With technology ever evolving to keep up with demand, last year we took the leap and invested in a Kuka robot. We converted it into a printer using our existing extruder software and hardware. Thus taking the 3D printing process to another level, the Kuka offers a full spectrum of capabilities; We can now produce a much quicker turnover over of complex parts, rapid prototyping or large scale 3D models that our current printers cannot deliver. Our robot can complete any project by growing three-dimensional objects one superfine layer at a time. One of the main advantages of using a robot with our current extrusion technology is the speed in creating an object/product, using a 2.5mm nozzle, it’s 10 times faster that conventional 3D printers. We can also print using super strong exotic composites such as Carbon, Graphene and Kevlar.

Objects are digitally defined by computer-aided-design (CAD) software that is used to create .stl files that essentially “slice” the object into ultra-thin layers. This information guides the path of a nozzle or print head as it precisely deposits material upon the preceding layer to form the nucleus and consequent foundation of partially melted material to create any three-dimensional object.

Robotic arm screw and motor

Ideal for developing prototypes, our Kuka robot can provide both intricate and life size constructions with precise parts and absolute accuracy. Offering unprecedented design freedom while being a tool-less process that reduces costs and lead times, it is efficient in terms of both the manufacturing process itself- utilising up to 90% of standard materials, and throughout the product’s operating life, with lighter and stronger design.

Over the coming weeks and months we intend to refine the printing process, by adding our new mixing extruder, (which mixes materials in a melted state) allowing us to develop completely different combinations of materials.