Cincinnati (Harrison, OH) has partnered with Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) on BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing), a pellet-based, additive machine designed for large-scale polymer part 3D printing. Cincinnati and ORNL now offer a multi-material system upgrade allowing the user to print with several different materials within a single build using one extruder.
With the upgrade, the source of material feed into the extruder can be switched during a print by sliding the two material ports back and forth over the infeed to the extruder by means of an air piston. The system also includes a material blender outside the frame of the machine that can blend specific amounts of different materials and fillers for specific custom material grades and proportions.
Material switching can occur gradually or abruptly depending on the needs of the build. When the material feed source is switched from one to the other there is still residual material within the extruder. The user can allow a gradual change-over to the new material by allowing some mixture between the two materials within the extruder, or the user can make an abrupt change by switching the feed source and then purging the material until the first material is completely removed from the extruder.
BAAM is compatible with numerous materials including ABS, PPS, PC, PLA, TPU, PEI, and carbon fiber. A more in-depth list of materials may be found on Cincinnati’s website, and they encourage users to develop their own proprietary materials and parameters.
For more information on multi-material 3D printing: https://www.e-ci.com/baam-multi-material-voice-of-customer
For more information on BAAM and compatible materials: https://www.e-ci.com/baam