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Datentechnik Reitz is nominated for the “BEST OF INDUSTRY AWARD”
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The combination of 3D printing and milling allows the use of the advantages of both technologies in unlimited size, surface quality and accuracy combined with maximum axis freedom.
In 2016, Datentechnik Reitz GmbH set itself the goal of building a 3D printer that could handle both 3D printing and milling. In addition, maximum axis freedom was to be provided so that almost every component could be printed without support. The project was supported by the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences and by the Federal Ministry of Economics as a ZIM project. Due to the significant advantages of axis freedom, a robot was selected as the basis for the 3D printing and milling processes.
Printing and milling without tool change
Datentechnik Reitz developed the software and hardware for a print head that could accommodate both a 3D extruder and a milling cutter without having to change tools. This made it possible to use the printing and milling technologies alternately. The process can be adapted to almost any robot. 3D printing is used in particular when material has to be built up or complex partial areas have to be created. Milling technology has the advantage that it can produce extremely good surfaces and accuracy far beyond normal 3D printing accuracy. Thus, the advantages of both technologies are combined and parts can first be printed, then milled and reprinted.
Due to the freedom of axes of a robot in connection with a rotary swivel table, it was also possible to achieve that support geometries have become almost superfluous. The robot moves the robot head or the swivel table dynamically so that the filament can leave the print head in the nozzle direction at any time. The milling head is completely free in its axis movements, allowing areas to be reworked that require higher accuracy or surface quality. The ability to continue printing makes it possible to mill even difficult-to-reach areas that would no longer be accessible after full printing.