3D printer built to manufacture consumer goods at scale

3D printer built to manufacture consumer goods at scale

Technology News |
By Rich Pell

The Gantri Dancer, says the company, is the world’s first commercial multi-gantry cylindrical 3D printer and sets the stage for just-in-time consumer goods manufacturing. It leverages four gantries – the frame structure that supports the printer head along the X/Y axis as the printer head moves around to print the part on the build platform – and a rotating circular build plate to print up to four times as fast as best-in-class desktop 3D printers today, while maintaining a high standard of product quality.

“Gantri’s mission is to empower designers to create by using advanced technologies,” says Christianna Taylor, PhD and CTO at Gantri. “Our goal is to push for the adoption of digital manufacturing as a viable alternative to today’s industrial manufacturing system in producing high-quality consumer-grade products. Dancer is the first 3D printer in the world specifically designed to manufacture consumer-grade products at the quality and speed that Gantri requires.”

The Gantri Dancer, says the company, offers the following features:

  • Coordinated multi-gantry system – Utilizing a rotating circular build plate, all four gantries of Dancer can work together concurrently to print a single part. As a result, there is no “deadzone,” or void, in the middle and it can print the same part using only a quarter of the time.
  • Leverage sustainable materials – Dancer is designed to utilize Gantri’s exclusive corn-based PLA, which requires consistently high-temperature output to facilitate kneading.
  • Large build volume – At 18″R x 24″H, it’s one of the largest desktop-grade printers in the world.
  • Complete front access – Print bed access, maintenance, and spool change are all done from the front, enabling complete automation in the near future.
  • Custom-designed casing – Aerospace-grade aluminium frame and polycarbonate panels offer a light, sturdy body that minimizes vibration and is quick to assemble.
  • Automatic 3D model translation – Gantri developed a unique translation algorithm that converts current modeling systems into Dancer’s coordinated multi-gantry system with no additional input from the user.
  • Fleet-management – Dancer is wireless-enabled and connects directly to Gantri’s online order system.
  • Made using 3D printing – Dancer is made and assembled by Gantri in California. 60% of all Dancer parts are 3D printed.

“Dancer is an amazing innovation,” says Taylor. “It combines advanced hardware, software and industrial engineering to make fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing drastically more efficient. In addition, we are investing in advanced robotics and AI to further improve our manufacturing platform from start to finish. This will allow us to diversify materials and categories for our designers and customers.”

The company says it will start migrating its entire printer fleet to Dancer at the Gantri Factory in San Leandro, California starting in November. As a result, the company estimates that the average “Made for you” production lead time will decrease from about four weeks currently to two weeks.


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