Kraus Maffei Diversifies into 3D Printing with Two Industrial 3D Printers « Fabbaloo

Checking out Krauss Maffei’s new 3D printers (Source: Fabbaloo)

We spoke with a company new to the 3D print space, Kraus Maffei.

While this company is new to 3D printing, it is definitely not a startup. In fact, the company was founded way back in 1838, almost 200 years ago. While one hundred years ago they manufactured locomotives and steam-powered equipment, today the company specializes in the manufacture of injection molding equipment and plastics extrusion technology.

And now, 3D printing.

They first conceived of a 3D print device back in 2018, when they realized their extrusion expertise could be repurposed to a new industry. The project started in 2019, and the first devices were shown to the public in 2022.

Two industrial 3D printers occupy the company’s product shelf: the powerPrint and the precisionPrint, and they’re actually quite different.

The powerPrint is a FGF device, which uses plastic granules instead of filament. The machine has quite a large build volume, 2000 x 2500 x 2000 mm.

The large size is complemented by the use of granular materials, which lower the cost of large prints. In addition, the machine’s extrusion system can use nozzles ranging from 2 to 20 mm in diameter, making speedy prints quite possible. They say at maximum capacity, the powerPrint can deliver up to 30kg of material per hour.

The hot end can reach 400C, enabling the use of a wide range of engineering materials in the powerPrint. They list ABS, PA6, PETG, PLA, ASA, TPU and PP, among others, as being usable on the machine. They test and qualify materials for use on the machine, but it’s also possible for operators to use third party materials.

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I asked them about surface finish, and apparently during the development of the machine it was discussed whether a CNC milling head would be included. Eventually it was decided that having a mill inside the 3D printer would present conflicting objectives, so it was not included. Kraus Maffei recommends having partners CNC mill parts after printing.

This large machine’s list price is €730,000 (US$800K), but we were told that it’s a fully complete “Starter package” that includes everything required to print.

The other machine from Krauss Maffei is quite different: it’s an SLA device, which doesn’t do any kind of extrusion. Instead this resin machine will be able to produce high resolution parts. They told us XY resolution would be in the 0.025-0.250mm range, which is quite good for a larger SLA device.

The precisionPrint will offer fast print speeds due to the use of multiple lasers. This is quite interesting, because most SLA systems use at most a single laser. This is a technique often used in metal LPBF systems to speed up printing, and here it’s used on polymers.

However, the precisionPrint won’t be available until next year.

Via Kraus Maffei


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