by • January 10, 2016 • No Comments
Jan 11, 2016 | By Benedict
Strutting their 3D printed stuff amongst the massive number of innovators at CES 2016 were several major 3D printing firms, which include the world-famous 3D Systems. The 3D printing giant showcased a range of conventional 3D printing equipment and products, but in addition had a special surprise up its sleeve: The SLA-bot-1 3D printing robot.
The SLA-bot-1 may be of to change additive manufacturing as we understand it. Comprised of a robotic arm equipped with stereolithography apparatus, the technology is seen enclosed in a tiny manufacturing cell. The robotic arm of the 3D printing robot, which was seen wooing an excited public at the Las Vegas, Nevada showcase, is equipped with a resin projection device for lightning-fast 3D printing, and can and so manipulate a 3D printed object in other ways, such as shaking off any excess material and placing the object in a designated finishing area.
“When printing is conclude, the SLAbot-1 pulls the build out of the material vat, shakes it free of extraneous material, and deposits the tray and print to the side for retrieval preceding collecting another tray and beginning the following build,” 3D Systems explained.
The advantages to manufacturers of employing an all-in-one 3D printing system such as which demonstrated by the SLAbot-1 may be massive. Time and cost may both be reduced, whilst the staffing required to oversee the multipurpose robot may be minimal.
“The SLAbot-1 uses an industrial robotic arm, producing parts in sequence,” 3D Systems explained. “This modular, assembly-line-eager additive manufacturing can be configured in sizeable arrays and empowers distributed, automated, high-speed, customized manufacturing.”
Chuck Hull, CTO of 3D Systems, patented the stereolithography system back in 1986. That original patent detailed a method for 3D printing “upside down”, through a membrane, a method which 3D Systems has utilized in the SLAbot-1. The technology can therefore be seen as an homage to the heritage of innovation accomplished by Hull and 3D Systems over the years, all the while demonstrating an entirely forward-thinking concept.
“For our 30th anniversary we wanted to take a step back and look at the original patent filed by Chuck Hull,” 3D Systems’ Cathy Lewis explained. “When we looked at the patent, we realized which he had a thing called ‘Figure 4’, a drawing which had 3D printing approximately upside down. The prospect at the time was which it may be super fast, have all exception materials and be magical! Go forward 30 years and stereolithography, his technology, is yet the most widely utilized technology in the field.”
The successful demonstration of this latest piece of technology represents the 2nd piece of great news to come out of the 3D Systems camp in 2016, following the unveiling its latest direct metal 3D printer last week. After a turbulent 2015 which saw stock prices fall, the resignation of a widely used CEO and the discontinuation of a flagging product, the U.S. company will be taking these tiny successes as a springboard for a additional successful year.
3D Systems has cautioned which the SLAbot-1 concept currently stands additional as a technology demonstration than a finished product, but its performance at CES 2016 shows 3D Systems to be well on the way to producing a worthwhile addition to the world of stereolithography.
Posted in 3D Printer
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