Due to the fast growing of 3D printing market, the demands for 3D printers increased greatly, especially large scale 3D printers.
Large scale 3d printers can be used to print aerospace parts, automotive parts and functional parts. Apparently, size is one of the main factors when to choose large scale 3D printers. However, there are many other reasons.
Cost reduction: compared to traditional technology, 3D-printed large scale parts can be much more cost effective as the usage rate of materials in 3D printing is very high (can reach 60%-90%).
Research and development cycle shortening: the larger size of the parts, the longer time it takes to produce. With large scale 3D printers, the product research and development cycle can be largely shortened as it does not require molds and there are no setup steps.
Integrated parts: integrated parts can be manufactured by traditional technology already, but with large scale 3D printers, it can be produced more efficiently.
Weight reducing: usually, large scale parts are made of metal, wood or plastics. With large scale 3D printers, the large scale parts will be redesigned into a simple structure and it can also be removed from the needs of fasteners like bolts and nuts, which can reduce weight significantly.
There are normally three types of large scale 3D printers regarding their 3D printing processes. They are: metal powder bed fusion (MPBF), selective laser sintering (SLS) and stereolithography (SLA).
Metal Powder Bed Fusion (MPBF)
Metal powder bed fusion (MPBF), a laser used to melt material on the top layer of a powder bed, is also called direct laser melting or laser powder bed Fusion.
l working with various kinds of materials, including stainless steel, titanium alloy, aluminum alloy, nickel base alloy, maraging steel, CoCr alloy, copper alloy and other micron grades metal powders.
l Requiring limited support structures during printing.
l Widely application on aerospace, automotive industries, etc.
Eplus3D Metal 3D Printer EP-M450
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
Selective laser sintering is an additive manufacturing technology which uses a power laser to sinter small polymer powders into a solid structure based on 3D models. It doesn’t require support structures, so it’s an ideal choice for complicated structures.
l Sls printed parts with good mechanical properties
l Low cost
l High productivity
l Widely applied in aerospace, medical industries, etc.
Eplus3D SLS 3D Printer EP-P420
Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing, also known as resin 3D printing, uses a laser to create liquid resin into hard plastic. It is one of the most popular processes among engineers.
l SLA printed parts are with high precision and resolution
l Variety range of optional materials
l Wide application
We can choose a suitable large scale 3D printers through these following factors:
1. Printing materials
If you want to print metals like titanium alloy, aluminum alloy etc, you can choose a MPBF metal 3D printers. If you want to print polymers, you can choose a SLS 3D printer like Eplus3D EP-P420. If the material is resin, you can choose a SLA 3D printer.
2. Printing quality
It's always good to have a large scale 3D printer to print large parts smoothly. But if the printing quality is disqualified, it will become useless. So quality is very important before purchasing a suitable large scale 3D printer.
3. Easy to operate
Not everyone is an engineer, so we need to make sure the large scale 3D printers are easy to operate before purchasing. Take Eplus3D’s large scale 3D printer EP-M650 as an example, it has friendly user interface with fully automatic one-click printing function, which makes it very easy to operate and you don’t need to spend a long time on training.
Eplus3D Metal 3D Printer EP-M650 (quad laser)
Everyone needs to take cost into consideration no matter which type of large scale 3D printers you are choosing. The cost for large sale 3D printers varies largely, depending on the printing technology and printing materials. Normally, metal 3D printers cost much more than SLA and SLS 3D printers. But you can always find an affordable large scale 3D printers with high quality.
5. After-sale service
This is very important as large scale 3D printers is hard to move and we need professionals to provide service timely once you need help. For Eplus3D large scale 3D printers, full set of technical training will be provided with free equipment installation and maintenance during warranty period. Existing parameter packages are provided free of charge and the technicians are online all the time.
These are the 5 factors you need to take into consideration before choosing a suitable large scale 3D printers. Welcome to contact us for any further concerns. Our experts will always be there to provide you with more AM solutions!