3D printer manufacturer German RepRap has launched a new Liquid Additive Manufacturing (LAM) system. Named the L320, the system has a larger build volume than the L280 German RepRap’s first LAM printer, and can be used to process injection molding grade silicone.
According to the company, it is “an extremely stable” system, “adapted to the high demands of industrial continuous operation.”
Liquid Additive Manufacturing
Though still a type of material extrusion technology, LAM differs from deposition methods like FFF and FDM as the feedstock is not melted in the process. Instead, LAM material, as the name suggests, is liquid when deposited. It gets vulcanized into a solid object through exposure to a heat lamp that passes over the bed between layers. The method was invented by Outstanding Contribution to 3D Printing Award-winning Dr. Adrian Bowyer, and has since been commercially developed by German RepRap in collaboration with chemical company Dow that manufactures material for the process.
The advantages of LAM, as explained by Benedikt Höß, Head of R&D and Support at German RepRap, is that “you have the same strength on the Z axis as you have for the X and Y axis, or as you have in the injection molding process.”
In addition, LAM is capable of both low-volume/single object prototyping and serial production, within a build of 250 x 320 x 150 mm.
German ReRap also manufacturers FFF 3D printers, including the x400 and x500.
German RepRap L320 Technical Specifications
The L320 is capable of a print speed within the range of 10 and 150 mm/s. Positional accuracy of silicone deposition is +/- 0.2 mm/s, and it can produce a layer height of between 0.22 and 0.9 mm. SILASTIC™ 3D 3335 Liquid Silicone Rubber is the machine’s material of choice, and the recommended slicer is Simplify3D. There are also three nozzle options for the L320: 0.23, 0.4 and 0.8 mm.
In addition to the system, German RepRap is offering an optional maintenance contract, on-site service and material packages with purchase of the L320.