Hardware Development for large format additive manufacturing

Beginning with an idea to use large scale low resolution printing as a means for sustainable and economically competitive manufacturing, we designed, fabricated, tested, and iterated our own hardware over the course of 2016-2019. This included two major versions of our initial printing platform, V1 (2016) and V2 (2018). As applications are developed and tested for these machines, they are continually updated to improve performance and solve material challenges. Below is an overview of significant moments from the hardware development process over the past 2+ years.

V1

The focus of the V1 machine was to create a minimum viable product serving as a proof of concept for our large format 3d printing workflow. After fabricating this machine we used and modified it for 18mo, developing objects as well as the criteria for a V2 machine.

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V2

The focus of the development of version 2 was to 10x functionality and performance of the V1 machine to allow for faster prototyping and production of objects

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Pellet extruder detail V1 & V2:

Early version of the V1 pellet extruder. This design was limiting and became the bottleneck for printing, the low torque and slow melt rate limited the design, prototyping, and producing of objects.

Early version of the V1 pellet extruder. This design was limiting and became the bottleneck for printing, the low torque and slow melt rate limited the design, prototyping, and producing of objects.

We began the design of the entire V2 machine by designing the V2 pellet extruder first, then designing and building a motion platform to support it. This version is a 10x performance improvement over V1, weighing roughly 30lbs and capable of processing 5lbs of plastic per hour.

We began the design of the entire V2 machine by designing the V2 pellet extruder first, then designing and building a motion platform to support it. This version is a 10x performance improvement over V1, weighing roughly 30lbs and capable of processing 5lbs of plastic per hour.

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