With the development of a new industrial pellet extrusion 3D printer, Seiko Epson Corporation, a Japanese multinational electronics company, has officially entered the 3D printing market. This 3D printer can print strong, accurate industrial parts of various sizes and functions using commonly available third-party materials.
This 3D printer, according to Epson, will have a wide range of applications, including the production of parts for final products and the ability to mass-customize goods in support of small-batch production.
What is Pellet Extrusion?
Popular polymer 3D printers use plastics in the form of filament, resin, or powder that are heated in various ways to form a solid layer of the object. Pellet extrusion 3D printers, on the other hand, are a little different. Plastics in granular form, i.e. pellets, are used. A pellet extruder is included with the 3D printer. A pellet extruder is a machine that combines a pellet melter with a pushing mechanism. This effectively eliminates the intermediate step of filament development.
Popular polymer 3D printers use plastics in filament, resin or powder form which are exposed to heat through various forms to create a solid layer of the object. But pellet extrusion 3D printers are slightly different. It uses plastics in its granular form, i.e. pellets. The 3D printer includes a pellet extruder. The pellet extruder is a system that combines a pellet melter and a pushing mechanism. This basically eliminates the intermediate step of developing the filament.
Pellet extrusion systems have a number of advantages over traditional FFF 3D printers, including cost savings, time savings, material compatibility, and more.
Epson’s Industrial Pellet Extrusion 3D Printer
Epson’s new industrial pellet extrusion 3D printer uses a special material extrusion method that uses a flat screw (an inline screw with a flattened configuration) similar to those used in Epson’s precision injection moulding machines. This extrusion method allows the printer to work with a wide range of third-party materials, including resin or metal pellets, which are generally less expensive than other materials, environmentally friendly biomass pellets, and PEEK materials, which can withstand high temperatures.
Furthermore, the amount of material injected is precisely controlled by regulating the pressure inside the head and the action of a valve in tandem with the modelling speed. In order to achieve the required strength, the temperature at the surface of a piece being printed must also be controlled. Epson uses a one-of-a-kind mechanism to precisely control the temperature and achieve both strength and precision.
As a result, this 3D printer is designed to produce strong, accurate objects using readily available materials, allowing it to be used in the production of industrial parts for final products. It’s ideal for mass customization because it can produce small batches of parts tailored to customers’ needs at a higher quality, faster lead time, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing methods.
Epson plans to commercialise the industrial pellet extrusion 3D printer after making necessary improvements and using it to mass-produce certain parts for commercial and industrial equipment internally.
The industrial pellet extrusion 3D printer was on display at Tokyo Big Sight during the recently concluded International Robot Exhibition 2022.
Epson aims to innovate manufacturing by co-creating flexible, high-throughput production systems that reduce environmental impacts, in addition to industrial 3D printers.About Epson: Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to co-creating sustainability and enriching communities by leveraging its efficient, compact, and precision technologies and digital technologies to connect people, things, and information.
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