Marine engineering company Royal Roos, based in Rotterdam, and fiberglass reinforcement specialist Poly Products, headquartered in the Southern Netherlands, have become the first two customers of the new system.
Fulko Roos, founder of Royal Roos, comments “Fast and accurate 3D printing of large and strong (ship) parts was so far not possible,”
“With this new 3D printer this will work.”
The CFAM Prime
The CFAM Prime has a volume of 2 m x 4m x 1.5 m, which CEAD believes makes it the “largest commercially available 3D printer in Europe.”
It is an FFF technology based system, capable of processing PP, PET, ABS and high temperature PEEK, with either glass or carbon fiber reinforcement. On average, the machine is capable of print speeds of up to 15 kg/hr, and is designed to run for 24 hours without operator intervention.
Cutting out the middle-man in molding
As a demonstration of the CFAM Prime’s capabilities, Royal Roos 3D printed a lifesize cabin on the the machine in a 50-hour build. Sanded and painted this cabin, a prototype for a crane, was presented on the system’s official launch. Roos added that his company is also using the 3D printer to investigate gangway design, “3D printing is not only fast,” he adds, “but, if linked parametric design, you can also calculate the cost price in advance. Moreover, it is possible to recycle materials.”
Meanwhile Poly Products, that is scheduled to receive its CFAM Prime mid 2019, is planning to use the system to reduce manual labor in its prototyping cycle, which serves clients in energy, castings, transport and utility sectors.
“With this 3D printer we can work faster, at lower costs and we have less manual labour,” comments Jan Schrama, founder of Poly Products, “This makes it easier to make one-off products and showing customers a prototype, without making a mold.”
Other companies working to cut out the middle man on large scale molding include Indiana’s Thermwood Corporation, with the LSAM process, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s BAAM technology, promoted by Cincinnati Incorporated.
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Featured image shows CEAD’s CFAM Prime 3D printer. Photo via CEAD.