Do you know that you can choose the most suitable 3D Printer for your requirements?

Do you know that you can choose the most suitable 3D Printer for your requirements?

As a manufacturer of industrial 3D printers, operating on the market for many years in cooperation with companies responsible for CAD/CAM solutions, we know that there are no ready-made solutions for everything in the industry. Often, solving a specific problem involves developing it from the very beginning, taking an individual look at each of its aspects. Each of our customers has slightly different requirements and ideas for using our machines. Therefore, in order to meet the expectations of our customers, we have adopted a production strategy that allows us to adjust the solution to meet the detailed, individual needs. After reading this article you will be able to adjust the specific printer to your needs to a much greater extent and our specialists will be happy to answer additional questions.

Using our experience, we will try to answer the most common customer questions:
1. How large printouts will I be able to print on my printer?
2. Will I be able to print geometrically complicated figures using two materials at the same time?
3. Will I be able to print from high-temperature PEEK materials?
4. What quality can I expect from my printer?
5. Can I work with my printer for a long time?
6. Can I sterilize my printouts for medical purposes at the same time?
7. Can I print fully functional models?

1. How large printouts will I be able to print on my printer?
Our printers should be divided according to the workspace, which roughly defines medium and large printers for us. In these medium printers you will find 270, 270 MED and PRO+ models. In the big ones we have 500 and 500 MED models. The work fields are as follows:
VSHAPER 270 – 220 x 260 x 185 mm,
VSHAPER 270 MED – 250 x 250 x 175 mm,
VSHAPER PRO+ – 250 x 250 x 175 mm,
VSHAPER 500 – 430 x 430 x 450 mm,
VSHAPER 500 MED – 410 x 350 x 450 mm.
Choosing a workspace should be one of the first issues that we will pay attention to when choosing a 3D printer. We must ask ourselves what are the largest models that I will want to print every day at work? We must also remember that the prints, which are to serve only the presentation character, can be easily glued from a few fragments, in the case of ABS filament this is done with acetone. Of course, it is best if there are as few fragments as possible, but sometimes such a possibility is irreplaceable.

2. Will I be able to print geometrically complicated figures using two materials at the same time?
Not all of our printers have the ability to print two nozzles. This is a very important feature for some customers that allows them to use two different materials, usually the right one and the support one, within one print job. This allows you to create 3D models with more complicated geometry, where the support material is either easily broken off or washed away after printing. The best example is the use of the HIPS support material, which is most commonly used with the most popular ABS industrial printouts. After printing, we can either break it off slightly from easily accessible places or rinse it in d-limonene solution, getting rid of all the supports even from hard to reach places. It should be remembered, however, that some specialized materials are best suited for prints from specialized, single nozzle extruders. In response to the growing demand for printouts from materials such as PEEK, our printers with a special single nozzle extruder VPREC were developed. These are VSHAPER 270 MED and VSHAPER PRO+. In the remaining printers we used our V-PORT extruders, which can accommodate two printing heads. However, this does not mean that it is impossible to print from PEEK on machines such as VSHAPER 500 after appropriate adjustment, or VSHAPER 500 MED. In these large printers, we have applied innovative solutions allowing us to print high-temperature materials using a double nozzle extruder.

3. Will I be able to print from high-temperature PEEK materials?
High-temperature materials are not only all the rage in 3D printing. These very durable materials allow you to use the printed elements in an unprecedented way. Resistance to high operating temperatures and loads comparable to metal elements, allows you to use 3D printouts not only in the process of prototyping, but also for maintenance and medical applications. In many cases, replacing damaged machine elements with printed ones on our devices saved companies time and money needed to import spare parts, such as gear wheels. Such a solution also saves space and money needed to store spare parts, allowing fast and efficient printing of every necessary part and after a while resume the operation of the machines. In case of prototypes we do not need to limit ourselves only to the shape and appearance of the mechanism. In the case of printed prototypes made of material such as PEEK, we are able to make fully functional test models or appropriate devices. Due to its biocompatibility and physiological indifference, it is also widely used in the medical industry. Due to its growing popularity, the first in Poland and one of the first in the world printers with the possibility of extrusion of high-temperature materials – VSHAPER PRO+ – was created. It was followed by printers for medical applications, and the first to appear was VSHAPER 270 MED, with an extended structure with additional insulation with a special antibacterial silver-based coating, HEPA filter and UV lamp sterilizing the print during its formation. Similar solutions have been applied in our most advanced printer currently, namely VSHAPER 500 MED, characterized by an exceptionally large working area and the possibility of extrusion from two materials at the same time. The last printer in our offer that can make prints from high-temperature materials is VSHAPER 500, but it is an optional function, requiring a slight interference in the construction of a standard version and is devoid of medical functions.

