10 Things I Learned Building an Automated Print Farm

Chances are you’ve heard of 3d printing farms: agglomerations of printers connected in a data field and performing related or overlapping tasks to print products.  Here are 10 Things I Learned Building an Automated Print Farm.

10 Things I Learned

  1. This additive manufacturing technology is designed to speed up the process of printing large-format objects or printing large numbers of identical products.
  2. The possibilities. Let’s say you want to produce a thousand parts on a printer, and each part takes one hour to produce. With a single 3D printer, it would take 1,000 hours to produce those parts. However, with a farm of 1,000 machines, theoretically the same production cycle would only take one hour. 
  3. Print farms bridge the gap between prototyping and production. There are no tooling costs there, which means products get to market much faster.
  4. Another aspect of 3d printing farms worth mentioning is the ability to produce personalized goods. Since it only requires a digital drawing of the part, the agglomeration of volumetric printing devices is capable of producing many personalized products.
  5. A similar principle applies to the printing of large-format objects. Due to the fact that the field of additive manufacturing is limited, in order to prototype a large object, be it a life-size figure or an art object, it is necessary to divide the 3d model into many constituent parts and print each of these elements separately. 
  6. Until recently, this situation with the printing of complex parts led to the fact that the market began to appear on the 3d technology “giants” – large format printers such as Massivit, Colossus and others. The practice of using these printers has shown that it is not effective.
  7. Also, the vast majority of large-format products are made of foam, by milling it and then processing it with fiberglass. However, this technology also has a number of negative factors: the fragility of foam, low details of objects.
  8. Due to the fact that all 3d printers are connected by a single information interface, when printing large format objects, the digital model is automatically divided into segments and then sent in parallel to the device for printing. 
  9. After all the elements are printed, the printed farm operator must assemble the product as a construction set and fasten the elements together. Then the object is passed through the process chain in post-processing: sanding, priming and painting. The use of 3d truss technology makes it possible to achieve the best results in prototyping large-sized products in terms of price, quality and timing.
  10. As studies conducted by international experts in the field of 3d technologies show, with the introduction of printing trusses, a large part of the market of large-size objects should be conquered by 3d printing technology.

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