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New 3D Printer Produces Plastic Prototypes to Save Material and Time

Cincinnati Incorporated (CI) and New Valence Robotics (NVBOTS) has introduced SAAM (Small Area Additive Manufacturing), a new industrial 3D printer. SAAM is powered by NVBOTS and uses fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology to 3D-print plastic parts directly from a CAD design.

Designed as a complement to CI's BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing), the new system allows designers to prove-out part designs while saving material and time. Once the design has been validated for form and functionality on SAAM, the same CAD files are leveraged to produce larger full-scale parts on BAAM.

The SAAM system offers automated part removal and is paired with NVCloud software that allows users to print parts anytime, from any cloud-connected device -- while providing administrators with full control of workflows typical in a shared-use scenario. This combination of capabilities lowers cost and complexity in multi-user environments.

"Additive Manufacturing has opened a new world for parts designers and engineers," said Carey Chen, President and CEO of Cincinnati Incorporated. "SAAM allows these innovative people to push the boundaries of part design by quickly rendering prototypes, and providing the ability to test their designs prior to full-scale production on the much larger BAAM system."

Simply put, SAAM can create a relatively inexpensive print-preview for BAAM. This is another demonstration of how additive manufacturing is shaping the future of manufacturing, especially in industries like aerospace, automotive and heavy equipment.

SAAM is not only for prototyping BAAM parts. "We can simulate any type of part with the SAAM," said Chris Haid, Director of Operations & Product Management and Co-Founder, NVBOTS. "The same CAD file we use for the plastic prototype can be sent to a laser, a press brake, or a shear for metal fabrication. It dramatically reduces waste in the design process and allows shops to accelerate moving to the production phase."

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