Mimaki’s 3D printing business has been intertwined with Israeli technologies from the start. The Japanese company is a leader in large format 2D inkjet technology just like many of the firms involved in the evolution of companies like Objet, which later became Stratasys. After launching the only credible material jetting alternative for Stratasys full color 3D printing, now Mimaki Europe closed an OEM deal with another Israeli company, Massivit (whose founders originated from the Objet team), to launch the new Mimaki 3DGD-1800 large format, high-speed 3D printer.
While the operation implies little more than Mimaki adding its own branding to Massivit’s 1800 3D printer, it does have significant commercial implications since it opens up a huge global distributive network for the Israeli startup and its very unique 3D printing process which is ideal for rapidly producing very large three dimensional visual marketing props and displays.
Capable of producing objects up to 1.8 meters tall in just seven hours – with its assembly-based design allowing for the creation of even larger designs – the innovative 3D printing system boasts a number of clever time- and cost-saving features, including dual-head configuration to enable the simultaneous output of two structures. The Mimaki 3DGD-1800 also facilitates the production of support-free hollowed structures, further streamlining production whilst allowing for increased portability and the possible addition of interior illuminations. The technology will open up a diverse range of potential applications, from signage, events and creative art through to interior design.
Furthermore, customers can leverage Mimaki’s extensive portfolio of 2D print solutions to cost-effectively decorate these applications, opening doors to a range of new products that combine creativity and innovation with Mimaki’s tried and tested vibrant, high-quality results.
“Part of what makes our approach unique here at Mimaki is our dedication to being a Total Solutions Provider, and as such we have ensured that even beyond the 3D printing stage, our Mimaki inkjet printers can then be utilized to add color and décor, making created objects even more impressive and immensely versatile,” commented Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager at Mimaki Europe. “With our unique vision, a wealth of experience from across the print industry and unwavering commitment to innovation, we intend to lead the sign graphics industry in both two- and three-dimensional signages – and the introduction of the new Mimaki 3DGD-1800 is a fantastic step forward in achieving this goal.”
Commercially available from Mimaki starting on April 1, 2020, the new Mimaki 3DGD-1800 enables production of large-sized objects to switch from costly and time-consuming conventional handcrafting methods, that require significant expertise, to effortless, high-speed digital production utilizing 3D data. Whereas large objects have traditionally been produced by manually sculpting foam materials, Mimaki’s 3D printing system transforms this process right through from concept to manufacture – meaning that designs can be visualized as a finished product just based on the 3D data, and then produced in various sizes from a single data set. Contrary to other 3D printing methods involving hot-melt lamination, the 3DGD-1800 employs Gel Dispensing Printing technology, extruding gel-type UV curable resin lineally and utilizing LED UV light to instantly cure the resin, enabling lamination speeds of up to 350mm in height per hour.
The 3DGD-1800 3D printer is expected to present sign makers with new opportunities across a number of diverse sectors, with the potential to easily create life-sized displays, event decorations, movie props, large product mock-ups and more – as well as quickly and efficiently producing industrial production parts such as molds for vacuum forming, helping manufacturers to reduce their lead times.
“We are very excited to be able to bring such a transformative product to market,” continues Benckhuysen. “With unprecedented modeling speeds and the possibility to create enormous objects even beyond the sizeable formation area, the 3DGD-1800 represents a real transformation in large-sized production. Combined with the superior quality that we have become known for here at Mimaki, the potential impact of this new 3D printer is tremendous – particularly for the sign and display market but also far beyond that. The opportunities are boundless.”