Essentium and ECD have created a next-generation moisture-controlled cabinet, the DryBox, to store and protect 3D printing filaments. The partnership leverages ECD’s experience with dry storage systems; Essentium provides an established client base in the additive manufacturing space. The partnership is another step toward dependable industrial-grade AM applications.
Essentium is an industrial 3D printing solutions firm focused on reinforcing local manufacturing capacity. It manufactures industrial 3D printers and materials to bridge the gap between machining and additive manufacturing. The company is ISO 9001:2015 and ITAR certified.
ECD specializes in thermal monitoring and analysis. In operation since 1964, the company has pivoted to develop intelligent dry storage systems. It has pioneered designs for in-transit thermal profiling systems and software used to monitor and analyze process temperatures.
The partnership’s innovation guards against manufacturing defects are caused by moisture in base materials. The filaments for which the DryBox is designed are spools of plastic material. This material becomes defective in moisture-rich environments. The DryBox prevents such defects by automatically correcting humidity levels in the cabinet. The storage unit can maintain a relative humidity value under 1% (with a dew point under -40˚C).
The moisture-controlled cabinet allows for longer material storage. This new operational capability means that manufacturers can store more quantity and diversity of materials. The DryBox potentially reduces client lead times because fewer materials orders are necessary over time with greater storage capacity.
Two sizes are cabinets that have been announced. The smaller size accommodates up to twenty-four 750-gram spools or six 15-kilogram spools; the larger size has space for seventy-two 750-gram spools or eighteen 15-kilogram spools. The cabinets are complemented by a SmartBake add-on, which allows manufacturers to use the cabinets to dry many 3D printing materials.
The cabinets can, moreover, be used with the internet of things in remote manufacturing capacities. They are able to integrate into networks and web servers. They are replete with onboard data logging to ensure independent workflows during network disruptions.
This new system positions filament additive manufacturing for increased marketability as companies pivot toward less labor-intensive manufacturing solutions. Decreased storage costs and disruptions make the AM space more efficient than ever; remote industrial manufacturing through the internet of things further enhances automated solutions, which requires fewer human workers.