Aleph Objects Inc., a US-based manufacturing firm that produces open-source hardware for 3D printing, has reportedly announced that it is further expanding into high-strength 3D printing with the HS (Hardened Steel)-Series Tool Heads for its award-winning 3D LulzBot printers.
The new HS & HS+ tool heads reportedly make 3D printers capable of printing industrial-grade composites like nylon (polyamide) infused with glass or carbon fiber for 3D prints that are of high strength. Sources claim, the launch of the new tool heads was prompted by the growing demands of engineered polymer that possess exceptional thermal & mechanical properties.
According to a press release by Aleph Objects Inc., these engineered polymers find use in a wide array of high-demand applications ranging from the automotive industry to the structural components. The components printed using these composites possess a higher resistance to impacts & deformations and can retain their strengths in extremely demanding environments.
For instance, industrial materials such as the PA-CF Low Wrap combine dimensional stability and strength (under 2% elongation at breakpoint – ASTM638) with an ability to operate at higher temperatures of up to 248° F (120° C).
Reportedly, this capability of the LulzBot 3D printers to produce high-strength functional fixtures, prototypes, and jigs – using the HS & HS+ tool heads – onsite within hours would be significantly reducing cost and lead time.
Incorporating hardened steel components that facilitate maximum durability, the HS tool heads are reportedly purpose-built to be used in applications that require high-strength 3D printing with industrial and abrasive composites. The extruder hobb – which is also made out of hardened steel – is specifically designed to minimize the wear & tear from the filaments of abrasive components. Moreover, the bigger heating block facilitates high-volume throughput of filaments that have a larger radius.
According to reports, the tool heads come in two nozzle sizes – the LulzBot HS Tool Head with a 0.8mm nozzle and the LulzBot HS+ Tool Head with a 1.25mm nozzle – and have significantly broadened the capabilities of the company’s product portfolio.