The main argument against the use of additive material extrusion (MEX) is the lengthy manufacturing period, even at low resolution. In the Innovation Sprint, PolyAM addressed this problem by introducing a novel displacement unit to 3D printing. Due to its compact design, construction space and weight could also be reduced, allowing axis systems of filament-based 3D printers to be used as well.
PolyAM's participation in the Innovation Sprint was motivated by their intention to practically substantiate the theoretical value calculations with the help of a prototype. The production of such a prototype would not have been possible without the financial support. Starting from the calculations and a printed functional prototype available at the beginning, the team was able to build a technical prototype made of stainless steel, to integrate it into a speed-optimised axis system and to record the corresponding performance values during the Innovation Sprint. With the granulate-based 3D print head the maximum feed rate could be increased to 8 times and the feed rate at high resolution to 4.5 times the rate of a conventional filament-based 3D printer. At the same time, the total weight was reduced to 80%. In the next step, the team plans to advance the prototype to market readiness based on the insights they have gained.