Prusa Research has prepared for the exhibition EXPO v Dubaji interactive exposition – automated printing farm Prusa Pro AFS (Automated Farm System). It is a set of 34 Original Prusa machines that produce prints completely without human operation. The automated printing farm with 34 new Original Prusa printers was presented at the EXPO in Dubai as part of the interactive exhibition “The Future of Manufacturing”.
Using a touch tablet, visitors can have unique snowflake models generated, which the farm prints from fluorescent plastic and moves to the dispensing window. The printed flakes can then be used as building blocks of a dynamically growing sculpture that is part of the exhibition.
Snowflakes and their endless variations clearly demonstrate the benefits of 3D printing production: no matter how complex and unique the object is, it can start production almost immediately – for example, there are no complications and costs associated with mold production. Thanks to the printing farm, easier and cheaper local production is possible, compared to machined products, there is less waste material and the possibility of using recycled materials is expected in the future.
This is an advancement in both hardware and software. The used printers have a different design and construction elements compared to classic models, thanks to which they can be easily placed in a special expandable construction, which also includes mechanisms that take care of automatic harvesting and dispensing of 3D prints. Internally developed software then takes care of the proper operation of the entire farm. It intelligently assigns print jobs, monitors ongoing processes and collects data. Therefore, users only need to enter a print job via the tablet and wait for the printout to be delivered to the dispensing window.
Prusa Research develops and manufactures 3D printers at its headquarters in Holešovice, Prague, where it also operates a so-called printing farm. It is a hall with six hundred Original Prusa 3D printers, on which plastic parts for other 3D printers are produced. The advantages of this type of production include, in particular, the possibility of rapid deployment of modified and new components in production without unnecessary delays. The farm requires the service of several operators in shift operation, while the newly introduced automated printing farm is completely self-sufficient and requires only minimal maintenance.
When designing an automated printing farm, the priority was to make its operation as simple as possible. The farm, which is seen in Dubai, will go on sale over time. Prusa Research already has customers operating dozens of its 3D printers. Some use them for small series production, others for prototyping, for example. The company targets this type of user and wants to make the management and operation of the print farm much easier for them.
More information at expo.prusa3d.com.
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