Combining 3D printed parts with standard components

Associating metal sheets or thermoplastic composites with complex 3D printed elements can prove to be of particular interest in certain industrial applications. Sirris has made significant progress in the field thanks to a 6-axis robot with an adapted extrusion head.

Within the framework of our Product Development HUB activities, the Hybrids Lab in particular, Sirris has made significant progress over recent months in terms of 'freeform' hybrid printed part production.

Within this context:

  • Freeform means that the 3D printing can be realised on any surface, be it plane or complex.
  • Hybrid means that component printing can be realised in direct association with a metallic part or a continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic composite (UD, woven, etc.).

To manufacture these parts, Sirris employs a 6-axis robot and an extrusion head that has been specially modified to optimise the process (adapted feeder, addition of a cooling system). The head is fed with plastic pellets, hence enabling a vast range of different materials.

The association of these two techniques is illustrated in the figure below:

The first realisations in single wall mode were quick to develop towards more complex variations, via solutions to several issues:

  • Synchronisation between robot movements and the flow of the extrusion head
  • Polymer deposit on a non-plane surface
  • Adaptation of parameters for implementing a range of tested polymers.

The small picture gallery below offers an insight into a few of these realisations :

Illustration in single wall mode using PLA 

Demonstration of synchronisation capacity enabling separate print operations to meet at the summit 

Validation of the capacity to print different materials (here ABS, PLA and PC), but also successfully validated with EVA and TPV 

Association with metal (taking advantage of mechanical anchors)

Validation of the printing capacity on a non-plane surface 

With this tool and acquired expertise, Sirris is prepared for the many challenges involved in the production and the optimisation of hybrid parts, that businesses are most likely to submit to us over the coming weeks, months and years…

This equipment was acquired within the framework of the MACOBIO ERDF project.