– it can print 2 inch x 2 inch x 2 inch cubes in one hour
– printhead can extrude at nearly 3 meters per hour
Significant improvements to the throughput of additive manufacturing (AM) processes are essential to their cost-effectiveness and competitiveness with traditional processing routes. Moreover, high-throughput AM processes, in combination with the geometric versatility of AM, will enable entirely new workflows for product design and customization. We present the design and validation of a desktop-scale extrusion AM system that achieves a much greater build rate than benchmarked commercial systems. This system, which we call 'FastFFF', is motivated by our recent analysis of the rate-limiting mechanisms to conventional fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology. The FastFFF system mutually overcomes these limits, using a nut-feed extruder, laser-heated polymer liquefier, and servo-driven parallel gantry system to achieve high extrusion force, rapid filament heating, and fast gantry motion, respectively. The extrusion and heating mechanisms are contained in a compact printhead that receives a threaded filament and augments conduction heat transfer with a fiber-coupled diode laser.