Mimaki introduces large-scale 3D printer

Mimaki 3d printer
Mimaki 3DGD-1800

Mimaki has launched a new large-scale 3D printer targeted at 3D sign and display applications.

Originally set to be launched at Fespa, which was due to take place in Madrid last week but has since been postponed to October due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mimaki said the 3DGD-1800 facilitates large-scale production up to three times faster than with conventional Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) type 3D printers.

The machine can produce objects up to 1.8m tall in seven hours and its assembly-based design allows for the creation of even larger designs.

Dual-head configuration enables the simultaneous output of two structures while the machine also facilitates the production of support-free hollowed structures, which Mimaki said further streamlines production while allowing for increased portability and the possible addition of interior illuminations.

The manufacturer said potential applications could include life-sized displays, event decorations, movie props and large product mock-ups, while the machine could also be used to quickly and efficiently produce industrial production parts such as moulds for vacuum forming.

Mimaki Europe senior product manager Bert Benckhuysen said existing users of Mimaki’s 2D printers could use their machines to cost-effectively decorate applications produced on the 3DGD-1800.

“We have ensured that even beyond the 3D printing stage, our Mimaki inkjet printers can then be utilised to add colour and decor, making created objects even more impressive and immensely versatile.”

Mimaki said the 3DGD-1800 employs Gel Dispensing Printing technology, extruding gel-type UV curable resin lineally and utilising LED-UV light to instantly cure the resin, enabling lamination speeds of up to 350mm in height per hour.

Printweek understands that the machine’s launch forms part of an OEM deal with Massivit, the 3DGD-1800 bearing numerous similarities in terms of design and specification to the company’s Drupa 2016-launched Massivit 1800.

While not confirming the Massivit link, a Mimaki spokesperson told Printweek “it is indeed an OEM” and said “all sales and support will be done through Mimaki’s vast dealer network, which also ensures reliable local support for our customers”.

The manufacturer held a webinar last week to launch the 3DGD-1800 and to reiterate its new tie-up with OKI that will see it sell the manufacturer’s wide-format printers and related supplies from Wednesday (1 April).

During a Q&A session, Mimaki EMEA general sales manager Ronald van den Broek said there was no secret that with these two announcements “we are in a kind of collaboration”.

“The point is not only the printer itself, we are looking at what our customers’ requirements and demands are and we’re going to look for any kind of way, either by ourselves or with help of alliances or speaking to other manufacturers to expand our portfolio.

“What is important to know is why we are adding this to our portfolio; Mimaki is working in more than 150 countries, working with well over 1,000 dealers globally that are reselling our products, so we are very close to the market.

“These products will be incorporated into our general strategy which means that the sales network will be open and we think that we have access to market where others don’t have it, or we are much faster in going to these markets.”

Pricing has not yet been disclosed for the 3DGD-1800, which is commercially available from 1 April.