Thermoformer Icon Technologies speeds up with new 3D printer
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The installation of the EXT 1270 Titan Pellet system, made by 3D Systems, is said to be a first in Canada.
In what’s being called an industry first in Canada, thermoformer and rotational molder Icon Technologies Ltd. has installed an EXT 1270 Titan Pellet 3D printer manufactured by engineering company 3D Systems.
The goal of the purchase, officials with Winkler, Man.-based Icon Technologies said, is to produce large thermoforming molds with “dramatically increased speed and significantly lower costs.”
“With the breadth of industries that we serve, and the large molds we produce, it’s imperative that we maximize our productivity,” said Icon Technologies founder and CEO John Loewen. “3D Systems’ EXT Titan Pellet 3D printer [has a] combination of build volume, industrial engineering, economical feedstocks, and the heated chamber along with materials that have been validated for thermoforming applications”.
According to 3D Technologies’ officials, this is the first such printer to be installed by a Canadian manufacturer.
The EXT 1270 Titan Pellet system features print volumes up to 1270 mm x 1270 mm x 1829 mm (50 in x 50 in x 72 in), which makes it possible to print most large thermoforming tools, such as those required by Icon Technologies. The EXT Titan Pellet systems are also compatible with a range of nozzle sizes enabling printing finer layers than other available systems, which allows for thermoforming molds to be produced, in most cases, without the need for post-machining. “When Icon Technologies requires a finer surface or tighter tolerance on specific molds they produce, the spindle tool head will enable them to achieve a smooth, accurate surface without moving the print to a separate CNC machine,” 3D Technologies said.
Icon Technologies was founded in 1998, and specializes in molding a wide range of parts for recreational vehicles, building products, and HVAC systems.