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Pellet 3D printers offer a diverse range of capabilities, presenting three different groups with variations in dimensions, precision, printable materials, and purchase prices. In our benchmark, we only consider the 3rd category the precision-oriented group, recognizing the Pollen PAM printer as a representative of this category.

Overview of the pellet 3D printers at Formnext 2023

1. Large-Scale Printers for large components (4000 – 500 mm): 

These printers, characterized by large nozzles of up to 4 mm, specialize in producing large components for low-volume products, such as complex tubing systems or molds for hand-laid up processes to create yacht bumpers. The printing process occurs in a non-temperature-controlled space, utilizing a screw extruder mounted on a robot arm or Cartesian (XYZ axis) system. Despite the potential for shrinkage and rough finishing of the printed parts, refinement is achieved by a post-processing through milling and coating.

2. Mid-Range Printers for Sizeable Parts (1000 mm – 100 mm): 

The second group focuses on producing larger parts with a nozzle range of 4 – 1 mm, which can result in a rougher finish. These machines are often paired with a filament extruder when more precision is required. Operating in temperature-controlled machines with heated chambers, these printers utilize a screw extruder on delta or Cartesian systems. Specializing in PLA, ASA, ABS, TPU, PP, and PETG, these machines prioritize speed and cost-effectiveness. Suited for volume production, they manufacture rough technical parts such as tubes, half-liter beer cups, and seats, providing a viable solution for various industrial applications.

3. Precision Printers for Smaller Components (200 mm – 5 mm): 

The final group, which includes the Pollen PAM printer, focuses on smaller plastic pieces with more precision and complexity. Employing small nozzles ranging from 2 – 0.25 mm, these printers operate in temperature-controlled environments with heated chambers. Utilizing a screw extruder on delta or Cartesian systems, they work with diverse materials such as PLA, ASA, ABS, TPU, PP, PETG, and even those with high melting temperatures like PEEK. These printers are ideal for prototyping and the production of technical injection molding "like" parts.


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