Omni3D – innovative solution
3D printing finds its use in many branches of industry. Its significance is going to grow in the upcoming years, especially in the area of prototyping and low-cost printing. Firms will need energy-saving printers, just like the Factory 2.0
Omni3D company has patented two innovative solutions used in the Factory 2.0 printer that make for profound energy saving. The direct reason for developing them was the need for eliminating energy losses when printing.
Energy saving in the field of 3D printing is not only an intention that remains unaccomplished. We have developed and implemented effective solutions for which our clients value the Factory 2.0 printer so much. It is one of the few energy-saving patents in the area of 3D printing – explains Paweł Robak, Omni3D CEO.
The first patent involves a printing head for spacial printing. The solution used in OMNI3D printers innovatively uses a system of block liquid cooling and an extruder engine (an element that imprints the material). Thanks to liquid cooling, a constant, low temperature of the extruding material is maintained, which makes for failure-free provision of the building material. An additional advantage of using liquid cooling is a lowered weight of the extruder, which allows for faster and more precise printing.
A 3D printer which works with industrial materials, such as ABS (present in the automotive industry), needs to have a closed, heated working chamber. On the one hand, higher temperature provides an optimal printing environment. On the other hand, it has a detrimental effect on the work of the imprinting element, the so-called extruder. In the extruder, pressurised filament is implemented to the printing head with the use of a sprocket wheel powered by a stepper motor. The mechanism that provides the filament causes strains to occur in the filament. When the temperature of the system exceeds the softening temperature of the filament, there may be problems with material provision, caused for example by wrapping of the filament.
The second solution is about a 3D printer working platform and a 3D printer equipped with such a platform. In this case, the technological problem concerns keeping a higher temperature in the working chamber of a printer alongside with even heat distribution in order to minimize strains inside the printed elements.
In order to lower energy consumption and the cost of a printer, the patent involves using one heating element serving two functions in tandem, i.e heating the surface of the working platform, and heating the chamber of the printer. Omni3D company has developed an optimal energy division, which is realised by a system of fans distributing heat from a heating unit to the chamber of a printer. The fans are operated by a special algorithm that enables to reach and maintain the given temperature of the platform and chamber.
Another result was the development of an innovative solution using a curtain that divides the working chamber in such a way that the heated air is exploited only in the region of model building, and not in the whole cubature of the working chamber. At the initial level of printing, only the upper part of the working chamber is heated. When the printing model is being built, the working platform lowers at a strictly determined rate as the next layers of the model are printed. The diaphragm of the chamber moves in tandem with the working platform. The chamber heating zone extends as the printing process develops and reaches the maximum value only for the models whose hight is near the maximal size of printing (in the case of the Factory 2.0 printer – 500mm). With such an innovative solution, it is possible to lower energy consumption significantly.