CEAD’s Robot extruders as technology components
CEAD offers its printheads as technology components that can be used to build large scale 3D printers. These printheads are often referred to as the robot extruder since they are regularly integrated with robotics but can also be integrated with gantry based solutions.
By using pellet material instead of filaments for 3D printing, operational and part cost are reduced. This solution includes everything needed for extruding thermoplastic pellet material. Including the printhead, software, electronics, material storage and material handling system.
Printing head E25
The E25 has an excellent weight to output ratio and is specifically designed for integration with a robot arm. The extruder is a fully stand alone unit that can be integrated with the robot or CNC controller in several ways. The E25 is specifically designed for large scale 3D printing and is successfully tested with a lot of different materials ranging from commodity materials like PP up to high performance materials like PEEK. The E25 has a screw diameter of 25mm, uses 4 heat zones and comes fully nitrited for good resistance against abrasivePP materials like highly fiber filled thermoplastics.
Printing head E40
The E40 large format additive manufacturing printing head has been developed around a high output to weight ratio. The newest addition to the robot extruder family has a max output of up to 40 kg/hr (PIP-G).
Just like the E50 and E25 extruders, the E50 can be operated as a stand alone unit. The E50 is built with a focus on CEAD’s Flexbot. This combination ensures high output and maximum flexibility and accuracy.
Printing head E50
The E50 is developed for high output large scale 3D printing. The printhead is a fully stand alone unit that The extruder is a fully stand alone unit that can be integrated with the robot or CNC controller in several ways. The E50 is specifically designed for large scale 3D printing and is successfully tested with a lot of different materials ranging from commodity materials like PP up to high performance materials like PEEK. The E50 has a screw diameter of 50mm.
Stable & accurate building platform
Proprietary print beds are produced by CEAD to provide a rigid, stable and easy to use building platform. The print bed uses aluminum profiles (hook – picture) to mechanically secure your print to the print bed surface.
During printing, these profiles create a non permanent mechanical bond between the bed and the printed object. The lever on the side of the print bed will break this mechanical bond releasing the printed object. This feature is unique in its kind and was firstly introduced by CEAD and is up till now the only provider of such a solution.
The print bed can be upgraded with the heated bed function. This upgrade gives you a print surface of up to 100 ° C (212 ° F), which works great for materials that require more gradual cooling.
Light weight & Easy to mount
The extruder is engineered to be lightweight for the sole purpose of mounting it on a robotic arm. While several different types of robotic arms are available on the market today, we aim to be able to install the extruder on most types, weighing in at a little under 29 kilograms.
The extruder is able to use a wide variety of materials ranging from PP to PPS filled with carbon or glass fibres. A steady flow of plastic pellets to the barrel is achieved by blowing air from the 25kg container through a maximum of 20 meters transportation hose, in to the inlet located at the top of the extruder assembly.
High production output and low cost
Using pellets materials for 3D printing is cheaper than using filaments reducing operational and part cost. Another benefit of using pellets for 3D printing is the higher outputs than filament based machines. Depending on the material this extruder can reach outputs of up to 12kg/hr
High Torque stable control system
With an Siemens servo motor as a drive system we obtain maximum stability and reliability. Extremely high torques are readily available because of the implemenation of a 20:1 planetary gearbox. The combination of a servo motor and a planetary gearbox make the drive system the best performance possible.
Easy to Swap nozzle
The nozzle is located at the very end of the extruder barrel. The lowered complexity for the geometry of the nozzle allows for a variety of types to be installed. Nozzle sizes can range from 2mm up to 12mm depending on your application.
The whole system is operated through a Siemens touchscreen, which runs our specifically designed software. This software is the result of years of experience in plastics extrusion, 3D printing, and machinery development. When needed the extruder can be operated as a stand alone unit. It is also possible to connect this system to your robot or machine. This gives your robot the control over the extruder.
The extruder can be connected to virtually any robot controller. We can supply multiple connection methods, including: Profinet, Profibus, Fieldbus or digital I/O. All components inside the extruder and cabinet are controlled by an industry standard PLC (Siemens). Let us know if you need help with connecting your robot to our extruder or if you have special request. Our software engineers can help and advice you in any situation.
|Weight extruder||< 29kg / 64lbs|
|Total height||920mm / 34”|
|Width||230mm / 9”|
|Depth||340mm / 13.5”|
|Screw diameter||25mm / 0.98”|
|Mounting on robot||Aluminium mount|
|Nozzle-bracket dist.||435mm / 7.1”|
|Cooling zone||1 (material inlet)|
|Heat control||Siemens PID|
|Control system||Siemens S7-1200|
|Human machine interface||Siemens KTP-700|
|Power Servo motor||0.75 kw|
|Drive system||Siemens servo motor|
|Extruder control||RPM, servo motor|
|RPM control||Internal controllable by HMI or
Externally with 0-10v or 4-20ma or
externally connected to your robot / system
|Material storage||> 25kg / > 55lbs|
|Material transport max. distance||20 meter (10 meter is standard)|
|Material transport control system||Automatic by CEAD custom software|
All different heating zones are controllable through the touchscreen. Motor and screw RPM are also shown. The extruder includes several safety features for reliable and safe operation.
In the settings menu the user has control over the system. Limits can be programmed as well as controlling both funnel temperature and material transport.
Recipes, storing different settings
Printing with a variety of materials, locations and weather conditions, involve different settings for different materials. So called ‘Recipes’ are saveable presets of settings for the system. This allows for a quick set up when starting the machine with a known material. All recipes can be both exported and imported through USB connection ports which allows for easy sharing.
Logging of the process
A variety of sensors keep track of the temperatures along the different heating zones during set intervals. The extruder speed set point and realtime speed are monitored as well. All this information will be displayed real time and consequently logged to storage. The operator can save the logged files on a usb stick. This allows for quality control, troubleshooting, optimization and streamlining the process.
We are constantely trying to proces new materials on this extruder. With the high temperature and high torque design we can virtually process all available materials. This is a list of tested materials, contact us if you would like to test your material on our system.
|ABS Thermocomp ac004xxar1||20% Carbon fiber|
|ABS Thermocomp af004xxar1||20% Glass fiber|
|Arnite (PET)||50% Glass fiber|
|Nylon PA6||10% Carbon fiber|
|PET||30% Glass fiber|
|PESU, electrafill 1810||Carbon fiber|
|PP||30% Glass fiber|
|PP||50% Glass fiber|
|PPS||30% Carbon fiber|
|PEEK||30% Carbon fiber|
Material test PESU 1810 carbon fibre
Complete robot solutions
CEAD is a developer of large-scale 3D printers and equipment. We have developed and build large-scale composite pellet 3D printers based on gantry style machines and on robots. An example is the combination of 3D printing and 5 axis cnc machining for the production of tooling and moulds. We are happy to help and advice you with the right system for your application. Choose one of the solutions below for more information or contact us directly.
Fill in the contact form in order to discuss the options and possibilities or download the robot extruder brochure.