Chiller cools 3D printer electronics

Chiller cools 3D printer electronics

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Laird Thermal Systems has developed a recirculating chiller for cooling 3D printers for higher quality production components.

The Nextreme Recirculating Chiller Platform to provide reliable and precise temperature control of 3D printing systems used in additive manufacturing applications in a wide range of industries. The platform providees efficiently control the temperature of all sensitive electronics within 3D printing systems, including the power source, the laser or electron beam optics and the thermal print head. In addition, a chiller can be used to quickly cool smaller and/or highly detailed 3D printed objects to preserve fine design details.

As 3D printing moves from protyping to mainstream production lines, the laser and electron beam optics must be sufficiently cooled and maintained at a stable operating temperature. Precise cooling is also needed to help control the viscosity of the liquid powder as it is dispensed onto the surface of the thermal print head to preserve the deign details and quality of the printed part.

Compared to other cooling technologies such as compressor-based refrigeration systems the recirculating chiller has a higher coefficient of performance (COP). It uses high-performance variable speed motors for lower noise operation and up to 50 percent lower energy consumption. By using environmentally friendly R513A refrigerant, the Nextreme Chiller delivers similar performance with half the Global Warming Potential (GWP) compared to traditional hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) refrigerants.

“3D printing machines benefit greatly from the Nextreme Chiller’s ability to achieve a temperature stability to within ±0.1°C of the set point temperature,” said Greg Ducharme, Liquid Cooling Systems Product Director at Laird Thermal Systems. “The Nextreme Recirculating Chiller System can heat and cool fluid to maintain a thermal set point, offering greater flexibility and reducing the need to implement a separate heating element.”

For maximum uptime, the Nextreme Chiller features an optional hot swappable 5-micron water filter for filtering particulates from the coolant circuit, which means that the unit can continue operating even during maintenance. With no moving parts, an optical fluid level sensor offers higher reliability and increased uptime when compared to chillers that use mechanical float switches. The programmable alarm alerts the user when fluid level drops below acceptable operating conditions. To prevent damage to equipment in high pressure operating conditions, the chiller senses the supply fluid pressure and will alert users when low- or high-pressure limits have been exceeded.

An LCD touchscreen display allows the user to easily control temperature setpoints, flow and alarm settings and coolant type while coolant level can be monitored via the indicator window on the front panel.

The Nextreme Chiller Series is available in three standard models, 1800 W, 2800 W and 5000 W.

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