Integrated 3D desktop solution developer and manufacturer BCN3D has created a revolutionary new solution designed to preserve filament printability, extend shelf life, reduce aesthetic imperfections and avoid costly reprints.
Image courtesy of BCN3D
The BCN3D Smart Cabinet ensures a constantly dry environment around stored filament spools to protect them from sudden external changes.
The Smart Cabinet brings a gradual change in 3D printing and overcomes the common problem of filament degradation due to moisture. The uninterruptible power supply protects work and minimizes the risk of losing a print job due to a power outage – all in one easy-to-use, portable unit.
With a growing number of manufacturers and engineers in the aerospace industry now using 3D printing to make parts or prototype, this groundbreaking new development will help them save time, money and improve the quality of the finished product .
The Smart Cabinet is the first machine of its kind that combines a drying unit and workbench to conveniently store the printer. It is a unique alternative to other drying methods that 3D printing filaments such as PA, TPU, PVA, PLA can often damage and degrade, BVOH, PET-G and ABS. It protects the filaments by completely enclosing them and keeping them at optimal moisture levels to greatly reduce the chance of print failure due to excessive water content. In the case of PA, for example, some mechanical properties improve by 20% when using the Smart Cabinet.
The smart, reliable and versatile BCN3D Smart Cabinet uses intelligent drying technology to ensure that the filaments are constantly kept at an optimal level of moisture. This guarantees the best results for every print job and protects against printing errors and clogging of the nozzles.
With the new product launches, BCN3D heralds a new era of growth in addition to recent investments in the business and demonstrates its commitment to an innovative and extensive product portfolio that solidifies its position as a major player in 3D printing.
The BCN3D Smart Cabinet works on the absorption dryer method and alternates between drying cycles and regeneration cycles in order to maintain a constant dry environment around the stored coils and to protect them from sudden external changes. It regulates the relative humidity in the airtight container by means of a desiccant – in this case aluminum oxide-based pellets – that is open to the dehumidifying environment.
By isolating the absorbent material from the heating chamber and increasing its temperature, the absorbed moisture is released outside the chamber and the material is regenerated. After the flush, the desiccant has been refreshed and is ready to collect more moisture. The airtight container and cyclical internal ventilation using fans, heat and valves mean that no user interaction is required.
This process effectively keeps the filament dry and in an optimal condition for its use and means that the desiccant never needs to be changed.
Eric Pallarés, Technical Director at BCN3D, said, “To get fine, repeatable parts, we need to control the entire printing process, so the materials must be in optimal condition. All materials are moisture sensitive to some degree, but some are some such as PA, TPU or BVOH are particularly affected, for example a PA spool can absorb a lot of water in just a few hours on a humid day, affecting the finished print.
“When customers waste time and money on failed or inaccurate PA print jobs, it’s not the printer or the profiles, but the deterioration of the materials. In order to really exploit the potential of additive manufacturing with technical materials beyond PLA, we needed a solution like the Smart Cabinet.
“In addition, the increasing use of 3D printers means that printing times are also increasing. In industrial or laboratory contexts where power outages or micro-failures are common, the Smart Cabinet can help reduce waste and improve efficiency. “
The Smart Cabinet is compatible with the 3D printers Epsilon W50, Epsilon W27 and Sigma D25.
The Smart Cabinet is designed to increase efficiency and minimize the effects of downtime. It has an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to protect against power outages that can ruin hours of printing and cost money.
The Smart Cabinet is available in the UK through BCN3D’s UK distributor 3DGBIRE.