Small Area Additive Manufacturing (SAAM) Enables Prove-Out of Large Part Designs

Cincinnati Inc.’s latest 3D printer, developed with New Valence Robotics, is a complement to its BAAM system for large parts.

Cincinnati Incorporated and New Valence Robotics (NVBOTS) have introduced Small Area Additive Manufacturing (SAAM), an industrial 3D printer. SAAM is powered by NVBOTs and uses used filament fabrication (FFF) technology to 3D-print plastic parts directly from a CAD design.  Designed as a complement to CI’s Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM), the new system allows designers to prove-out part designs while saving material and time. Once the design has been validated for form and functionality on SAAM, the same CAD files can be leveraged to produce larger full-scale parts on BAAM.

“Additive Manufacturing has opened a new world for parts designers and engineers,” said Carey Chen, president and CEO of Cincinnati Inc. “SAAM allows these innovative people to push the boundaries of part design by quickly rendering prototypes, and providing the ability to test their designs prior to full-scale production on the much larger BAAM system. Simply put, SAAM can create a relatively inexpensive print-preview for BAAM. This is another demonstration of how additive manufacturing is shaping the future of manufacturing, especially in industries like aerospace, automotive and heavy equipment.”

SAAM also has applications beyond prototyping BAAM parts. “We can simulate any type of part with the SAAM,” said Chris Haid, director of operations and project management and co-founder of NVBOTS. “The same CAD file we use for the plastic prototype can be sent to a laser, a press brake or a shear for metal fabrication. It dramatically reduces waste in the design process and allows shops to accelerate moving to the production phase.”

The smaller additive machine can also be networked for multiple users. “SAAM is managed using our NVCloud software,” adds Haid. “It is cloud-based and enables multiple users to submit jobs and manage their SAAM from anywhere via any cloud-connected device.” SAAM enables fully automated 3D printing with automated part removal.

The SAAM printer offers a build envelope measuring 7.9" × 7.4" × 9.4". Maximum printing speed is 0.16 lbs/hr. Layer height is 0.007" at standard speed and 0.012" at fast speed. The printer accommodates PLA filament measuring 0.016" in diameter.