It looks like we’re on Santa’s “Nice” list this year because we lucked out and got something truly special just in time for the Holidays! The TriMech Advanced Manufacturing Services Team in Rocky Hill, CT., has been eagerly awaiting the brand new Stratasys Origin One 3D printer for quite some time, and the wait is finally over!
I’ve been writing holiday articles for years now, and most of the time I get to show off a new material or a new technology, but this year I get to do both at the same time and I think you’re all going to have a great time learning more about this incredible new system.
Programmable PhotoPolymerization (P3) Technology
Backing up a bit, just in case you haven’t been dialed into the new technologies coming from Stratasys in 2021, the Origin One 3D printer is a system that uses Programmable PhotoPolymerization technology (called P3 for short), and supports a wide range of materials from partners such as Henkel, Covestro Additive, and BASF. It utilizes a 4K light engine projector and prints a standard layer resolution of 100 Microns each. The Origin One system is capable of achieving fantastic prototypes and end-use parts alike with near injection molded surface quality in materials that rival or even surpass the mechanical properties of the best options available throughout all additive technologies.
With a build envelope larger than nearly every other Digital Light Processing system on the market of 192 mm x 108 mm x 370 mm, the Origin One is fantastic for printing larger batches of parts stacked head to toe within the chamber. As far as print speed goes, the Origin One is capable of printing its entire build capacity inside of a 10-24 hour period, so in combination with end-use part strength materials and near injection molded surface quality, this machine really is the production system of the future!
Origin One 3D Printing Process
Another incredible advancement that the Origin team has developed that takes it a step above the competition is its state-of-the-art pneumatic separation mechanism. When we say separation, we have to do a bit of a deep dive into how DLP style printers operate, so here is an abridged walkthrough of the process:
- We start by lowering our head down into a vat of resin, which compresses a thin film of that resin against the base of the tray.
- The tray, which has a translucent Teflon membrane which the vat of resin sits on, and the tray glass is underneath, is pulled tight to the glass using the pneumatic pressure.
- The Light Engine, an incredibly high-resolution 4k projector capable of printing features that are as fine as 50 microns wide, emits UV light precisely in the shape of the components on that specific layer, solidifying that geometry to the head or the previous layer for a period of time determined by the Origin One cloud-based web application.
- Before printing the next layer, the head needs to release from the Teflon membrane, so air is pneumatically pumped under the membrane to inflate it, making it easier for the head and attached geometry to release from the membrane. Because this process is fighting gravity as well as geometry sticking to the tray, having this advanced pneumatic separation system is key to ensuring reliability during the print process, and especially critically when running particularly tall or heavy builds.
- With the head raised from the vat slightly, air is pumped back out from underneath the membrane, compressing it flat against the glass cover of the light engine.
- Now that there is material back underneath the printed geometry and the head, we start the entire process over again, layer by layer, until the entire build has been printed!
Origin One Post Processing
Once the parts are complete, there are a few simple post-processing steps to take, which may vary between materials but typically include:
- Remove the parts from the head and place them into a sonic cleaning bath to remove any residual material from the parts.
- After cleaning, parts should then have any support structures removed in the green state, as this is when the part(s) will be most pliable and easiest to work with.
- Finally, the part(s) should be UV cured in a machine such as the Dymax we use, exposing all sides of the part to UV light.
While the Origin One system is incredibly advanced by even today’s standards, the system has actually been future-proofed with the addition of chamber heaters. Currently, we only utilize tray heat, but heaters do exist inside of the machines today and will be turned on in future software updates as needed. Another future-proofing step is the inclusion of an air/inert gas input and exhaust ports, which could be used to potentially fill the chamber with inert gas, or potentially remove air from the chamber. All of these features can be taken advantage of if new materials are released that would benefit from these features, all without having to upgrade to a 2.0 Origin One system!
Origin One 3D Printing Services
Not ready to bring an Origin One system in-house yet? That’s no problem at all, because with the InterPro Additive Manufacturing Team joining the TriMech Family, we now have access to a fleet of Origin One systems running a variety of these high-end materials, and most importantly access to the most knowledgeable Origin One team outside of Stratasys! If you are interested in seeing what this amazing technology can do for you, reach out to the TriMech Advanced Manufacturing Services Team, and we will determine the feasibility of printing within this technology. If everything looks great we would be happy to help provide you with a quote and estimated lead time for the production of your project using the Origin One system!
If, on the other hand, you’re as excited about the Origin One as we are and would like to learn more about bringing one in-house, we would be delighted to help you learn more about the incredible gift that is the Origin One P3 technology!
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