South African businesses can look forward to the release of Ricoh’s first polyamide (PA) and polypropylene (PP) 3D printer.
PA is a synthetic used in textiles, automotive applications, carpets and sportswear and PP is a thermoplastic polymer used in everything from packaging and labelling to textiles like ropes, thermal underwear, and carpets, to stationery, reusable containers and more.
“The selection of raw materials support, the wide build bay, and the robust industrial quality of the system, point directly to commercial market applications such as custom new vehicle components printed on site,” says Jacques van Wyk, COO of Ricoh SA. “The ability to obtain the device, maintenance, support, and raw manufacturing materials from a single supplier is also geared to provide the peace of mind and risk-free customer-centric service required by consumer-facing commercial operations in an age of hyper customer service.”
“One of the key features of this 3D printer is the large modelling area,” he adds. “It’s 550mm wide and deep, and 500mm high so you can create large parts or multiple parts simultaneously.”
The smart re-coater feeds new powder from both sides of the feed cartridge in order to provide consistently denser and high quality parts. The system contains numerous support mechanisms that contribute to the printer’s reliability, while the printer comes with Ricoh’s own pre-configured settings for use with Ricoh-approved materials. Users can develop their own parameters to suit applications, with access to all settings, via the systems software.
The AM S5500P uses the selective laser sintering (SLS) additive manufacturing method, which boils down to fusing raw materials particles rather than melting them to liquefaction.
The printer is currently available in seven European countries and will soon be coming to South Africa.
Ricoh has established its RICOH Rapid Fab facility at Telford in the UK, which provides demonstrations, training, consulting, manufacturing, post process finishing, and measurement and inspection services for 3D printing.
“Customers can use our Rapid Fab facility to get an early look at 3D printing innovations, a showroom experience, and printer output using their own data,” says Van Wyk.