Above: FGF printed part made on JuggerBot’s Tradesman Series P3-44 using EcoPaXX PA410

aerospace and advanced automotive applications. Target applications include: aerospace interiors and ducting; automotive under-dash and under- hood; general industrial applications; various types of tooling and fixtures, including moulds and sacrificial tools; and prototyping parts across industries. Roadrunner is said to provide the highest deposition rates and best dimensional precision of any standard industrial class of fused filament platform. It can work with all thermoplastics. Applica- tion engineering and materials development on the new platform is continuing, with shipments of the Roadrunner system to begin in 2022. At the end of last year, Stratasys acquired

Californian company Origin, saying: “Origin’s software-centric additive manufacturing solution offers best-in-class printing technology based on digital light processing for production-oriented polymer applications.”

According to Stratasys, “Origin is pioneering a new approach to additive manufacturing of end-use parts. Origin One, the company’s manu- facturing-grade 3D printer, uses Programmable Photo Polymerisation to precisely control light, heat, and force, among other variables, to produce parts with exceptional accuracy and consistency. [Origin has developed] some of the toughest and most resilient materials in additive manufacturing.” Back in 2014, Cincinnati Incorporated and the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) developed a large-scale additive manufacturing system capable of printing polymer components up to 10 times larger than was producible at the time, and at speeds 200 to 500 times faster than existing additive machines. That was BAAM, Big Area Advanced Manufactur- ing. It used regular plastics granules, which it extruded onto the print bed, and it could print parts up to almost 2.5 x 6.1 x 2 m. It was very niche. But it was the beginning of yet another branch of AM technology, called fused granulate fabrication (FGF), or pellet printing. Fast-forward to today, and JuggerBot 3D in

Youngstown, Ohio, which has been offering FFF equipment for some time, is now also a leading proponent of FGF. It offers equipment that can be considered a scaled-down version of BAAM: build volume of its Tradesman Series P3-44 unit is 0.9 x 1.2 x 1.2 m, which means you can actually fit it in your factory. But it is still fast: it has a maximum traverse speed of 1m/s, and maximum material throughput (depending on the extruder size) of 9kg/h. That’s a lot, lot faster than FFF. Dan Fernback, one of the company’s founders, says it is addressing barriers to industrial manufac-

Elix Polymers gives ABS a work-out

ABS producer Elix Polymers recently participated in a six-year EU-sponsored research project, RIS3CAT Transport, which had the goal of developing ABS products for AM with a special focus on the transportation industry. The company offers a general-purpose grade (Elix ABS-3D GP), a high impact grade (ABS-3D HI) and an ABS/PC blend (Elix ABS/PC-3D) for FFF. “The products can be used for prototypes, spare parts, and also serial, functional parts,” it says. During the project, the Alstom Transport logo was printed via FFF using Elix ABS-3D GP. The part was then chemically polished and chrome plated with the Covertron process from Atotech, a fully Cr6-free process. Elix Polymers has also developed a grade that fulfils EU regulation 10/2011 covering plastics intended for food contact, as well as biocompatibility standards ISO 10993-1 and USP class VI for medical applications: Elix ABS-3D FC. The company donated some of this material in response to the high demand of hospitals for the production of medical masks, valves for ventila- tors and other medical devices to support the fight against Covid-19.

38 INJECTION WORLD | June 2021

The 3D printed Alstom Transport logo


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