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E3D Has Developed a Tool-Changer and a Motion-System for 3D-Printers
“Tool-changing is an internal passion project here at E3D, but we’re not sure whether there is demand for a machine which is just the motion system and tool-changer. Please help us figure out whether to start building and selling this thing by filling in this survey so we can figure out what you, our customers, might want from it (even if you’re not looking to purchase this particular machine right now).”
E3D has hard worked on this project, and its tool-changing adds immense value to 3d printing. The Tool-Changing allows you to use multiple materials and to print with complex geometries, different colors, and functional material combinations.
“3D printing with multiple materials is undeniably cool and useful. Not only does it allow for attractive multi-coloured prints, but also (and we believe more importantly) for complex geometries with soluble support, and functional material combinations printed in a single part. Think carbon-fiber reinforced nylon, flexible materials, and soluble support all in a single part.”
The final prototype, manufactured using DMLS technology, features an XY motion system mounted to a stiff plate of milled aluminium, along with kinematic coupling that offers high precision and reliable capture and self-aligning. A lightweight servo actuator powered grabber was a less expensive choice for toolhead grabbing, as well as “easy to actuate and control from existing electronics.”
At E3D there’s no end to the work, actually they are also developing:
- A Titan Aero extruder.
- A better extruder for flexible filaments.
- A subtractive cutting head.
- A laser, perhaps for part marking or edge finishing
- A Raspberry Pi Zero camera head, for in-process inspection