Imagine printing a new plate when a small kid in the house drops your favorite dish. Envision a gift printed with your own hands for your friends and family members’ birthday. Visualize printing your favorite design or quote on a T-shirt of your own. If you would have asked anyone a few years back, they would have said, ‘it’s impossible.’ But that’s what technology is for – to make its way into reality through our imagination and bring us closer towards a better tomorrow. Thanks to the way 3D printing has evolved over the course of time and the promises it has made along the way, we are already here, in the World of 3D Printing.
However, it’s the manufacturing sector that is getting benefitted because of this Jetsonian technology. The large-scale 3D printers are making it ridiculously easy for the companies to produce widgets in very short order, make required variations to those parts and lay them into assembly. 3D Platform (3DP) is a trusted global leader in designing and manufacturing of industrial, large & extra-large format, and FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) type 3D printer. Based in Roscoe, Illinois, USA, 3D Platform is focused on driving advancements in technology to innovate, design, and build next-generation equipment for additive manufacturing. Its global distribution network supported by Certified Service Providers has helped 3D Platform deploy more large-format, open-market 3D printers and provide fast, local support to its customers than anyone else.
Products that are ahead of the League
3D Platform has always seen the future long before it arrived, and their products are a testament of this point. Their distinctive products include –
3D Printers: The company’s flagship large-format printers are now in their 5th generation and are available for sale as a family of printers. The most economical printer in the family, the WorkTable, starts at just $14,999 USD with a 1 x 1 x 0.5-meter print volume. The WorkbenchExtreme offers the highest performance and the largest print volume (1 x 1.5 x 0.7 meters) starting at $36,999 USD. One of the keys to 3DP’s affordability is the amount of customization available to 3DP’s customers – the machines are designed in a configurable manner and customers can choose the options and upgrades that are needed for their specific application. For customers needing an extra-large format printer, 3DP’s Excel machine has a starting print bed size of 1.2 x 2.4 meters (4×8 feet!) and the machine can be adapted to customer needs as wide as 16 feet and as long as 100 meters (330 feet!). The Excel machine can even have multiple gantries to print a part much faster or to divide the bed and print different objects.
Extruders: 3D Platform’s HFA and HFE extruders are the fastest filament extruders in the market with up to 16x more speed than that of its competitors. It’s Quick-Swap dual extruder heads deliver high quality 3D prints and are independently controlled for speed and extruded material amounts.
Filament: Every 3D printing work requires dependable, quality filament to finish the job. 3D Platform has a wide selection of material and colors that gives clients choices for their industrial 3D printing work. With diverse open market filament material selections, the client can print exactly as they design.
The Key Traits that make 3D Platform Unique
3D Platform is one of the pioneers in the large format, open market category and has a wider installed base than anyone else in this category which gives them better economies of scale. This 3D printing firm has been growing rapidly since its formation in 2014. However, the key attributes that have helped 3D Platform lead the market in a short span of 3 years are – Big, Fast, Affordable. Unlike other companies who get one or two out of these three, 3D Platform successfully delivers all of them. With 20-54x the build volume of a typical desktop printer, their WorkSeries printers are some of the biggest printers in the market you can buy. The savings that 3D Platform realizes through large volume purchases and production runs are passed on to its customers. Also, a lower purchase price with faster production allows its customers to achieve a better/faster ROI – making 3DP’s printers the most affordable option!
An Intellect Who Leads the Pack
Jonathan Schroeder, is the President of 3D Platform. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an MBA from Kellogg’s Executive Program (EMBA). He is a licensed, professional engineer (PE) and has over a dozen patents, out of which, few are granted and few are pending.
“We are driven to help our customers succeed. We have pushed our machine to have the best ROI of any large format 3D printer on the market – and we continue to push it to be better. We have customers that have told us that their ROI is only a single project or just a few months,” – asserts Jonathan.
Knowing the Applications of 3D Printing Better
Despite the popularity 3D printing has gained over the years, people are yet to realize how big is 3D printing. Jonathan, thus believes that one of the greatest challenges is going beyond the word “3D Printer.” In his opinion, buying a 3D Printer is like buying a car. Like a car has different options to choose from; 2 doors or 4, sports car, a family transporter or a truck, 3D printer also has many options available which people are yet to know. ISO/ASTM52900-15 defines seven unique different additive processes (3D Printer). Each one is ideal for certain types of end use parts with little overlap between each type. FFF/FDM machines are great for larger polymer parts. In contrast, SLA is good at small parts with fine detail. SLS is used to produce metal parts. However, 3D Platform also believes that as these processes are used more, consumers will begin to ask for the specific machine by their type and they will have a better understanding of the capabilities of each type of machine.
Fully-Prepared for the Future
Additive manufacturing is continually pushing the boundaries; most typically in materials, size and/or speed, and 3D Platform is well prepared.
Materials: 3D Platform machines are ‘open market materials’, meaning their customers can use pellets and filament from any manufacturer. As new materials come to market, they can be used on 3D Platform’s machines to produce more complex and higher performing end user parts.
Size: While some companies are trying to capture the micro- and nano- additive manufacturing trend, 3D Platform has a niche in large format printing. It’s Excel machine can produce a 100-meter-long part.
Speed: Unlike pellet fed extruders that are fast but are not suitable for all customers/applications, 3D Platform has developed its own spoon-fed extruders that offer more than 30X throughout the standard desktop printers.
While other 3D printing companies are trying to find the base in the market, 3D Platform is leading the market with pride.