BigRep Showcases BigRep PRO 3D Printer at Hannover Messe 2019

New BigRep 3D printer is automated and 5G connected; showcase marks next step in development partnership between BigRep and Bosch Rexroth.

New BigRep 3D printer is automated and 5G connected; showcase marks next step in development partnership between BigRep and Bosch Rexroth.

Image courtesy of BigRep.

BigRep along with its development partner Bosch Rexroth, a supplier of drive and control technologies, is debuting a fully automated and IoT-integrated, 5G connected 3D printer BigRep PRO at Hannover Messe (April 1-5, Bosch Rexroth, hall 17, booth A40). In addition, a 3D printed AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) will be presented as a key tool in automated manufacturing systems.

Powered by BigRep’s  Metering Extrusion Technology MXT, and a Bosch Rexroth motion control system, the PRO delivers speed  and IoT connectivity that fully integrates with Industry 4.0, BigRep reports. The BigRep PRO provides the ability to create functional prototypes, as well as composite tooling, end-use parts and small-number serial production using high-performance materials, the company adds. The PRO can be ordered now.

“Our new printers are the launching pad for the factory of the future. We are opening a new dimension for additive manufacturing by establishing industrial 3D printing in automated and IoT-integrated systems. BigRep’s quality solutions meet the industry’s requirements for precise, controlled and efficient machines with full data integration,” says BigRep CEO Stephan Beyer, PhD. “We will establish 3D printing as an added value production technology in industries such as automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, manufacturing and more.”

“Over the medium term, additive manufacturing cannot ignore the need to adapt to the standards of established production processes,” says Thomas Fechner, head of the Business Unit New Business at Bosch Rexroth. “The goal is a completely digital workflow. The data must be able to pass consistently—from the customer order, the CAD software and simulation environments to specific machine movements and quality assurance.”

Equipped with industrial IoT solutions from Bosch Rexroth and Bosch Connected Industry, the BigRep PRO’s IoT devices, software and intelligent sensors such as, for example, a vibration sensor, transparently monitor all operating conditions. Another key element of the prototype showcase is an integrated 3D scanner for mid-print product quality inspection.

The integrated IoT Gateway software ensures that the BigRep 3D printer is connected with the industrial Internet of Things. Bosch Rexroth relies on connectivity with other machines and higher-level IT systems. This means that data-intensive processes such as quality monitoring in the multi-variant manufacturing can be outsourced to the cloud or production-related edge systems with the help of 5G.

Another highlight is the NEXT AGV, which is a 3D-printed prototype jointly developed by Bosch Rexroth and NOWLAB, the innovation department of BigRep. Powered by an inductive energy unit running on a power grid, it can both serve as an automated logistics carrier (loading capacity: up to 250 kg) and as a platform for additional devices such as robots to be mounted.

Contrary to the traditional and manual construction (i.e., sheet metal molding), the 3D-printed NEXT AGV is manufactured more efficiently, BigRep reports. Following a flexible design with the core elements (battery and electronics) serving as the unchanged base framework, the AGV’s shell design dimensions can be easily adapted to the required or changing needs without reducing the loading capacity. Other key elements of the NEXT AGV are 3D-printed wheels with two different material, and an integrated safety feature (Human Detection Antenna), which has also been 3D-printed.

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Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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