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CI Sends BAAM System to Mexico

In first international BAAM sale, TSN will use Big Area Additive Manufacturing system to produce parts for emergency vehicles, communications units, ambulances and telecom trucks, as well as tooling.

Cincinnati Incorporated (CI) recently shipped a Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) system to TSN Security & Telecom in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon Mexico. This marks the first international sale of a BAAM system, which TSN will use to create parts and tooling for the production of emergency and communications vehicles. The vehicles are self-contained units equipped to support remote communications, control and security activities during emergencies and crisis. Other applications for BAAM include transformation and customization of commercial vehicles such as ambulances, refrigerated vans and crime scene vehicles.

 BAAM 3D Printer

The system acquired by TSN has a work envelope of 5.4 x 11.7 x 6.0 ft. and an extrusion rate of about 80 lb./hr. The machine prints polymer components up to 10 times larger at speeds 500 times faster than existing additive machines. “Our constant pursuit of innovation and new technologies led us to BAAM, and we see huge potential to optimize our processes, delivery times and resources,” said Jonathan Verger, Design & Innovation Engineer at TSN. “Thanks to a variety of engineered plastics available for use in this machine, we are able to produce very wear-resistant pieces, for direct installation. In some applications, these parts will replace metal components, and do things not possible before. We consider the ability to print large-size digital models in life-size scale a huge opportunity for creativity and ingenuity.”

BAAM extrudes hot thermoplastic to build parts, layer by layer on an innovative, heated, print bed that is ideal for 3D printing. The system uses readily available commodity thermoplastics for the feedstock, however TSN plans to procure custom-formulated material made locally.

BAAM made its mark when it created a car body in a matter of hours, at IMTS 2014. Since then CI, in conjunction with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and partners like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, TECHMER and SABIC, has continued to develop this rapid additive technology. The large-scale additive machine uses CI’s proven frame, drives and control – all made in Ohio. Recent developments have produced tooling materials and methods capable of maintaining dimensional integrity at temperatures up to 350⁰ F (177⁰ C).

“This is an example of how this machine introduces significant new manufacturing capabilities to a wide range of industries,” said Carey Chen, President and CEO of CI. “We’ve already seen a lot of interest from automotive and aerospace. But, furniture makers, appliance manufacturers and robotics developers are all interested as well. TSN is even using BAAM to produce some of its tooling. The opportunities for this technology are vast.”

The latest BAAM system has an extruder capable of outputting 80 pounds per hour or five times as much as the first BAAM in 2014. The Size 1 BAAM has been expanded to be available in a 6-ft. tall build volume and the latest Size 2 is even larger with an 8 x 20 x 6 ft. build volume.  An all-new system control is more intuitive and allows precise control of table and extruder temperatures.

CI has already extended its additive product line with introduction of the Small Area Additive Manufacturing (SAAM) system at FabTech 2016. SAAM has a smaller work envelope and can be used for prototyping parts that will eventually be produced on the larger BAAM. SAAM is built to share with cloud-based software to do both CAM and scheduling of parts. The SAAM system capabilities include self unload and unattended continuous running.