10/20/2014 | 1 MINUTE READ

System Offers Industrial-Sized 3D Printing

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Cincinnati Inc.’s Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) system uses the chassis, drives and control of the company’s laser cutting system as the base, and extrudes hot thermoplastic to build parts, layer by layer.

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Cincinnati Inc.’s Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) system uses the chassis, drives and control of the company’s laser cutting system as the base, and extrudes hot thermoplastic to build parts, layer by layer. The machine was developed as part of a cooperative R&D agreement between the company and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and was used to print and assemble a 3D-printed car during IMTS 2014 in Chicago.

With a work envelope of 2 × 4 × 0.87 m (6.6 × 13.1 × 2.9 ft.) and extrusion rate of about 38 lbs/hr., the BAAM system can print polymer components as much as 10 times larger than currently producible, at speeds 200 to 500 times faster than other additive machines, Cincinnati Inc. says. In addition, the company says it is working with ORNL to increase the work envelope to 2.4 × 6 m (8 × 20 ft.) and with the machine’s first buyer, Sabic Innovative Plastics, to increase the extrusion rate to 100 lbs/hr. Sabic provided the carbon fiber ABS plastic for the IMTS car and plans to test a number of materials that will be suitable for a variety of commercial applications, including furniture and tooling. According to Cincinnati Inc., Sabic has already tested ABS, PPS, PEKK and Ultem, and is finding that carbon-fiber and glass-fiber reinforcing improve both the strength and thermal stability of parts.

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