HARRISON, Ohio and BOSTON—A new industrial 3D printer that can be used to save material costs and prove out designs for multiple types of fabrication equipment was introduced in November by Cincinnati Incorporated (CI) and New Valence Robotics (NVBOTS). Dubbed SAAM (Small Area Additive Manufacturing), the 3D printer is powered by NVBOTS, the developer of the technology, and is designed as a complement to CI’s BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) capability.
The SAAM 3D printer uses fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology to 3D-print plastic parts directly from a CAD design. Once the design has been validated for form and functionality on SAAM, the same CAD files are leveraged to produce larger full-scale parts on BAAM.
The SAAM system offers automated part removal and is paired with NVCloud software that is said to enable users to print parts anytime, from any cloud-connected device, while providing administrators with full control of workflows typical in a shared-use scenario. This combination of capabilities lowers cost and complexity in multi-user environments.
“Additive manufacturing has opened a new world for parts designers and engineers,” said Carey Chen, president and CEO of Cincinnati Incorporated, in a press release. “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.”
Small Area Additive Manufacturing is not only for prototyping BAAM parts. “We can simulate any type of part with the SAAM,” said Chris Haid, director of operations and product management and co-founder of NVBOTS (www.nvbots.com). “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.”
Cincinnati Incorporated (www.e-ci.com) will handle sales, distribution, and support for the SAAM.