3DGence INDUSTRY F340 PLA to PEEK 3D printer

3D printed PEEK is considered to be one of the greatest
challenges to fused filament fabrication (FFF). With an extreme
print temperature of 500°C, it can be tricky to maintain the
appropriate environment for 3D printing such a high-grade
thermoplastic and standard favourite of the aerospace industry.
Luckily,
3DGence is an
industrial printer manufacturer with knowledge required to
solve product development challenges.

By designing 3D printers to work with multiple modules,
the Polish 3D printer manufacturer ensures that its machines
can adapt to all the latest in the industry, across areas
including transport, machinery manufacturing and
automotive.

3DGence’s latest system, the INDUSTRY F340,
is a professional dual extrusion 3D printer. Equipped with
three interchangeable
modules, the
INDUSTRY F340 is capable of printing at temperatures between
190°C and 500°C. The system’s multiple

modules covers the broad range of 3D
printable thermoplastics from standard PLA and ABS,
through
PC to robust PEEK
filament.

The INDUSTRY F340 is a permanent fixture at a number of
company workshops including Bocar, a Polish manufacturer of
custom fire engines, and
Sebring, a high
end motor sport exhausts manufacturer.

The INDUSTRY F340 3D printer has also been put to work in
development of 3DGence’s forthcoming DOUBLE 3D printer,
dramatically cutting down the expected time to market.

The INDUSTRY F340 professional FFF 3D printer is a versatile production unit for industrial workshops. Image via 3DGenceThe INDUSTRY F340
professional FFF 3D printer is a versatile production unit for
industrial workshops. Image via 3DGence

3D printing PEEK on the INDUSTRY F340

The INDUSTRY F340’s HTmax is the module used to 3D print
at temperatures up to 500°C, and is used to print high
performance thermoplastics like PEEK. Support material in the
secondary extruder is a dedicated breakaway material. Both
nozzles in the head have a standard diameter of 0.4 mm.

Photo of 3D printed printed PEEK part with dedicated support material. Image via 3DGencePhoto of 3D printed
printed PEEK part with dedicated support material. Image via
3DGence

In a real test of the INDUSTRY F340’s PEEK 3D printing
abilities, it has been used at 3DGence to make components for a
new line of 3D printers.

Due to the high mechanical performance of the plastic,
and excellent temperature resistance, 3DGence R&D made a
range
of functional prototype
components for the next DOUBLE 3D printer. Development included
manufacturing of the tooling for a thermoformed hotend cover
used for internal tests of the 3D printer.

The most important factor of this
development process was that production time was significantly
shortened. Commenting on the development process Mateusz
Sidorowicz, Marketing Manager at 3DGence, explains, “It allows
us to check how the parts will fit into the product and find
any imperfections much sooner and cheaper.”

The part was produced by the thermoforming process where
a sheet of material is heated to 180°C. After that the sheet is
stretched over the PEEK part and vacuumed.

Traditionally, the R&D team would have relied on
outsourced MDF or aluminum parts which is expensive, and can
take up to 6 weeks for turnaround. Sidorowicz confirmed that,
in addition to saving money, the 3D printed PEEK parts allowed
3DGence to build
a cover for DOUBLE
3D printer prototype in just one week.

Production process of 3DGence DOUBLE printhead cover. Image via 3DGenceProduction process
of 3DGence DOUBLE printhead cover. Image via 3DGence

Driving fire trucks

In active service at Bocar fire engines, the INDUSTRY
F340 has further proved its industrial worth through the
production of a number of critical engine components. In one
example,
Bocar 3D printed
a vacuum manifold prototype for a fire truck engine using
ABS.

3D printed by the INDUSTRY F340’s
PRO printhead module, the vacuum
manifold could be installed on to a vehicle to test the fit and
ergonomics of the tube.

In performing this functional test, Bocar was able to
save time and money on the production process, creating a
design that is transferable to a
cast
metal part.

The red 3D printed vacuum manifold installed on a Bocar fire truck. Photo via 3DGenceThe red 3D printed
vacuum manifold installed on a Bocar fire truck. Photo via
3DGence

Inside the INDUSTRY F340

The INDUSTRY F340 3D printer has a build volume of 260 x
300 x 340 mm (10.24×11.81×13.39 in). The chamber can be heated
to temperatures up to 85°C (185°F) ensuring the conformity of
polymer 3D prints.

