German RepRap (Feldkirchen, Germany) will introduce a new large-build-volume 3D printer at the forthcoming Euromold trade show in Frankfurt, Germany. The professional series printer—the company has not yet decided on the product's official name—uses fused filament fabrication technology, aka fused deposition modeling, and boasts a build tray measuring 1000 X 800 X 600 mm. Suited for producing model or functional prototypes as well as mold prints, it is intended for users who want to print large objects or a number of smaller ones in parallel.
Although German RepRap's X400 industrial 3D printer has won over a broad base of users, the company decided to go with a completely new design for the professional series printer rather than attempt to bolt on new features to a scaled-up version of its existing line. "The X400 has been on the market since 2012," says Stefanie Schneider, who handles marketing for the company, and during that time, German RepRap has brought continuous improvements to the X400 CE and CE PRO models, she adds. To take the technology to the next level, however, the company decided it would be best to apply what it has learned through this process and apply it to a completely new printer design.
Tailored to the requirements of professional customers, the 3D printer features multi-extruder-technology, intelligent filament management, and an intuitive user interface. With a layer height of 0.5 mm, even large models can be printed very quickly in draft mode.
While other large-scale printers are available, "our role models for the professional series printer are, in addition to our own printers, professional printers from companies such as Stratasys. Our product is positioned between very expensive 3D printers and the low cost, larger size RepRap printers," Schneider told PlasticsToday.
Fused filament fabrication, she adds, is not suitable for every application, but it is a proven, cost-effective way to create large parts, produce first prototypes to verify fit, and for creating models for sand casting or deep drawing processes.
German RepRap will introduce the printer at EuroMold in Frankfurt, Germany, on November 25 to 28, 2014.