Editor’s Pick: High-speed thermoplastic sintering platform

Nexa3D QLS 820 is an “automation-ready, open materials platform” designed for high-volume production of plastic parts.

Nexa3D QLS 820 is an “automation-ready, open materials platform” designed for high-volume production of plastic parts.

Nexa3D QLS 820 uses a variety of open market thermoplastics to simplify the procurement process. The printer is designed for fast printing and continuous production. Image courtesy of Nexa3D.


Nexa3D debuts its newest plastics 3D printing platform for high-volume production work, the QLS 820. The company describes it as a “automation-ready, open materials platform” designed for high-volume production of plastic parts using powder bed fusion technology. 

Nexa3D rates the QLS 820 as capable of printing up to 8 liters per hour at 20% packing density. The company says this makes the QLS 820 capable of the most throughput in this class of printer. The build volume is 350x350x400 mm, with 50–200 micron Z resolution. 

The QLS 820 (QLS stands for quantum laser sintering) uses a print engine with four lasers running at 100W each. The company says this means the QLS 820 offers four times the print speed of other laser sintering and powder bed fusion platforms. 

The QLS 820 features exchangeable build stations, allowing operators to engage in continuous production during the cooldown process, according to Nexa3D. The company adds that the entire system is automation ready and designed for 24/7 lights-out operation.

The QLS 820 works with standard open market materials including PA11 and PA12, and can also use newer high-temperature materials. Image courtesy of Nexa3D.

The QLS 820 works with standard open market materials including PA11 and PA12, and can also use newer high-temperature materials including PA6, processed at up to 240° Celsius. Other options include polypropylene, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), as well as aluminum, glass and fiber-filled plastics. PA 12 is commercially available at launch; PA 11, Filled PA 12 and PBT will be available Q4 2022.

The Nexa3D QLS 820 is now shipping directly from the company. For more information, click here.

Background

The QLS 820 Manufacturing Network Program has launched, and on-demand manufacturing service provider, Quickparts, has signed on as the foundational partner.

“We are thrilled to be the first on-demand manufacturing service provider to experience the benefits of higher throughput, thermoplastic additive manufacturing,” says Ziad Abou, chief executive officer, Quickparts. “We pride ourselves on offering quick turn manufacturing services to our customers and look forward to introducing an even faster and more efficient production of higher volume thermoplastic components with the QLS 820.” 

Additionally, JawsTec, an additive and subtractive manufacturing service provider, has also signed up to be a foundational partner, taking ownership of its QLS 820 later this year. “We see the potential of the QLS 820 system to dramatically accelerate the throughput we’re able to achieve for higher volume runs for our customers. We’re very excited about the new applications and customer requirements we will be able to meet with this new additive production system,” says Oscar Klassen, chief executive officer, JawsTec.

Nexa3D is continuing to expand its manufacturing network and is seeking partnerships with other 3D printing service providers and low-volume injection molders looking to simplify and digitize their supply chain, optimize capacity use, and improve the economics of higher volume production.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website. 

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