges when bringing furnishing items to your product catalog.
However, this is not a problem with 3D printing. One only has to finalize the 3D design. Once done, the other products can be printed as easily as the existing one.
High Precision: Those working with 3D printers would know what difference it brings to the quality of the manufactured products. The high precision and a capability to design anything provides freedom of expression through the designs. Hence, providing more room for improvement and experiments. 3D printers can add huge value to the overall manufacturing needs when utilized proficiently.
Use it for Printing Other Parts: There are so many types of machinery and parts inside a manufacturing plant. 3D printers can be used to print for making the replacement or even integration easier within the companies. Instead of approaching another company for replacement, you can print the part yourself, saving yourself money and time. Why wait for the companies to deliver you the same old part, when you can redesign it and upgrade it, if necessary, right inside your workplace.back to menu ↑
High Initial Setup costs: Everything seems like a fairy tale until you check the price of the large scale 3D printer only to know that you cannot afford it. These machines are very expensive and start with a few thousand dollars. Moreover, if you are a start-up with no proper space setup, your investment would be even higher. These machines need a secure workshop with the proper environment. Spending on all this would cost a lot of cash.
Higher Energy Bills: As the machine grows, the energy requirement grows too. The large scale 3D printer carries that drawback with themselves pertaining to their massive size. Hence, it becomes highly important to factor the energy bills into the total cost before calculation the production goals. Or else, you may end up paying expensive bills without even realizing it any sooner.back to menu ↑
Recommendations of Industrial Grade 3D Printers
The large-format 3D Printers are usually found in industries. These are huge and can accommodate larger models than desktop printers. Here are a few recommendations based on their high performance and tested results.back to menu ↑
The BigRep PRO
An FDM 3D printer specially designed for handling larger prints. Providing a build volume of 1080 x 980 x 960 mm and capable of producing finer layers between a range of 0.1 mm to 1.6 mm, this 3D Printer has a lot to offer.
It is equipped with amazing features and can create wonderful designs with ease. The machine is a dual extrusion 3D printer and can handle soluble supports as well.
The overall print size is 1950 x 2450 x 1790 mm which is huge and it weighs around 1550 kgs. The company has ensured to provide a high performing 3D printer with taking care of the special points.
For example, to keep the filament secured, the printer offers an insulated filament cabinet. This cabinet provides a humidity-controlled chamber with circulation fans for keeping the temperature inside the cabinet consistent.
Further, to make the operation easier, the user does not have to put a lot of effort leveling the bed, instead, they can make use of the semi-automated bed leveling feature.
It comes in an enclosed frame, to provide safety to the users. The metal frame is highly stable and provides consistency while the printing process.
The glass door in the front, on the other hand, helps users keep a tab on the printing process. However, what sets this printer apart is the Metering Extruder Technology (MXT).
This extruder system is thoughtfully designed. It provides clearance between feeding, melting and extrusion of the filament. In other words, the 3D printer provides full freedom to the users when controlling the amount of filament along with the speed of the extruder.
One more important feature to note is the CNC control system. This is a newly implemented control system when coupled with MXT technology, it can convert any machine into a workhorse.
The results are exemplary. From higher print speed, precise accuracy to greater quality parts, are all possible when printing with this 3D Printer.back to menu ↑
AM1 by Cosine Additive
AM1, an FDM 3D printer with huge potential is a very powerful machine. This offers a large volume to the users and flaunts a build space of 1100 x 850 x 850 mm.
The printer itself is 1753 x 1474 x 1855 mm large and has enough space for building huge parts. It weighs 1195 kg. It has a dual extruder and can print with multiple colors and filaments, including the soluble ones too. It is also equipped with palette extrusion.
Palette extrusion is one of the major differences between the desktop FDM printers and large scale 3D printer. Pellet extrusion is very different from the usual spooled filament.
Instead, it uses the plastic pellets that are utilized for injection molding. Hence, these are cheaper and mixes together with different plastics for creating a new polymer blend. One can also create varying colors without any limitation.
The printer utilizes an AM1, a high-temperature extruder that can reach a temperature of 500 degrees Celsius.
It also has a heated bed which can be brought to 200 degrees Celsius, providing great adhesion while eliminating issues like warping and failed prints.
Moreover, the closed chamber is capable of maintaining a consistent temperature of 100 degrees Celsius. The swappable nozzle makes the work even more fun and precise.
Apart from all these amazing features, the printer also comes with a 23 inches touchscreen. It has an intuitive interface which makes it easier for users to handle the prints accurately.
The built-in camera also helps in monitoring the prints while its in progress. Hence, making the job even easier. In short, the printer exhibits all the great qualities for qualifying as one of the best large format 3D printers.
It allows choosing between multiple extrusion options. When choosing the pellet extrusion system, one can save a lot of money on material. Moreover, the color isn’t limited to a few numbers.
So, the possibilities are limitless when using such a powerful 3D printer. It sure comes with a high price tag. However, if you can afford it, you can definitely be able to make up for the cost real soon.back to menu ↑
BLB Industries The Box Small
This is a professional large volume 3D printer providing a build space of 1500 x 1000 x 1000 mm. The 3D printer is based on FGF technology, also known as Fused Granular Fabrication.
The 3D parts are printed with granulates. Enclosed with an aluminum frame, the 3D printer flaunts an all-metal body providing higher stability for larger prints.
It is equipped with amazing features and advanced technology to help the user improve productivity.
It helps in reducing the problems related to the traditional methods and brings with itself the top-notch end results. It flaunts high-quality linear motion modules.
The motion modules are from Rexroth (Bosch). These modules help in ensuring the overall great result from the printer. It also manages to maintain the required sturdiness for printing huge parts.
Moreover, the 3D printer is compatible with multiple nozzle diameters. One can print parts using varying nozzle thickness for realizing diverse results.
The amazing part of the 3D printer is that is can print up to 6 kg each hour. With such high speed, a lot of things are possible to accomplish in a shorter period of time. It also has a heated bed which helps in providing reliable adhesion of the first layer.
Apart from ABS, which is the main material for the 3D Printer, users can make use of other thermoplastic materials as well, only when used in pellet form. However, making it a cheaper and diverse solution for users.
Few more things that are notable in this 3D printer are a water cooling system and a 15 inches color touchscreen.
The SD card connectivity is what you get with this 3D printer. And, it is compatible with Simplify 3D slicing software. Offering users an option that is popular and could easily be learned without much problem.
Because of its amazing capabilities, the 3D printer is used in various niches. One can utilize the printer for mold printing, prototyping, parts production, and even for research and development.
Many industries can take advantage of this machine including automobile, Construction, Aviation, etc.back to menu ↑
The first and foremost thing one notices in a large format 3D printer is its size. And, it does make a huge difference in the overall production process.
However, the size does come with its own requirements. Such as the larger up-front costs. However, if you have that kind of budget to spare, you would certainly be benefitted by the various offerings that these 3D Printers provide.
You can also expand your work further to include more items to the list. Huge freedom awaits in front of you when you decide to replace the traditional methods with a 3D Printer.
3D Printing is also very interesting to work with. Large scale 3D printing is making its way inside industries and is capable of better prospects when compared to traditional manufacturing techniques, like injection molding.
One can realize finer detail and more precise accuracy. Above all, making any change isn’t difficult at all. Few changes to the 3D file and you are good to go.
However, you must assess your specific needs before planning to buy a large scale 3D Printer. Or, even the world’s largest 3D Printer won’t do any good.