The Bosch Group has shown growing interest in additive manufacturing over the past few years. The company owns Dremel (a pioneer of educational desktop 3D printers), it has made strategic investments in/formed strategic partnerships with companies such as Arris, Anisoprint and BigRep, it has acquired 3D printers (from basic Ultimakers to SLM Solutions industrial systems) and its ceramics divisions, Bosch Advanced Ceramics has made strides in offering technical ceramic 3D printing capabilities. Bosch Industrial Additive Manufacturing, aka BIAM, has unveiled a product known (for now) as the MVP – (Minimum Viable Product) 3D printer, a 3D printer based on a pellet extrusion process that uses materials pellets widely available.
The weirdest thing about all of this is that while the system was apparently released in June 2022, very few people seem to know about it and no media outlets have reported the story yet. The reason for this is that the 3D printer MVP is going to be launched as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), for a select group of customers, in early 2023, such as Industrial Additive Manufacturing Industrial Design Engineer Alex Voigt Bosch, revealed on his LinkedIn page.
Voigt added that the system will be able to print with “almost any injection molding material (plastic pellets) [and be used to] produce prototypes […] use the same material as in subsequent production and even reduce costs at the same time? Or produce a small series in a specific material widely used in industry such as PA66 or PA66 GF35.
So what can potentially interested parties expect from this new 3D printer MVP? Bosch Industrial Additive Manufacturing describes its 3D printer “as the next step in industrial manufacturing and capable of directly using industrial pellets as a printing material”. The company has developed its own pellet extrusion process combined with a customer-focused business model with the goal of enabling customers to get straight into 3D printing using common but sustainable industrial materials. As part of this effort, the 3D printer MVP will provide features usable by early customers who can provide feedback based on their needs.
Some highlights of the MVP 3D printer are the features and services that already come with the 3D printer. Initially, it will start from three different industrial materials (PA66 GF30, PA12, PLA) for the first version. The printer has two extruders and can print one material at a time. In the next step, it will be able to handle two different materials simultaneously and add the ability to use support material as well. The build volume of the system amounts to 420 x 420 x 420mm with the ability to extrude up to 350°C and heat the build plate up to 120°C. The build rate starts at 8cc/h and Bosch said it will increase with the next update.