The 3D printing industry is transitioning toward automated production. While this trend has been evident for the past few years, the latest formnext trade show has made it even clearer, with a huge focus post-production, materials, and part handling units filling the halls to support faster and more productive 3D printers. Few companies have expressed this vision as clearly as DWS, with its new, all-in-one XCELL system.
The company – one of the top three technology leaders in the stereolithography segment – has always shown a significant ability to anticipate major trends. The XFAB presentation in 2014 contributed to open up the SLA market to prosumers with a high-performance affordable system. In 2015, it presented its vision for networked and connected systems in a production environment. Now it is going to combine these experiences in a fully automated production unit, which can deliver finished 3D printed parts through three integrated and fully automated processes: 3D printing, washing, and curing.
“This is a very exciting and defining moment for our company,” said Maurizio Costabeber, General Manager, DWS. “For over two decades we have been pioneering and disrupting segments of the additive manufacturing industry with our innovative stereolithography systems and materials to the benefit of our customers” Mr. Costabeber continued. “Today we are taking bold steps to make additive manufacturing 4.0 real and affordable through our ground-breaking new products and our significantly expanding global presence,” he concluded.
The all-in-one XCELL system leverages three of DWS’ unique strengths: the renowned quality of its 3D printing technology, the outstanding combined speed of the system in delivering finished parts and a revolutionary streamlining of the entire workflow. In other words, once the files are imported, no other operations are required to obtain the final printed parts. These emerge already washed and UV cured without any other human intervention.
Anyone working with AM systems for production in the industrial manufacturing, dentistry or jewelry sectors, can realize how revolutionary this approach is. However this is only the tip of the iceberg in DWS’s strategy to expand the company’s business globally. The next move also leverages on one of DWS’s strongholds: its advanced SLA materials and material handling systems. The XCELL uses XPOD, a new concept of smart cartridge with advanced material management.
The user begins by inserting XPOD into the printer. When a job is completed, the unused material automatically returns to the cartridge before part extraction. XPOD is a clean and ready to use solution which further speeds up the process. The XCELL automated 3D printer can thus produce both direct casting molds and ready to use parts using DWS tailored polymers at standard manufacturing tolerances. It can deliver high-resolution parts for some of the most demanding design parts, dental and jewelry applications.
With mechanical resolution capabilities between 10-100 µ the XCELL is available in four different versions. The XCELL 6000SD is targeted at industrial design applications, including functional parts, design objects with demanding aesthetic features, model, and prototypes. The XCELL 6000HD is focused on the jewelry segment providing increasing resolution capabilities for filigree and finely detailed models. The XCELL 6000PD is optimized for orthodontic applications, including models for dies, arches for thermoformed aligners, dental models, biocompatible surgical guides, medical imaging, models for direct casting, partial frameworks, crowns, bridges, temporary restorations and implant models for analogs.
DWS’s all-in-one solutions for tomorrows automated factories within the Industry 4.0 landscape is the tip of the iceberg in a much broader expansion strategy. This strategy includes new versions of some of its most advanced systems. The XFAB platform is now available in several different versions for different applications, ranging from the highly accessible XFAB 1000 to high-performance XFAB 3500 series for larger and more demanding jewelry, industrial and dental production demands. DWS’s latest large size AM system, the XPRO S is ideal for R&D and production departments of medium and large companies that need fast prototyping and AM production. The system supports a choice of several materials for multipurpose applications and extreme versatility.
After many years contributing to building the foundations of the AM market, DWS is ready to reap the benefits by supporting this new family of products with a new, aggressive strategy for worldwide distribution. The company is partnering with XYZ printing, one of the largest global supplier of 3D printers, to further increase its reach. DWS also teamed up with XponentialWorks for the opening of a new facility and showroom in California, to immediately expand its resellers’ network and provide local sales and marketing coverage throughout North America. The future of 3D printing production is looking a lot clearer now.