The PRO Module is INDUSTRY F340’s base print head, used
in Bocar’s industrial application. Capable of print
temperatures between 190°C and 265°C, it is suitable for use
with common ABS and PLA filaments, PET and Nylon. The support
material extruder works with HIPS and water soluble
BVOH.

The HT module (short for high temperature) is a
temperature upgrade on the PRO, 3D printing between 265°C –
340°C. This makes it suitable for working with

strong and tough carbonate polymers such as
PC, PC-ABS, PC-ESD. Support material available for this head is
a
dedicated breakaway support
material.

In the HTmax, as demonstrated by the company’s DOUBLE use
case, 3D print temperature reaches top of the range of INDUSTRY
F340’s capabilities. The nozzle can reach a max
temperature
if of 500°C and is used
to print high-performance thermoplastics like PEEK.

3DGence’s range of printhead modules for the INDUSTRY F340 – PRO module, HT module, HTmax module. Image via 3DGence3DGence’s range of
printhead modules for the INDUSTRY F340 – PRO module, HT module,
HTmax module. Image via 3DGence

Additional features

Working within the bracket of polymers with a higher
melting point, the INDUSTRY F340 is equipped with a number of
features to help assure the reliability of the process and to
provide the safety for the users.

A specially developed air filter separates odours created
in the plastic melting process, and maintains a chemical-free
workplace.

In addition to an actively heated print chamber,
the
INDUSTRY
F340
also has a heated filament chamber to
protect moisture sensitive filaments by limiting the
humidity.

To monitor the quality of a 3D print the INDUSTRY F340
comes equipped with a Smart Material Manager for “intelligent
process control.” An integrated electronic process, the Smart
Material Manager is composed of four parts:

  1. An NFC reader for recognizing loaded material
    type
  2. Material weight control system
  3. Fully automatic material loading system
  4. Flow control sensor, that monitors material
    deposition

Smart Material Manager interface. Image via 3DGenceSmart Material
Manager interface. Image via 3DGence

The INDUSTRY F340 3D printer is available for purchase now from a
number of distributors across Europe.

If you want to more know more or order a sample contact 3DGence directly

Technical specifications 3DGence INDUSTRY F340

Printer: 945×748×918 mm [37.20×29.45×36.14
in]

Shipping box: 1200×800×1100 mm [47.24×31.50×43.31
in]

Printer weight: 140 kg [308.6 lbs]

Shipping weight (incl. accessory kit): 250 kg
[551.6 lbs]  

Operating ambient
temperature:
15–32°C [59–89.6°F]

Storage temperature: 0–32°C
[32–89.6°F]

Input/output: 240V AC ~11A 50/60Hz

Power consumption (max):
2700W
Connectivity:
USB, SD card

Printing technology: FFF (Fused Filament
Fabrication)

Build volume:
260×300×340 mm [10.24×11.81×13.39
in]

Table temperature (max):
140-160°C [284-320°F]

Chamber temperature (max): 85°C
[185°F]

Filament chamber temperature
(max):
70°C [158°F]  

Construction: Powder coated steel

Build plate material: Heated
ceramics

Enclosure:
Controlled working
conditions

XY positioning
precision:
6 microns
Z
positioning precision
: 0.4 microns

Slicing software: 3DGence Slicer

Supported file types:.stl, .obj

Host platform: Windows, Mac

About 3DGence

3DGence officially started business in 2014. After
six months of vigorous development with an
R&D team at Silesian University of Technology (SUT) the
company released its first 3D printer, the
3DGence ONE
in 2015.

The ONE is 3DGence’s desktop FFF model and includes the
company’s patented printhead, easily changed using a
PUSH” button. One of the
company’s first customers at the time of the ONE’s release was
the Opel automotive factory in Gliwice, the main production
site of General Motors in Poland.

The first iteration of the 3DGence INDUSTRY F340 was
nominated as

Enterprise 3D Printer of the Year
2017
in the inaugural edition of the 3D Printing Industry
Awards.

Nominate 3DGence and the INDUSTRY F340 in for
the 2018
3D Printing Industry Awards
 now. 

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Featured image shows inside the INDUSTRY F340 3D
printer. Image via 3DGENCE

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