Recently, just before Formnext 2022, Raise3D released its Hyper Speed Upgrade for its Pro3 Series 3D printers – enabling a printing speed on average 3.8x faster than the current best professional printer available on the market, thanks to a newly developed active vibration cancellation algorithm based on the famous open-source Klipper project.
At Formnext, we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview Diogo Quental, Managing Director at Raise3D Europe, to find out more about what makes the Hyper Speed Upgrade special, how the team was able to achieve this, and the broader impact of this upgrade on its users and the industry.
“We see FFF as the easiest way for the market to adopt the technology. It is clean, and easy to use,” said Diogo, when asked about why Raise3D decided to develop FFF technology, as opposed to the multitude of other available 3D printing technologies. “The reason for this is the wide range of materials that are available with FFF, compared to powder- or resin-based technologies.”
Diogo also noted that FFF technology was only what is currently visible outside of the company, and that, internally, the team was working on the development of other technologies, which are expected to come to market in the near future.
Raise3D’s founders intend to position the company to be the leader in FFF printing within the industrial market. The RMF500 printer, which “has the potential to print significantly faster than the standard speed for FFF,” according to Diogo, is a sign of the company’s move in this direction.
In fact, it was thanks to the development of the RMF500 that Raise3D was able to create their Hyper Speed Upgrade. While developing the high-speed technology for this industrial printer, the team realized that the same developments could be applied to the Pro3 printer, and therefore other Raise3D printers. The developments were largely software-based and could therefore be applied as an upgrade for existing customers.
At the time of the upgrade’s release, Raise3D’s market-leading Pro3 Series printers had and still has one of the most relevant and growing customer bases in the market. This is why the company decided to shift its focus from the RMF500 to enabling current users to upgrade their printing experience. “Our users can keep the value of their previous investment and upgrade their printing capacity by a factor of four, with just a small additional investment,” said Diogo. Upgrades for the Pro2 will also be available soon.
When asked about how Raise3D was able to achieve these new speeds, Diogo elaborated, saying – “Basically when you print very fast, 3D printers create a lot of vibrations. The algorithm that was developed from the open-source project cancels the vibration by generating the vibration in the opposite direction.” This, in itself, is already an interesting approach, but it becomes even more interesting when you take into consideration that there are 600,000 vibrational movements and counter-movements per second – resulting from the vibration cancellation algorithm.
However, this was not enough, because as soon as one obstacle was overcome, another one arose. What the R&D team found was that due to the increased speed, there was not enough filament being placed where it was needed, as the filament flow did not match the speed of the print head. The R&D team considered increasing the temperature of the print head, but this would result in filament being deposited on top of filament that was still soft.
It then became apparent that a special filament was needed to be able to keep up with the speed of the machine, which the team developed to ensure the correct flowability and layer adhesion.
Raise3D is making PLA and ABS for hyper speed printing available initially, but many more filaments are already expected in Q1’23 with a wide variety following over the course of the year, resulting from the Open Filament Program.
This collaborative and open-source approach is very much in line with Raise3D’s tradition of collaboration.
“When this printing revolution started 10 years ago, the goal was simply reliability – we all wanted to be able to have a successful print. Once that was achieved and became easy to do, the goal became repeatability – we needed to ensure that each printed part was exactly the same as the other,” said Diogo. The challenge, then, lay not necessarily with the printing hardware, but rather with the filaments. Once this was overcome, the benefits really began to be revealed to those using FFF for high-volume production, and the new challenge became speed. How fast could an FFF 3D printer successfully print exactly the same part over and over again? That is the challenge that Raise3D has now solved, with the Hyper FFF™ technology and the release of the Hyper Speed Upgrade for Pro3 Series printers.
When elaborating on the impact of high-speed FFF printing on companies using it for production, Diogo told a story about how one notable large company, at risk of having to pause its entire production line (due to supply chain complications during the pandemic), turned to their investment of 30 Pro3 printers, with the Hyper Upgrade Kit installed, and they were able to print all the needed parts within an hour. That single event allowed the company to have an immediate payback on their full investment on the printers.
In terms of Raise3D’s plans for the future, Diogo highlighted the intention of keeping the focus on serving the production customer. In the short term, the plan is to push the RMF line, which is already faster than the professional line of printers, and has the potential to be optimized even further. But as new uses are opening up as a result of the Hyper FFF printing, new challenges are expected and new ways to add value to those customers will be identified. With a track record of overcoming unforeseeable challenges in the race to high-speed FFF printing, Raise3D is confident that it will rise to the other inevitable challenges, too.