3D printer maker expands into high-strength additive manufacturing

Aleph Objects, Inc., the manufacturer of LulzBot 3D Printers, has debuted a new series of tool heads capable of printing industrial composites with a tensile strength yield comparable to polyetheretherketone (PEEK). Responding to increasing demands for engineered polymers with exceptional mechanical and thermal properties, thee new HS (hardened steel) tool heads enable 3D printing of industrial-grade composites, such as polyamide (PA) infused with carbon fiber or glass for high-strength 3D prints.

New high-strength tool head enables printing of carbon fiber-reinforced engineering thermoplastics.

Such polymers are used in a wide range of high-demand applications, from structural components to the automotive industry. Parts printed with these composites have higher impact resistance, resist deformation, while retaining strength in harsh and demanding environments.

Industrial materials like PA-CF (carbon fiber) Low Warp combine strength and dimensional stability (less than 2% elongation at break based on ASTM638 standard) with the ability to perform in higher operating temperatures up to approximately 120°C (248° F). The ability to create high-strength functional jigs, fixtures, and prototypes on-site in a matter of hours significantly reduces lead time and cost.

Featuring hardened steel components for maximum durability, the new tool heads are purpose-built for high-strength 3D printing applications with abrasive and industrial composites. The hardened steel extruder hobb is optimally designed to minimize wear from abrasive composite filaments, and the larger heating block enables high-volume throughput of larger-diameter filaments. Even with abrasive composite filament, the hardened-steel nozzle maintains dimensional accuracy. Objects printed with the HS-Series tool heads will be stronger due to better layer adhesion and thicker walls.

The LulzBot HS Tool Head features a 0.8-mm nozzle for more precise high-strength 3D printing, while the LulzBot HS+ Tool Head comes with a 1.25-mm nozzle for high-strength, high-speed 3D printing.

From the 0.25-mm SL (small layer) tool head to the new HS-Series tool heads, the LulzBot ecosystem now offers a broader range of layer heights and filament capabilities than ever before. These new tool heads further expand the supported material palette and capabilities of LulzBot 3D Printers, enabling out-of-the-box 3D printing performance.

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