Published on July 17th, 2014 | by Mathilde Berchon0
Are Hybrid Machines the Future of 3D Printing?
General Electric, Airbus, Boeing, IBM, Nike… 3D printing is now used everyday by major companies, for prototyping and manufacturing parts. New 3D printing materials appear every month: metals, plastics, ceramics with special properties. But those of us working with 3D printers every day know that in many cases 3D printing is not enough.
We are heading towards a world where 3D printers are not only 3D printers. They become hybrid machines, able to deal with multiple jobs.
For Martin Neff, Manager Sales & Technology at Freeformer, new additive manufacturing system developed by German injection molder Arburg, the future of 3D printers is in machines capable of doing both additive and substractive manufacturing. A same system will be able to 3D print, bend, cut, drill or more.
A trend confirmed at 3D Print a few days ago by ENISE researcher Philippe Bertrand, a lab that worked on creating a standard classification for additive manufacturing, taking in consideration techniques and materials. He expects a range of hybrid machines to appear on the market in the coming years, able to combine additive and substractive techniques.
For now, some of the most innovative constructors in the world focus on increasing speed. Still one of of 3D printing’s biggest limitations, speed is a major challenge for making it truly massively used. Industrial-grade as well as desktop 3D printers are still slow.
ProdWays is one of the key actors on his way to solve this problem. At 3D Print, Arnaud Guedou presented Prodways’ MOVINGLight technology, which is 10x faster than competitors, with an excellent 32-µm resolution precision. MOVINGLight is paving the way for the future of additive manufacturing systems, heading towards production times able to compete with more traditional production techniques.
Ready for a desktop hybrid 3D printer?
Image credit: Arburg, Freeformer