At CEAD, we are constantly developing new solutions to anticipate the needs of the industry. Over the years, we have developed a range of extruders, varying in terms of weight, output, heating power and other specifications. Depending on the application and build volume, a different extruder is desired.
Choosing the right extruder for your application might seem overwhelming, which is why we will walk through our portfolio in the following article.
The robot extruder (RE)-series consists of several models designed to be mounted on robotic arms or gantry-systems. The name is derived from the fact that they were originally developed for our robot-based system called the Flexbot, which was officially launched in 2019. However, CEAD extruders can be easily integrated onto gantry systems too.
The result can be seen in a collaboration with our partners from Belotti, CNC specialists, with whom we have launched the BEAD. In fact, the extruders come as complete standalone systems, accompanied with a base unit that controls temperature, extrusion speed, automatic material transport and which ensures safe operations.
We offer ancillary systems that help to maximize your workflow, such as a pellet dryer and a proprietary print bed. Our standalone extruders are therefore an ideal investment option into 3D printing when you are already in the possession of a robotic arm or a CNC machine. All our extruders are developed and assembled in-house by our team of engineers, ensuring the highest possible quality.
The extruders are designed to process thermoplastic pellet materials. There are several advantages to using thermoplastic pellets over other materials. One main advantage of thermoplastics is that they can be shredded and reused more easily, decreasing the environmental footprint of 3D printed parts. To learn more about thermoplastic pellets for large scale 3D printing, read our other blogs on our website.
The pellet material is fed into the single-screw extruder which consists of 4 individual heating zones to gradually melt the material. This helps to maintain material integrity and performance. The extruders are equipped with a nitrated barrel, which offers resistance against abrasive materials. This allows processing of virtually all short-fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites. Processing of commodity materials, biobased and high-end materials filles with wood-, glass and carbon fibers, make the extruders widely applicable to several industries.
The most important differences between the extruders are weight, output and dimensions. The weight of the extruder has an important influence on the type of robot arm you need, since it affects the dynamic behaviour of the robot. Robot arms with higher payloads can carry heavier extruders. The reason why weight increases, is amongst others, because of bigger screws and servomotors, eventually leading to a higher output. There could be several reasons to choose higher output. If the output of an extruder is higher, more material can be pushed through. This means you can print thicker and higher layers, which is necessary for certain parts. It also allows you to increase in print volume or reduce in printing time.