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Fused Form Paves the Way for Affordable Large Format 3D Printing with Pellets – Interview with Co-Founder Juan Blanco

3D printer manufacturer Fused Form was established in 2013 by Lissy Rodriguez and Juan Blanco. Founded with the goal of building high-performing, reliable machines at affordable costs, the Colombia-based company specialises in the development and production of FFF 3D printers. Over the years, Fused Form has dedicated itself to innovation and quality, ensuring that their products enable users to innovate faster and more efficiently. In line with their commitment to advancing 3D printing technology, the company expanded its product line and developed its first pellet 3D printer (FGF 3D printer) four years ago. In an interview with 3Druck.com, co-founder Juan Blanco shares his insights into the additive manufacturing industry.

The idea of creating a 3D printer was born while Juan was working on his master’s thesis, developing a boat simulator. He was unable to find a supplier who could produce the required design using traditional methods for some gears that he needed to install inside the robot. The only solution available was to 3D print this pair of gears, which could be delivered within a day. The problem at the time was that it was too expensive, and he believed that many companies would not have access to the technology at that price point. So he saw a great opportunity to develop these machines to help other companies gain greater access to this technology for their innovation processes.

The team embarked on a journey to develop FFF 3D printers in a range of sizes, up to a build volume of 60 x 60 x 60 cm. As they ventured beyond this build volume, it became apparent that a shift in extrusion method to granule-based extrusion could provide greater efficiency. As a result, four years ago, Fused Form initiated the development of its first Fused Granulate Fabrication (FGF) 3D printer. This ambitious project was undertaken in collaboration with Professor Dr. Tim Osswald of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The efforts led to the successful delivery of the first machine to their Polymer Engineering Centre (PEC).

Fused Form’s current portfolio includes several FFF 3D printers that vary in their build volume sizes and are capable of extruding a range of materials: MiniLab, FF-STD, FF-300, and FF-600. Their pellet 3D printers can print objects up to 110 x 110 x 130 cm (P1000), with a smaller version also available (P600+).

Interview with co-founder Juan Blanco

In an interview with 3Druck.com, co-founder Juan Blanco outlines the importance of additive manufacturing to businesses and educational institutions in Colombia. He also shares his insights on technical and economic developments, and looks to the future to reflect on the potential of the technology.

In your opinion, what is the significance of additive manufacturing for Colombia?

Founders Lissy Rodriguez and Juan Blanco

Regarding Fused Polymer Deposition, I think that additive manufacturing has played a very important role for Colombian companies to accelerate and improve their innovation capabilities. They have also been able to supply internally in a more efficient way their needs for jigs, fixtures and many other components that a manufacturing plant needs in its normal operation.

In terms of education, additive manufacturing has been very important in enabling students to unlock their creativity and widen the possibilities of what they can create. Our FGF printers have also unlocked great potential in researching new polymer formulations and their applications.

Additive manufacturing has developed continuously over the last few years. Which innovations or technological breakthroughs do you consider to be particularly important?

With regard to Fused Polymer additive manufacturing, I think that improving the performance and reliability of FGF printing will make polymer 3D printing much faster and much more cost effective.

First Corona and now high inflation are major challenges for the whole industry. How do you think the multiple crises will affect the additive manufacturing industry?

These crises will force companies on both the supply and demand sides of additive manufacturing to become more competitive and efficient. This will lead the industry to consolidate and focus on solutions that really add value to companies.

What impact do you think additive manufacturing will have on different industries and possibly society as a whole in the coming years?

Additive manufacturing will first have to settle down to providing cost-effective and reliable manufacturing solutions. Once this challenge has been met, 3D printing will be another valuable tool for creating products that are more efficient in terms of optimising geometry, materials and lead times, as well as enabling local supply of production.

Here you can find further information on Fused Form and their 3D printers.

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