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Development of a high flow extruder system fed by pellets to 3D printer

Grant number: 17/15861-2
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: July 01, 2018 - March 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Mechanical Engineering Design
Principal researcher:Ricardo Do Amaral Silva
Grantee:Ricardo Do Amaral Silva
Company:Muric Importação, Exportação e Comércio Ltda. - ME
CNAE: Fabricação de máquinas e equipamentos de uso geral não especificados anteriormente
City: Bauru


3D printing has expanded considerably over the last few years. Mainly applied to rapid prototyping, this process, also known as additive manufacture (MA), has also been used to manufacture functional products, mainly in the medical and dental areas, with the production of prostheses and orthoses. Due to its various benefits, especially associated with cost reduction and productive flexibility, it has been discussed the possibility that MA will replace the traditional processes of series production. Among the various 3D printing technologies available, molding by deposition of molten material (FDM) stands out in this trend. In FDM a filament of thermoplastic material is melted by a heating system and extruded by a head which deposits the material in thin overlapping layers. Despite its simplicity, the use of filaments makes the process expensive due to high raw material costs, restricts the variety of materials available and limits process time or print speed. These three factors represent the main barriers for FDM entry into the universe of serial manufacturing. Therefore, developing a 3D printing technology that overcomes these difficulties will potentially have the potential to influence a change in the way the manufacturing industry operates and how it relates to its customers. The use of pellets instead of the commonly applied filaments may represent this solution. Pellets cost 15 times less than filaments and their use tends to make the application of a wider range of materials and process speed possible. The available literature on this subject is still incipient and does not point to a solution that definitively overlaps these three problems. In this way, this project proposes the development of a high flow 3D printer fed by pellets. To this end, the development of this technology will be segmented, from the design and prototyping of independent modular portions of the system. A posteriori, these independent modules will be united, forming a complete system and for developing a prototype of a minimum viable product. This strategy will allow for a deeper learning of each portion of the system, expanding the capacity for analysis and implementation of improvements to the system as a whole. As a result of this research project, it is expected to present a technology capable of overcoming FDM's current limitations and generate important competitive advantage that will allow its entry into the world of serial manufacture, opening a market with enormous potential for growth and that should reach Something between $ 180 billion and $ 490 billion globally by 2025, and allowing the development of new business models that shorten the supply chain by reducing the distance between the manufacturer and its end customer. To name just a few, segments such as toys, footwear, packaging and decoration can be strongly benefited by the possibility of instant manufacturing, on demand, and in front of the customer's eyes. (AU)

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