More than two years ago, CEAD‘s first robot extruder was installed in the Netherlands. That first model, the E25, was a custom-designed, high-temperature stand-alone printhead dedicated for large-scale 3D printing with a maximum output of 12 kg/hr. CEAD is now introducing the new E50 robot extruder.
The E25 is currently installed worldwide: many universities such as ETH Zurich, University of Stuttgart, and Tampere University integrated the printing head on a robotic arm. Also, many companies (like Rapid Prototyping) integrated the extruder on their existing CNC machine to start exploring 3D printing.
Though very satisfied with the E25 and its capabilities, the question for greater material output to print larger parts arose. As an answer to this question, CEAD now launched a new model of the robot extruder: the E50. With the first test, the output is measured at 84 kilograms/hour with PP30%GF (polypropylene reinforced with chopped glass fiber at 30% by weight) at 60% of its max speed. Nozzle sizes used for the E50 range from 8 to 20 millimeters in diameter.
The E50, just like the E25, is standardly delivered with the material transport, mounting bracket, and Siemens PLC-based control. It can be controlled by two signals – analog 0-10v and digital 0-24v – offering a robust system for a robotic arm or CNC gantry to control the extruder. However, using profinet is also an option.
With a reach of 400°C and 15 kW motor, this printhead is able to process high-performance fiber-reinforced materials such a carbon-filled PESU and PEEK. A 400 Liter dryer for pellets fully integrated with the proprietary transport system is optional to the system.
The E50 will also be featured in the larger BEAD machines. The BEAD, the company’s newest gantry-based solution, is a hybrid solution combining the finish and tolerances of subtractive manufacturing with the sustainability of additive manufacturing. With dimensions ranging from 6-50 meters in length, 2.6-11 meters in width, and 1.5-5 meters in height, the E50 robot extruder is the perfect fit for the larger systems, allowing a greater material output. The BEAD combines the best of both worlds: making it possible to 3D print the near net shape of a part and afterward mill it to the required tolerances.