Additive manufacturing for prototypes and series products with 3D printers from CMC Maschinenbau

Hardly anyone can imagine that the combustion chambers of SpaceX's rocket engines were created in a 3D printer. Even entire single-family homes are printed with 3D printers today. However, these rather exotic applications impressively demonstrate the possibilities of 3D technology.
18 February, 2022 by
Additive manufacturing for prototypes and series products with 3D printers from CMC Maschinenbau
CMC Maschinenbau GmbH

The most widespread is the so-called Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) process. In this process, a plastic filament is liquefied in a nozzle and applied layer by layer. This additive manufacturing process does not require any tools, additional molds or other aids. Thanks to an ever-widening range of materials, adaptations to very different requirements are possible - from soft and elastic to hard and tough.
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As an official partner of Dynamical, CMC Maschinenbau offers 3D printer systems on the German market. These state-of-the-art industrial printers are designed for tough continuous operation and can therefore be used without restrictions in 24/7 operation. 

The managing director of CMC Maschinenbau, Ulrich Schöwerling, explains why this technology was included in the sales program:

"Up to now, we had concentrated on converting slitter rewinders and die cutters from Asia. We import the machines, convert them to European standards and adapt them to specific customer requirements. This traditional business works very well. Recently, however, there have been more and more requests from customers for modern laser cutting machines for foils and for equipment for additive manufacturing. To meet these requests, we have expanded our range since 2020. Today, we can offer our industrial customers the right technology for both areas."

What are the main advantages that 3D printers from Dynamical 3D offer?

"Dynamical manufactures the 3D printers in Spain, taking into account all European regulations. Although this is not a direct advantage for our customers, it does save us from having to carry out subsequent conversion work, which also incurs costs. A major customer benefit, however, is the robust design of the printers, which is intended for tough industrial use in 24/7 operation. Dynamical also offers a whole series of different 3D printers, which enables optimal adaptation to the respective needs of the customer.

But these are not the only features that distinguish the Dynamical printers from 3D printers in the customer market. The achievable accuracy, the large print space, the low-noise operation and the robust design are clearly aimed at use in industrial environments. The possibility of network connection of the printers means that design and printing can be spatially separated. For printing centers, this offers the possibility of accepting orders online and manufacturing the ordered 3D parts elsewhere. The option of unattended operation significantly increases output: switch on in the evening, remove the next morning. An optional uninterruptible power supply ensures that when power is restored, the printers pick up where they were last before the power failure."

But from CMC Maschinenbau's point of view, what general reasons are there for customers to use such 3D printers?

"3D printers offer some significant advantages over other production technologies. This is not only true for the 3D printers from us CMC Maschinenbau. In general, people use this printing technology for the following reasons 

  • Tool-less manufacturing is possible, e.g. for rapid prototyping, sampling and concept studies

  • demand-driven manufacturing from batch size 1 is possible

  • production of workpieces that are difficult or impossible to manufacture using conventional production methods

  • extremely high design freedom with the possibility of rapid, customer-specific adaptation

  • minimal waste, low energy costs, sustainable production

  • time- and cost-efficient prototyping and small series production

  • fast availability of components for functional tests

  • virtual design in CAD system with focus on required function without limitation by later feasibility

  • clustering of several components in one printing process allows high production efficiency and cost savings

  • wide range of different products (ABS, PP, PEAK, PETG, PEEK, PVA, PEI, PPSU, etc.) to adapt material properties to functional requirements

  • use of standard file formats that are recognized throughout the industry

  • robust, compact design, only one power connection is required

Thank you for this summary of the benefits of 3D printing technology. Additive manufacturing is now known for being one of the most flexible production techniques available to the industry. It is not for nothing that sales figures in this field are steadily increasing. This is certainly due to the fact that 3D printed components are used in a wide variety of industries, right?

"One example of the use of Dynamical 3D printers from CMC Maschinenbau is the possibility to produce parts on-demand. Especially in the automotive sector, 3D printing is becoming more and more prevalent in spare parts logistics. Instead of cost-intensive stocking of spare parts with complex warehouse logistics, spare parts can be printed on-demand. This reduces costs dramatically, because in principle component production is not tied to a fixed location, but could even be printed directly at the specialist workshop if necessary.

Particularly lightweight plastic components for applications in aviation or motor sports can also be specifically produced and optimized with our 3D printers. The design changes are made in the software, and the components are produced without much effort and without tools in the 3D printers from Dynamical. These rapid development processes allow concept studies to be produced and tested cost-effectively. 

Another application of 3D printers from Dynamical is the in-house production of spare parts in large manufacturing companies. Not only, but especially with older machines and equipment, the procurement of spare parts is often difficult. However, many wear or operationally critical components can be produced in a 3D printer if needed. 3D scanners can be used to electronically capture and store 1:1 copies of such components. The spare parts are then printed out only when needed. This does not require any complex CAD design and reduces dependence on external service providers.

The integration of multiple functions (e.g. housing cover with locking latch) is also possible in a single operation thanks to 3D printing. The reduction in the number of components required makes assembly easier, which also saves costs. Some printers also have two print heads, so that even two different plastics with specific properties can be combined. Dynamical's sales program for 3D printing filaments includes nearly 20 different plastics. Special spool holders allow very large spools of up to 5 kg to be used.

3D printers from CMC Maschinenbau thus open up the entire range of additive manufacturing possibilities - from individual parts to series production. From Printing as a Service to disruptive solutions that are not limited by manufacturing processes. A well thought-out design, robust industrial construction, high reliability and compact size predestine these printers for engineering companies, on-demand manufacturers, printing centers and development departments in large companies."

Thank you Mr. Schöwerling for this deep insight into the benefits of 3D printing technology and Dynamical's 3D printers.