Manufacturing industry: a 3D printer with a conveyor belt

Manufacturing industry: a 3D printer with a conveyor belt

A standard 3D printer is a device that sits on a table or as a freestanding unit that prints objects from a wide variety of materials to create everything from aircraft parts to works that resemble fine art. One problem is that if the object desired is a long one, say tubing or an office logo, it has to be printed in sections and put together with glue or a wielder.

New Atlas reports that a new 3D printer, called the BlackBelt, has replaced the printing bed with a conveyor belt. The printer, currently in the Kickstarter phase, is a creation of Stephan Schürmann. Units will cost $10,600 for a desktop and more for a freestanding model.

The way that the BlackBelt 3D printer works is that the conveyor belt would have a roller that would be synchronized with the printing speed, moving the object forward as it’s being created. Alternately the conveyor belt could be used to move smaller objects into a storage bin as they are created, turning the 3D printer into a machine of mass production. All that would be needed is to keep the printer maintained, filled with material such as metallic powder or plastic, and let it do its work.

The build area for the BlackBelt 3D printer is 340 mm wide by 340 mm high with a length as long as needed. It has an interchangeable printer head that can be set at various angles and can use a variety of printing materials. If all goes well, delivery can begin in October 2017.