Since its launch in 2019, the flagship of INTAMSYS FUNMAT PRO 610HT The 3D printer turned out to be an industrial powerhouse.
Sporting a large-format build volume measuring 610 x 508 x 508mm, the high-performance FFF system is the company’s most feature-rich to date. It offers a dual extrusion configuration with nozzle temperatures up to 500°C, as well as an enclosed build chamber capable of maintaining 300°C.
Designed specifically for large-scale end-use functional parts, the machine is designed to process the highest performing engineering polymers on the market including PEEK, ULTEM (PEI) and PPSU.
The manufacturer has now shared details of the 610HT genesis story and how 3D printing in the development process paved the way for faster lead times, lower costs and a successful launch.
Charles Han, CEO of INTAMSYS, said, “We all know that the process of taking a product from concept to reality is a challenging one. At INTAMSYS, we encounter the same obstacles as everyone else, but we have found a unique way to overcome them so that we can develop, test and produce 3D printing equipment faster than our competitors.
Fifteen 3D printed internal components
Strict temperature control capabilities have always been a key requirement with the 610HT, as is the case with all INTAMSYS high temperature systems. But building a machine with a 300°C build chamber is tricky business, as the system’s internal components must be tested at equally high temperatures.
Using the company’s existing portfolio of industrial 3D printers, the team was able to prototype many of these internal components in-house using engineered filaments. This eliminated the need for metal prototypes, saving costs.
According to INTAMSYS, if they had outsourced functional prototyping to a third-party metal fabricator, they could only have tested up to three prototypes per component. Keeping operations in-house, some of their parts have been tested in over a dozen different iterations with minor design changes between them.
With such streamlined lead times, this has also led to 3D printed end-use parts. Some of the system’s internal components were 3D printed on demand and incorporated into the production cycle as it went, significantly reducing INTAMSYS’ reliance on external vendors. Today, there are a total of 15 different 3D printed production parts installed in each FUNMAT PRO 610HT unit.
Enriching the assembly line and beyond
The company’s use of additive manufacturing didn’t stop there, as it also used 3D-printed tools and fixtures in the 610HT assembly line. Each workstation received the same set of 3D-printed tools to ensure consistent quality checks, as well as assembly fixtures for final parts.
Additionally, INTAMSYS was even able to use its technology to 3D print demo parts for sales and marketing purposes, supporting the launch of the FUNMAT PRO 610HT before the company delivered its first production unit.
Specifically, the team 3D printed a replica of the machine’s frame and painted it to look like a finished model. The realistic mockups allowed the company to photograph the system and showcase the product aesthetics at trade shows, giving potential customers a 3D printed visualization before the printer was even launched.
Han concludes, “Because we were self-sufficient, it dramatically reduced the cost and lead time of the product. The combination of R&D stage savings with production and assembly savings allowed us to launch this printer ahead of schedule and below estimated cost, passing the savings on to our end consumers.
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The featured image shows the FUNMAT PRO 610HT 3D printer. Photo via INTAMSYS.