Date: 2018, September
Print or Mill
Basic thoughts on the system
A wave of enthusiasm has been generated for 3D-printing, similar to a technical revolution. We, too, have been incented and tried it out. Its technology is wonderful, but, please, let's stay realistic:
You won't be able to print all, just as you won't be able to mill all. However, the two procedures complement each other very well.
The consequences we have drawn: We have been building coordinate tables for more than 20 years, equipped by motor spindles to become CNC-milling machines. Why not upgrade the coordinate table by an extruder to become a 3D-printer!
The extruder allows to press hot plastic material through a nozzle. Due to the coordinated movements of the coordinate table three-dimensional bodies are generated. Of course, extruding is not the only method, to make plastic parts, but the easiest. Precision and surface quality can be improved by injection molding or by deep-drawing technology and it takes less time, serial production becomes possible. In order to make the required forms and tools however, you need a milling machine. This is just an example for printing to be one of different options.
For us the extruder is sort of a „printhead", other kinds of printheads are possible, but mean more effort. Please feel free to contact us if your applications are more complex.
For 3D-printing you need a file describing the shape of the body. Normally this is an STL-format. If you want to construct a part yourself, you need a 3D-CAD-software, available in different levels. And you need a CAM-program, which is able to calculate the movements suitable for the printing method. In the printing sector it is often called „Slicer". Additionally you need an operating and controlling program for the whole system, which finally enables the production of a 3D-part.
Software plays a major part in this system, it makes the difference in ease of use and handling. Therefore we are sure there will be big changes in the next years, not only in our company.
For some time already we have been using STL-files for milling as well – Even here the two production methods match well.
Go for printing a part .............
How to get a 3D-printer
Purchase of a new system
All our coordinate tables/machines/systems ordered from October 2013 are prepared to be connected to an extruder.
Upgrade of older systems
The necessary changes are not complicated and will be made, even on the spot, as modification service (extend/modify control, instal additional cables....). The KOSY will be able to do 3D-printing.
Shop 3D Printing .......