How the Essentium HSE 3D Printing Platform is Different Part 4: Open Ecosystem of Materials

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open source 3d printer

In addition to providing the speed and precision, dependability and reliability, and the build volume to enable production at scale, Essentium also offers a broad catalog of extrusion materials to meet virtually any additive manufacturing application — whether printed on an Essentium HSE 180 3D Printer or using another machine. This concluding chapter will discuss how the Essentium HSE 3D Printing Platform provides competitive separation by virtue of its unique support for an open ecosystem of materials.

How the Essentium HSE 3D Printer is Different: Open Ecosystem of Materials

Does a mold manufacturer or machine shop force you to buy a specific type of aluminum from them? Of course not. Essentium believes a 3D printer is a tool, the customer’s tool, and with that tool, customers should be able to use whatever materials they choose.

However, not everyone agrees with this thought. Historically, the industrial 3D printing market has been dominated by closed ecosystems; solutions that require the customer to use the manufacturer’s proprietary brand of extrusion materials approved only for use with its machines and software — and usually at premium prices. This fear of vendor lock-in has deterred many companies from investing in additive manufacturing. What happens if the vendor goes out of business, no longer supports an application, or stops producing a required material? Not to worry with Essentium.

Essentium is working to change market perceptions and remove barriers to adoption by creating an open ecosystem comprised of its HSE 3D Printing Platform, an open source 3d printer environment, and a wide range of best-in-class materials.

Essentium’s in-house collection of materials includes over twenty filament types (and growing) with various properties. This portfolio includes materials certified for ESD-safe applications, and polymers to print anything from soft flexible grips and vibration dampening pads to carbon-fiber-reinforced prosthetics and high-temperature ground tooling for aircraft—all affordably priced. Essentium industrial-grade materials are optimized to print at high speeds while providing class-leading impact loading, fatigue, tensile, flexural, and thermal properties. Essentium also offers three versions of its HSE 3D Printer technology, with models optimized to work with low temperature, standard, or high temperature materials. 

Print With Any Filament

For those manufacturers who prefer to print with familiar materials—or must use a specific material—the HSE 3D Printing Platform is one of the few that can be used with any filament, Essentium’s or another brand, for unsurpassed flexibility. Again, your tool, your choice.

Perhaps a customer has an application that calls for PLA to print buttons or end caps and they have a bulk purchase agreement in place with an offshore supplier. Though PLA is not an Essentium material, that customer can load it into the Essentium HSE 3D Printer and it will print all day long with the gains in speed, accuracy, and reliability that only high speed extrusion technology can provide.

An open ecosystem of materials also speeds product development and time-to-market by eliminating the lengthy process of making molds for each step of the design process. Today, many resins used in traditional manufacturing methods such as injection or blow molding are also available as spooled filaments ready for use with 3D printers. Even some customized polymers can be converted to 3D printer filaments. Prototypes printed using proprietary blends can then be tested for fit, strength, resistance to UV light, chemicals, solvents, abrasives, etc. using the exact material that will be used in mass production. 3D printed test parts can be exposed to weather elements, checked for colorfastness, or subjected to different types of post-process surface finishing to gain predictable results for the final injection or blow-molded product.

By delivering a complete no-compromise solution including both machines and open materials, Essentium allows manufacturers to harness the power of 3D printing at scale without sacrificing quality, accuracy, or speed, while lifting limitations on the types of materials used to print.

It is our hope this series of articles will help you make the best decision when determining which 3D printer is the best fit for your applications.

Request a demonstration and learn more about why the HSE 3D Printing Platform is more than the sum of its parts.

Essentium, Inc. provides industrial 3D printing solutions that are disrupting traditional manufacturing processes by bringing product strength and production speed together, at scale, with an open ecosystem and material set. Essentium manufactures and delivers innovative industrial 3D printers and materials enabling the world’s top manufacturers to bridge the gap between 3D printing and machining to embrace the future of additive manufacturing.

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