AON3D, a North American manufacturer of industrial 3D printers and software, has revealed the company’s latest system, Hylo, a new ‘smart’ high-temperature 3D printer, and Basis, an additive manufacturing software equipped with process simulation, machine learning-driven thermal optimization, and part qualification tools. Together, the two solutions simplify and expedite the process of printing open-market materials, carbon fiber composites, and high-performance polymers: materials with greater specific strength than many metals, continuous use temperatures up to 260°C, extreme chemical resistance, and more.
Hylo prints PEEK, ULTEM, and more
With an expansive 25.6 x 17.7 x 17.7 in. build area, a 250°C chamber, and over 8x throughput, Hylo boasts print speeds of up to 500 mm/s and IDEX-enabled duplication/support modes. Beyond its impressive specifications, it’s the industry’s first ‘smart’ 3D printer – featuring advanced process control and monitoring, accompanied by thermal optimization software. Equipped with over 25 integrated sensors, Hylo manufactures reliable, accurate, and exceptionally strong parts in open-market materials by continually monitoring, controlling, and compensating for process variability.
The challenge of printing high-performance polymers
Many high-temperature 3D printers and accompanying software struggle to print high-performance polymers, like PEEK and ULTEM. This is primarily attributed to antiquated, open-loop hardware/software architectures. Slicers lack material-specific thermal awareness, 3D printers lack adequate process control/monitoring, and there are no feedback loops between the two.
Current material extrusion printers rely on workaround solutions, like reducing variability by locking down materials and process settings or using “one size fits all” process parameters e.g., print speeds and thermals. When combined with a printed part’s unique features, these limitations lead to visible/hidden defects, print failures, variable part performance, and the perception that high-performance polymers are hard to print.
AON3D’s Hylo and Basis solve these limits by leveraging process simulation and automation to integrate material awareness into the slicing process.
Basis – optimize part properties
Basis is the foundation of the AON3D’s new product ecosystem. Smart hardware is combined with intelligent slicing and in-process monitoring – turning process variability into part confidence with just a few clicks. While complete details are not yet released, AON3D Basis adds material-specific thermal awareness to the slicing process, dynamically tuning process parameters to optimize properties such as layer weld strength, dimensional accuracy, surface finish, and more.
In addition to this, AON3D Basis users can quickly verify printed part quality by viewing Hylo’s process monitoring data in three dimensions. While many high-temperature 3D printer manufacturers offer rudimentary thermal maps, AON3D’s quality control tool also captures warping/cracking, over/under extrusion, filament diameter variances, hidden defects, dross/debris inclusion, and more.