As manufacturers transition from prototyping to mass-manufacturing in AM, the concept of a production platform is helping to streamline operations.
James Hedrick of Azul 3D explains how scaling production is potentially unlimited in AM and shares his insights on systems and materials.
– Hi, this is Adam Penna, I’m here at Formnext, we’re here in the Azul 3D booth and I am here with James Hendrick. James, how you doing today?
– Doing great.
– Yeah, so, what is special about your DLP technology with Azul 3D?
– It all started with an interface that was at Northwestern University. It’s a flowing mobile oil that allows you to continuously pull up at a fast speed, but do it over a large area, because you can cool the part at the same time.
– Now I noticed you have something in your hand there. Can you tell us a little bit about what this?
– So this is a little bit of a sample part of what we’re actually about to launch with Wilson Sporting Goods just announced. It’s a pickleball paddle and this is actually the real size one. Here. Normal size pickleball paddle
– Normal size and then Azul extreme size.
– So this is a pretty large build platform for DLP.
– Yes. Exactly.
– So, talk about your, your build volume and what’s different inside of that also.
– So, we are able to do a much larger build volume, because our interface is a liquid that just levels out to whatever size container you put it into.
– So, you never have to have any tensioning, any problems with membranes, it just flows in and you can do whatever size you want to make the container of.
– Wow, wow. So, in that particular process, is there something different happening on the build plate itself? You have a pre-heated plate or something like this?
– Or what is the, what is that difference with that build?
– So the special thing is not the build plate, it’s the interface is cooling.
– Because we move so fast, everyone else needs to heat the part up.
– Our parts get so hot, you need to cool it down to go larger.
– And it’s a moving interface that comes in cool and absorbs that heat.
– What does that allow to do?
– So that allows you to get that, a fast continuous pole as well as getting those larger areas.
– Wow, wow.
– And the final thing is starting to get better material properties, because you’re now a true continuous part coming out. You get those isotropic properties.
– It Makes sense. So, talk a little bit about your materials and what’s happening on that side.
– That’s my favorite part. That’s where we accidentally messed up and build this printer.
– But when we realized we had a really fast printer, we had one of the largest chemistry groups, is where we came out of in the US. And that’s where our background and where our true power shine. So, we now have about 400 materials back of house.
– Wow 400 materials.
– Its Kind of a ridiculously large number.
– But the idea is to be able to give a custom personalized material to each customer, and we do this through a unique business model that we have a minimum resin order that allows us to have the economics work, that we know how much resin you’re gonna use to manufacture your product. We can make that specific, whether it’s color, whether it’s material property. So, Wilson needed something that could take a lot of hits while having the ability to be in Arizona in the summer or Minnesota in the winter time.
– Wow, yeah.
– And so it’s a very unique property that wasn’t there on the market today, that we were able to deliver for them.
– Its very important to the additive manufacturing industry that we’re doing these types of things. So, I’d like to see this from Azul 3D, look forward to seeing what’s in the future with you guys. Thanks for joining us here today. And, so can you maybe talk a little bit more about what’s next with is Azul 3D?
– So we just launched our lake printer. That’s what our focus is on, is we’re having deposits now for deliveries in the US next year and then from there we’ll be expanding to Europe afterwards.
– Awesome. Well again, thanks for joining us here and we’re looking forward to seeing what’s next with Azul 3D. This is Adam Penna and I will see you soon.