A unique 3D printer aimed at the signage market.
What is it and what does it do?
It’s a very large-format additive 3D printer that’s claimed to be the fastest on the market. Where most large 3D printers are meant for engineering uses, this one is primarily for display type applications and aimed at users of large-format 2D inkjets.
Many of the Massivit management team once worked at the pioneering inkjet company Idanit, which became Scitex Vision and is now HP Scitex. One of them, Gershon Miller, founded 3D printer company Objet, which was bought by Stratasys, which in turn has invested in Massivit.
As visitors to its Drupa stand will recall, the printer can produce very large 3D pieces, such as life-sized plastic figures and giant chess pieces. It can build objects up to 1.8m high, in any shape that fits in the volume of 1.5x1.2x1.8m.
Multiple pieces can be bonded to make larger or complex items, and the white plastic material can be sanded and painted.
When was it launched and what is its target market?
The first machine was installed at a customer beta site in 2015 and the first public display was at Drupa in May/June 2016.
The target market is much the same as for wide-format graphics, printers, says Lilach Sapir, vice president of marketing. She says the Massivit 1800 “dramatically enhances the ability to create eye-catching added-value 3D printed sign and display projects beyond those that can be achieved with 2D large format printing solutions, thereby better engaging target audiences.”
Applications include exhibition displays – huge promotional items for such things as cinema foyers and shopping centres.
How does it work?
Objects are built upon a support plate, which moves down as the printer extrudes layers of white polymer gel through its proprietary GDP (Gel Dispensing Printing) head technology, which is then UV hardened. The final material is a photopolymer resin with acrylic particles.
Sloping ‘walls’ and ‘ceilings’ can be built up without needing the support structures required by some 3D processes.
The time taken per layer depends on the length of ‘wall’ layer. The X-Y horizontal speed is 1,000mm per second, while curing and bed movement allow a vertical speed up to 350mm per hour.
The workflow is akin to 2D printing, with three main steps: file creation; file preparation and printing. Step one is done through modelling an object on a CAD or 3D design tools or by scanning a physical object. 3D file libraries can also be used.
Are there any options?
There are two versions of the system. One has two printing engines, enabling production of two objects simultaneously, the other has a single print engine.
How fast/productive is it?
It would take about five hours to print a simple sculpture of a standing human.
What’s the USP?
According to Lilach, the main USP is “adding a new dimension to the service capability of large format print/sign and display businesses – the ability to start offering a whole new world of applications – beyond those achievable with 2D printing.”
How easy is it to use?
Lilach says it’s designed to be intuitive and easy to use. “A touchscreen printer control and vacuum print table with printing liner are some of the ways we make printing and handling of printed objects easy and ensure users are productive very quickly,” she said.
“It can smoothly integrate into any large format printing business as these customers have the right projects, they are familiar with the advantages of digital solutions, with the workflow concept and more.”
What training and support is offered?
Massivit 3D provides installation and onsite training directly, or via its distributors. It includes operations and maintenance as well as 3D object and file aspects.
What does it cost?
The twin-engine version is €350,000 (about £300,000).
What’s the installation status
There are installations in Australia, Israel, Mexico, UK and USA. In the UK, there are systems at Echo House, Surbiton, and Stylo Graphics, Watford, with a demo soon to be installed at Papergraphics in Crawley.
Speed Up to 1,000mm per sec in X & Y axes Up to 35cm/hour in Z axis (height)
Printing dimensions 1.5x1.2x1.8m
Dual head option for 2 different objects in parallel
Vertical resolution or 1.3mm layer thickness
Wall thickness 1.8 to 4.5mm
Printable media Dimengel photopolymer white plastic
Media supplies 19kg drum
Curing UV-LED lamps
File preparation Massivit Smart software on Windows platform
Input file format STL
Printer dimensions 3.1x2.2x2.8m (WxDxH)
Price £300,000 (twin-engine)
Contact +972 8651 9486 www.massivit.com
UK: Papergraphics 0845 1300 662 www.paper-graphics.com
This is the only very large-format 3D printer for the sign and display market. There are smaller full-colour printers for ‘creative’ or B2C applications, typically producing models of real-world items, such as people.
These are the 3D Systems ProJet family (which uses a plaster-type powder bonded by coloured liquid resin printed by inkjet heads) and Stratasys (whose Objet models use ‘PolyJet’ inkjets to spray a UV-curable photopolymer in different colours and degrees of flexibility). They cost well under £100,000, but object sizes are nothing like the Massivit. The build volume of the largest 3DS ProJet, the 860, is 580x381x229mm, that of the Stratasys Objet Connex3 is 255x252x200mm.
BigRep One v3
A very large 3D printer, its build volume is respectable but a third that of Massivit.
It’s a filament printer with twin spools that can be of different materials – one for the main structure and the other for support elements. The base speed can be raised 4x by the optional Performance Kit.
Printing dimensions 1.005x1.05x1m (WxDxH)
Process FFF (fused filament fabrication)
Printable media PLA, PLA coloured, PETG, PLA effects (eg wood chip, bronze fill, ceramic fill)
Speed depends on object complexity Performance Kit uses 2mm diameter nozzles for 4x increase
Dimensions 1.86x2.25x1.725m (WxDxH)
Price €50,000 (about £42,000) plus €2,500 installation & training (about £2,140)
Contact +49 3020 848260 www.bigrep.com
“It allowed us to provide game-changing and high-quality applications. An early job was bus-side 3D relief models to promote the Angry Birds movie. Sony was immediately taken with the quality, scale and speed, and quickly increased its order” 4/5
Moshe Gil CEO, Carisma Large Format, New York