Sofos adopts Farsoon Flight 3D printing technology for robotics

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Farsoon Technologies first introduced Flight Technology, or Fiber Light Technology, in 2019, delivering “industry-leading” production rates with laser-based plastic powder bed fusion. In 2021, the Dual-Laser configuration of the Flight 403P system was announced with even higher productivity.

The HT403P flight system at Sofos Robotics Cois used for industrial projects such as prototyping and mass production using a range of application specific engineering materials.

Sofos Robotics initially entered the world of additive manufacturing to improve the components it needed for automation cells, such as custom brackets and mounting plates, part nests, and gripper fingers. The company started with FDM machines, printing components for itself and a small number of customers.

John Huster, President of Sofos Robotics, said, “As our business grew, we got to the point where we knew FDM was not going to be able to produce the amount of parts fast enough that we needed. We started looking at other technologies and settled on the Farsoon Flight machine because of its speed and flexibility.

Huster noted build volume size, print speed, and open materials/parameter platform as key reasons for switching to the Farsoon system. He also said the machine has a more cost-effective set of services than other systems the company is considering.

One case that was referred to when discussing the benefits of the new machine was the production of a custom anti-static nylon guard. To be environmentally friendly, the company had to use an ESD safe material. Before adopting AM in its production process, Sofos would have fabricated the stainless steel guards and welded the two halves together.

“Customers wanted a new one-piece solution to reduce the failure rate. By using the Farsoon Flight machine with BASF’s ESD safe nylon material, we were able to provide them with a structurally integrated solution at a lower cost and faster turnaround time,” said Huster. “Before we had the Farsoon machine, it took one of our FDM machines 12 hours to print a protection. We are now able to print 12 protectors plus a full set of accompanying media in the same amount of time. »

Huster said, “It’s nice to be able to control so many parameters such as: operating temperature, laser scanning power, scanning distance, etc. The open platform allows us to assign different parameters to each part of the build and experimenting with several combinations to find the perfect recipe.One of the benefits of the machine for Sofos was the ability to add or remove parts while the machines are printing.

Sofos has tested several BASF such as PA11 ESD, TPU and PA6 Mineral filled materials, and plans to use more BASF materials in the future. Future projects the company is using the TPU with are custom suction cups and custom suspension controller pads.

“I was able to work with the Sofos team on several materials, including our PA11 ESD,” said Jeremy Vos, business development manager for BASF Corp. “It was great to work with an agile team and help them quickly deploy customer solutions.”

Farsoon Technologies was at IMTS 2022 in Chicago this week and is there until the show ends on Saturday, September 17. The company introduced BASF Ultrasint PA11 ESD and Ultrasint PA11 Black CF parts produced by Flight technology.


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