How the Essentium HSE 3D Printing Platform is Different Part 2: Dependability & Reliability

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Part one of this series discussed the many additive manufacturing providers and machines that make 3D printing applications possible. It also examined how the Essentium HSE 3D Printing Platform provides speed and precision advantages over other additive manufacturing solutions. The second part of this series will look at how the dependability and reliability of the Essentium HSE 180•S Series are different from competing technologies.

How the Essentium HSE 3D Printer is Different: Dependability & Reliability

Dependability and reliability are often considered synonyms but in reality, they are not. In systems engineering, dependability is a measure of a system’s ability to perform day in and day out, in other words, durability. Reliability refers to the overall consistency of performance and how well it produces repeatable results for extended periods.

Built Like a Robot

The heavy-duty Essentium HSE 3D Printing Platform operates like a robot, not a printer, for optimal performance and 3d printing durability. Designed around principles used to build semiconductor manufacturing equipment for constant use on the factory floor, the Essentium HSE 3D Printing Platform is meant to perform in the most demanding production environments with minimal downtime. There are no belts or pulleys as with many 3D printers. Rather, the Essentium HSE 3D Printing Platform employs a non-slip, high torque extrusion system with all linear X-Y servo motors to precisely move the print nozzle into position. The entire system contains only ten moving parts. Fewer moving parts means fewer opportunities for failure. In fact, the Essentium HSE 3D Printer is rated to perform for up to five years in high-volume production environments before requiring a preventative maintenance (PM) visit. It will be ready when needed.

Reliability for Repeatability

The substitution of belts and pulleys for linear servo motor technology in the Essentium HSE 3D Printing Platform not only removes several potential failure points for increased dependability but also provides the accuracy needed for the reliable production of identical parts, a.k.a. repeatability.

Part one of this series touched on the subject of print accuracy versus positional accuracy. With best practices followed for part design, material selection and preparation, print speed, and temperature, let’s assume print accuracy is the best it can be. Now it’s up to the printer.

A 3D printer that uses a series of stepper motors, notched belts, and pulleys to move the print nozzle back and forth over the print area is a simple mechanical device. The machine knows where the print head is located by measuring pulley rotation. If the belt stretches from age, expands or contracts with variations in temperature, slips, or skips a tooth, positional accuracy is affected. This can result in tiny extrusion placement errors compounding upon each other until layers become so misaligned that repeatability is impossible and/or the part is unusable. Since the printer has no internal means to measure and correct actual belt movement, the print job will proceed to completion, wasting time and materials.

On the other hand, linear servo motor technology gives the Essentium HSE 180•S 3D Printer the intelligence to precisely calibrate print nozzle position for unmatched positional accuracy. Encoders attached to the nozzle assembly provide real-time closed-loop feedback to the linear motors by scanning reference points affixed to the X and Y axes gantries. The Essentium HSE 3D Printer always knows the precise location of its nozzle within one-micron to deliver positional accuracy and thus the reliability required for production at scale. Should errors out of tolerance be detected during printing, the system will pause operation.

At Essentium, our roots in the semiconductor industry influenced our design philosophy to overbuild and outperform expectations for dependability and reliability. The Essentium HSE 180•S Series offers the speed, strength, and scale to support your factory floor in ways other 3D printers cannot. In part three of this series, we’ll examine how the Essentium HSE 3D Printing Platform is different from the perspective of Scale and Build Volume.

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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