GEWO Feinmechanik GmbH is a German manufacturer of high temperature FFF printers under the name GEWO 3D. With these high-tech devices, prototypes and small series can be printed from high-performance plastics such as PEEK, PPSU and PEI in a unique material quality.
GEWO has already set new standards in the additive processing of high-performance plastics with the HTP260, which was successfully launched on the market. In order to meet the needs of industrial customers even better, GEWO uses the open CNC system MTX from Rexroth for the development of the successor of the HTP260, the PERFORMER260.
Just like the HTP260, the PERFORMER260 uses the so-called FFF process, in which the plastic is melted in a nozzle and applied to a printing plate in strips. The desired shape of the part to be produced is thus built up layer by layer. To ensure that the individual print layers adhere to each other, the entire installation space of the PERFORMER260 can be heated up to 260° C. The pressure of the print layers can be heated up to 260° C. Heating the printing plate up to a temperature of 270° C and extrusion temperature of the printing material up to 450° C enables printing without warping of these otherwise difficult to process materials.
A dynamic and highly accurate linear system which enables print head movements at a speed of up to 300 mm/s as well as automatic calibration of the print bed ensures a high print speed, high-quality production and the achievement of repeat accuracies <0.05mm. The device has one network and two USB interfaces for transferring CAD data. This makes it possible to digitize the workflow with typical tasks such as print configuration, job management, machine monitoring including online process modification or intralogistics control. Because this is not possible without interfaces to the software programs involved (e.g. CAD/CAM systems or simulation solutions), the MTX CNC system has an open system architecture and the Open Core Interface programming interface. Machine park operators can thus easily integrate their workflows. Advantages in the run-up to production include material simulations or the certification of quality-relevant parameters. Among other things, the CNC system fits seamlessly into simulation environments as "Hardware in the Loop".
The new machine can be operated via an integrated 15” touch panel and a network interface. The future-oriented equipment of the PERFORMER260 includes four equivalent print heads for printing different materials within one print job.
In order to manage the additive material application precisely and to be able to influence it easily by process variables, the control software also needs to be particularly powerful. The MTX system software used in the PERFORMER260 contains many AM-specific CNC functions, such as intelligent temperature control and 3D online simulation with collision detection, which automatically visualizes the construction time, positioning and path guidance of the print heads. The standardized G-code is supported by every slicer software. Integrated NC encryption technology protects manufacturer-specific know-how.
Bosch Rexroth supports development by contributing its many years of know-how in the electrical and electromechanical automation of CNC machines and 3D printing. Especially the powerful CNC system MTX allows GEWO a precise material placement and an exact process control. Due to the open architecture, for example the standardized OPC UA server/client functionality, the system is already prepared today for the factory of the future.
A first prototype of the new device will be presented by GEWO at Formnext 2018, Stand 3.1-A61.