Composites Today

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New high temperature 3D printer & software to speed up printing open market materials

Manufacturing software equipped with process simulation, machine learning-driven thermal optimization, and part qualification tools

AON3D (Canada), manufacturer of industrial 3D printers and software, revealed Hylo™, a new ‘smart’ high temperature 3D printer, and Basis™, an additive manufacturing software equipped with process simulation, machine learning-driven thermal optimization, and part qualification tools. AON3D announced that, together the two solutions simplify and speed up printing open market materials, carbon fibre composites, and high-performance polymers: materials with greater specific strength than many metals, continuous use temperatures up to 260°C, extreme chemical resistance, and lots more. 

With an expansive 25.6 x 17.7 x 17.7 in. build area, a 250°C chamber, and over 8x throughput, Hylo™ boasts print speeds of up to 500 mm/s and Independent Dual Extruders (IDEX) enabled duplication/support modes. Beyond its impressive specifications, it is the industry’s first ‘Smart’ 3D printer, featuring advanced process control and monitoring, accompanied by thermal optimization software. Equipped with over 25 integrated sensors, Hylo™ manufactures reliable, accurate, and exceptionally strong parts in open-market materials by continually monitoring, controlling, and compensating for process variability. 

Why High-Performance Polymers Have Been Historically Hard to Print 

The company explains that many high temperature 3D printers and accompanying software struggle to print high performance polymers, like PEEK and ULTEM™. This is primarily attributed to antiquated, open loop hardware/software architectures. Slicers lack material-specific thermal awareness, 3D printers lack adequate process control/monitoring, and there are no feedback loops between the two.  

Current material extrusion printers rely on workaround solutions, like reducing variability by locking down materials and process settings or using “one size fits all” process parameters e.g., print speeds and thermals. When combined with a printed part’s unique features, these limitations lead to visible/hidden defects, print failures, variable part performance, and the perception that high performance polymers are hard to print. 

AON3D Hylo™ and Basis™ solve these limits by leveraging process simulation and automation to integrate material awareness into the slicing process. 

Basis™ – Optimize Part Properties with Automation and Reduce Downstream Quality Management Burdens 

A digital twin of a 3D printed part shows an area of a print that began warping. Including warping, AON3D’s Basis allows manufacturers to identify and prevent defects such as cracking, over/under extrusion, thermal variations, internal defects, dross/debris inclusions, and more. 

Basis™ is the foundation of the AON3D’s new product ecosystem. Smart hardware is combined with intelligent-slicing and in-process monitoring, turning process variability into part confidence with just a few clicks. While complete details are not yet released, AON3D Basis™ adds material-specific thermal awareness to the slicing process, dynamically tuning process parameters to optimize properties such as layer weld strength, dimensional accuracy, surface finish, and more.  

In addition, AON3D Basis™ users can quickly verify printed part quality by viewing Hylo’s process monitoring data in three dimensions. While many high temperature 3D printer manufacturers offer rudimentary thermal maps, AON3D’s quality control tool also captures warping/cracking, over/under extrusion, filament diameter variances, hidden defects, dross/debris inclusion, and more.