A commitment was made at the height of additive manufacturing’s growth to develop 3D printing technology to allow anyone to create anything, anywhere in the world.
BigRep is proud to have engineered the pioneering Metering Extruder Technology (MXT®) to meet that commitment and give industrial manufacturers of various sizes the trustworthy tools that they need to create without restrictions.
As FFF extrusion technology reaches the summit of its cycle of development, the quality of the technology is unlikely to improve meaningfully.
Additive manufacturing must be reconsidered from its foundation, the extruder, to fulfill the traditionally sought after goals of repeatable end-use parts with engineering-grade materials.
Showcased on the BigRep PRO and upcoming EDGE large-format 3D printers, MXT has solved the challenge and is setting a new standard for additive manufacturing.
How Does it Work?
If FFF 3D printing is similar to a hot-glue gun, MXT is a syringe.
In the FFF procedure, the material is melted as it travels through the hot end of an extruder. MXT melts filament ahead of time and stores it in an internal reservoir, unlike FFF.
This additional step allows for competitive precision and speed in the printing method by working with material that is stored at its perfect temperature and is uniformly viscous throughout the print.
MXT can print with unrivaled control utilizing a reservoir of molten filament because of the local force exertion.
Conventional FFF technologies direct solid filament through extruders by generating force at a distance from the hot end. This creates a gap of time between the actual filament extrusion and cease of force.
MXT utilizes a servo motor to feed the reservoir and a metering pump positioned above the hot end and fueled by a servo motor as a source of local, controlled force.
This highly precise combination for feeding results in the MXT pushes an incredibly measured volume of uniformly viscous filament through the hot end locally.
This removes time gaps between the mechanical systems and significantly enhances the accuracy of the printer, resulting in better results at a quicker pace.
The method makes printing five times quicker than conventional FFF printers with a throughput of up to 500 cubic centimeters each hour (cm3/h) with its finest 1 mm nozzle at a maximum extrusion rate.
Due to its high degree of accuracy and liquid-filament deposition, MXT extruders do not need to take the additional steps that FFF printers take when rapidly stopping, starting, or turning corners; significantly decreasing print time.
MXT also removes oozing by utilizing a secondary force known as retraction where the extruder’s metering pump runs in reverse to alleviate pressure in the nozzle. This pulls or stops any filament already past the reservoir to pause extrusion instantly and precisely.
Why Does it Matter?
Speed is restricted in conventional FFF extruders because it is necessary to melt filament as it travels through the hot end.
The material will not melt if it is pushed through too fast, and users risk delamination, which is where layers of printed parts separate. MXT completely avoids this risk by heating filament to its perfect extrusion temperature in the reservoir.
Upon the release of MXT, Fabbaloo's Kerry Stevenson said that it was “the single most important advance in 3D printer extrusion technology I’ve yet seen.”
It is a development that will allow the industry to continue its accelerating improvement of additive hardware. This results in printing of higher quality, that is quicker and can work with more materials.
FFF extrusion technology has achieved the peak of its development cycle. Changing to the base technology transforming the foundation, extruders, is the only way to continue developing the technology’s abilities and applications in industry.
Precision, repeatability, speed, and the limitations of excess and force inherent to the FFF printing process can only be overcome by the reinvention of the extrusion process.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by BigRep.
For more information on this source, please visit BigRep.