This is a guest post from Jack Lundee, thank you for your contribution!
With heavy development of prototypes and the never slowing business to business construction/adaptation of plastic, metals and wood, laser sintering and stereolithography have become widely energy efficient. Yielding the same, if not better, output, these large machines have rapidly become greener.
Utilizing CNC (Computer Numeric Control) and CAD, prototypes are able to develop unique designs and shape various metallic, plastic, and wooden materials into appropriate form. Although, since the first CNC machines were built (1940), there have been significant strides in providing a more energy efficient machine. Ranging from $1,000 to nearly $50,000 and weighing in at close to 6000 lbs, these machines can eat up electricity much like a large industrial oven used in a pizza shop. Although, this is a tremendous improve from past machines, coming it at close to 50,000 watts. Newer machines can range anywhere between 800 and 6,000 watts, depending on the make and price. Again, this is still close to the electric drain of a hot tub or stove.
Despite, this is quite a significant difference – It’s easy to compare this to a domestic furnace, whereas older furnaces were built to last, newer ones are built to reduce electricity costs and promote sustainability. With more expensive machines running at close to 4000 RPMs, (revolutions per minute), it’s no wonder why they require so much juice. The engine/motor eats up the most power, along with the CPU and cooling system, which leads me to my next point.
The machines ability to reduce business expenses effectively compliments its technological advances. This includes things like a brushless motor. Prior to construction,
motors were subject to:
• Worn brush heads
• Sparking and electricity (noise)
• Limitation of speed (efficiency)
• Slow cooling
With the implementation of a BLM (Brushless Motor), these machines not only have greater capabilities, but provide low costs and greater efficiency.
As tool manufacturers are met with new market demands, they must also inherently adapt their business and machines. This is especially true for those in the niche of rapid prototyping. Adapting to new technology and market demands is essential for any business conducing sintering, cutting, welding, stereolithography and much more! With this, consumers should be green conscious, particularly in the development of CNC/CAD machines.