3DQue, a Vancouver-based 3D printing startup, has announced the first installation of its 3D printing production unit, the QPoD, to Mitsubishi Chemical Performace Polymers (MCPP), the wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC), New York. The company manufactures polymer-based filament, focused on high-performance materials for end-use parts. Its new materials testing laboratory situated in Warren, Michigan, will inspect the capabilities of the QPoD. The QPoD is a high-volume production unit, equipped with nine 3D printers in a compact 3×3 array, extending to an area of 10 sq.ft. The system was introduced at the RAPID+TCT event. It will enable the management of different filaments and nozzles.
With the help of the company’s automation technology QSuite, the QPoD facilitates 24/7 remote control of all 3D printers and jobs, along with scheduling and monitoring, for the mass production of components. Mateo Pekic, Chief of Innovations, 3DQue, has said that the QPoD is twelve to forty times faster than batch production, and its costs are in the same range as volume injection molding, which gives way to more rapid innovation and the ability to efficiently scale production. QPoD can also allocate files to printers, autonomously extracting parts, notifying operators upon completion of tasks, automatically starting as well as resetting the printers. Steph Sharp, CEO and Co-founder, 3DQue, has commented that Pekic has successfully solved a problem that not even the world’s leading experts in the fields of materials science, engineering and innovation have been able to resolve, by automating plastic 3D printers to manufacture complex plastic components at scale safely. Until now, the high cost of part removal and the lack of scalability of production have prevented the effective utilization of plastic 3D printing.
MCPP has also acquired Dutch Filaments, a producer of private label filaments, to expand its market reach. The company believed that the acquisition would not only accommodate the fast-growing demand for its filaments but also offer new expertise, materials, and techniques that will further increase their contribution to the 3D printing market.