Large-format 3D printer manufacturer BigRep has introduced an industrial filament dry cabinet designed to provide optimal storage conditions for 3D printing materials.
Capable of storing up to 60kg of filament, the BigRep SHIELD protects against material degradation by eliminating humidity, reducing material waste and potentially halving repair costs.
“Environmental conditions, normally outside of your control, play a huge factor in the printability of the filament,” said Sven Thate, BigRep Managing Director. “We want our customers to produce quality prints every time, which is why we saw it important to provide a solution and especially a big one that can hold a lot of material.
“To extend the life of your 3D printer and save time and money by preventing downtime and damages, the SHIELD is a must-have to avoid workflow disruptions.”
Large-scale 3D printing with BigRep
BigRep was founded in 2014 and specializes in the production of large-scale parts. The firm launched its latest FFF 3D printers, the STUDIO G2 and PRO 3D in May 2019, designed to create large parts for the aerospace, automotive, and defense sectors.
BigRep’s large-scale 3D printing technology has been deployed for various applications and projects, including a 4 x 4-meter sculptural wall made from 100 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for an urban green habitat installation in August 2019. In February last year, the company opened a 3D PARTLAB at its Boston headquarters to provide easier access to its large-format parts.
BigRep has also partnered with the likes of EOS and Etihad Engineering to broaden the applications of its technologies into the Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) of large format parts. The company has since been steadily expanding its suite of available materials for its 3D printers, adding PA6/66, PET-CF, PLX, and BVOH for use in its Pro, Edge, and Studio G2 systems. In May last year, ASA and ABS became the latest additions to its material portfolio, designed for use in the automotive industry but also within end-use sports and outdoor consumer product applications.
Most recently, the company launched a new architecture-orientated 3D printing material, named Concrete Formwork, in partnership with BASF’s additive manufacturing arm Forward AM. The PET filament is designed to enable the creation of complex supports for precast concrete at lower costs and quicker lead times than conventional building methods.
The BigRep SHIELD
Without proper storage in a humidity-controlled environment, 3D printing filaments are susceptible to absorbing airborne moisture which can result in higher rates of printing error, nozzle clogging, and machine downtime.
BigRep’s latest launch, the BigRep SHIELD, is capable of storing up to 60kg of filament in “ideal” conditions in order to protect it from material degradation. The cabinet’s interior dimensions span 480 x 480 x 1200 mm, while its storage capacity can hold either 12 2.5 kg spools, 12 4.5 kg spools, or 6 8-10 kg spools.
The large-format dry cabinet ensures optimal storing conditions for 3D printing materials by eliminating more than 99 percent humidity. The BigRep SHIELD far surpasses the industry standard of one percent, maintaining a humidity of 0.1 percent by looping it through a controlled desiccant chamber without the use of heat. This avoids the risk of over-drying filaments from long-term heat exposure.
The cabinet maintains constant overpressure for an airtight storage volume in order to prevent new moisture from entering its chamber during operation. This means that the system can rapidly remove any airborne humidity with total air recirculation, providing space for the safe, long-term storage of highly-sensitive 3D printing materials.
As a result, when integrated into an industrial workflow the cabinet is capable of minimizing misprints and material waste by 20 percent, and can also reduce repair costs caused by clogging and extruder damage by up to half.
In order to develop the SHIELD, BigRep partnered with Amboss+Langbein, a specialist in drying systems for plastics manufacturing. The companies combined their industrial knowledge with quality components and a Siemens control system to ensure the SHIELD provides ultimate productivity protection at all times.
BigRep SHIELD technical specifications
|Capacity||Chamber dimensions: 480 x 480 x 1200 mm, 276 liters
Max diameter of spool: 355 mm
Min. 12 x 2.5 kg, 12 x 4.5 kg, 6 x 8-10 kg spools
|Dew Point||-55 °C (~ 0.01 % rel. hum. at 25°C)|
|Volume flow||120 m³/h|
|Power||3 Phase 400V AC, N, PE
Power consumption 3,5 KW
|Device dimensions||WxDxH: 1200 x 590 x 1.850 mm (depth dimension without handles)
Door dimensions: 540 x 1100 mm
|Noise emission||approx. 77dBA|
More information and pricing for the BigRep SHIELD can be requested from the company.
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Featured image shows the BigRep SHIELD industrial dry filament cabinet. Photo via BigRep.