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R&D Focus

Large-Sized FDM 3D Printer

3D printing is viewed as the catalyst for the third industrial revolution. In response to different printing demands, ITRI has developed Taiwan’s first large-sized FDM (fused deposition modeling) 3D printer integrated with industrial robotic arms, which can print large workpieces with a size up to 50 cm×50 cm×30 cm. Adopting the FDM technique, this printer can melt strips of plastic materials like ABS, HIPS and PLA and then eject them through the tiny channels of the print head to form printed layers. The size limit of products using a personal 3D printer is 20 cm in each dimension. However, combined with the bottom plate temperature control technique for modeling, this printer can break this barrier, overcoming the inherent problems of large special workpieces like excessive supporting and warping distortion.

Large-Sized FDM 3D Printer

Its 6-axis movement-control performance can provide the multi-angular printing function that cannot be found in current 3D printers, which are only capable of printing along X, Y and Z axes. Therefore, it provides more flexibility in printing, with less use of supporting material. ITRI’s large-sized FDM 3D printer also allows plastic models to substitute for large wooden models to save one third of manufacturing time and 20% of developing cost. In the future, ITRI is planning to develop a 3D printing complex machine integrated with robotic arms, laser cutting tools and processing facilities.

Executive Director Jon S. Hsu expresses that on the basis of laser technology and MEMS developed in recent years, ITRI Southern Region Campus will focus on the two core techniques of 3D printing, and intelligent sensing and system application. By establishing an incubation and pilot production base as part of its plan to create a regional “Laser Valley”, ITRI expects to help local industries upgrade for smart manufacturing.