4. What quality can I expect from my printer?
3D printing can have many applications, some need to keep only the shape of the printout, while others also want a nice, consistent texture. Time plays a key role in printing. Our printers have a monolithic, very stable construction that eliminates any vibrations caused by fast changes in head position or external factors. Therefore, without any loss in quality, we can extrude the material really quickly. In the case of more detailed prints with limited visibility of individual layers, the key is not the speed of head movement, but the selection of nozzle and the height of a single layer. With such an accuracy, however, the printing time increases. Similarly, if we want to obtain a printout quickly, the print layers may become more visible, which, however, in most cases can be remedied by post-production processing. The use of a 0.4 mm nozzle has become a worn-out standard, giving very good results in terms of both appearance and time of printing. However, taking into account the different needs of our customers, we have introduced to our offer nozzles of different diameters of extrusion. For each printer we can install nozzles with hole diameters:
• 0,25 mm,
• 0,4 mm – standard nozzle,
• 0,8 mm,
• 1,0 mm.
The replacement of the nozzles is easy and can be retrofitted after the purchase of the printer.

5. Can I work with my printer for a long time?
3D printing is a demanding process, where many factors influence the final result. Therefore, cheap printers available on the market have many weak points, which have a greater chance of corrupting the printout, the longer the printer works on it. In industry, such situations have a real impact on time and money, so the key for our printers was to limit as much as possible any points that could pose a risk of print failure. In order to achieve this, we were forced to develop the entire structure strictly for a given device, starting with a solid, monolithic construction and ending with our own electronics. Each of our subassemblies has been developed and tested for hundreds of hours, and the quality of the materials used is always the first criterion for us to select them. This resulted in a printer that with a minimum of calibration work is able to work continuously for many hours or days. In order to eliminate external threats to printing, we also offer a power supply backup system (UPS), which will allow you to finish printing even if the printer is temporarily out of power.

6. Can I sterilize my printouts for medical purposes at the same time?
Relatively recently we have decided to fill the gap in the demand for medical class printouts. For this purpose, we have built two 3D printers that enable printing from materials used in the medical industry, and PEEK is now considered to be the most popular of them. These are:
• VSHAPER 270 MED – our first medical design,
• VSHAPER 500 MED – currently our most advanced and universal solution for medicine.
Both printers are equipped with a silver-based internal antibacterial coating, a HEPA filter and, most importantly, a UV-C lamp, which has a anti-bacterial effect. The most important difference here is the working area of the printers and the fact that VSHAPER 500 MED is able to print with two nozzles. Both printers are able to print from low-temperature materials such as ABS, HIPS, PETG, PC-ABS, PA12, ASA, PA+GF, PA+CF, PC, PMMA. With two nozzles in the VSHAPER 500 MED printer, we received the most versatile 3D printing solution for the moment, combining all the possibilities in one machine.

7. Can I print fully functional models?
Since the beginning of its existence, 3D printing has been used primarily in the so-called rapid prototyping, i.e. much faster production of a prototype in comparison to the previous methods. Models created in CAD programs can be created using our machines within a few hours or days after their development. In traditional methods, this was usually associated with the costly development of injection moulds or machining. In the case of printing, we save time and money. However, rapid prototyping is no longer the only form of using incremental technologies. Today, thanks to the use of a wide range of materials with different physical and chemical properties, elements that are finished products are often printed. Fully functional parts for all types of constructions, from housings to moving, working parts. Using durable materials, we now print on our printers even parts exposed to high loads, such as gear wheels in industrial machines. Thanks to such applications, 3D printing reaches a wider and wider group of customers, finding application also in the so-called maintenance. Long waiting times for spare parts or high costs of their storage on site are a thing of the past, and the 3D printer standing in the plant allows you to save a lot of expenses associated with production downtime. The printer also saves time and money in short-run production, where high costs of injection moulds do not allow for the return of such an investment in case of low demand. In creating specialized and customized products, such as yachts or custom products, our printers are often the only tool needed to produce many specific components.