This week 3D Printing Industry was invited to Veldhoven, the Netherlands, to visit FELIXprinters, an FDM/FFF 3D printer manufacturer who recently ventured into large-format additive manufacturing with the Pro L and XL.
These new systems are designed to accelerate product development in a variety of industries including automotive, architecture, and the food industry. The company was founded in 2011 and operates out of its 350 square feet factory which contains over 60 3D printers.
“You could say we’re the smallest international 3D printing company,” said Guillaume Feliksdal, co-founder and Director of FELIXprinters, during the tour of company’s site.“The Pro L and XL are the results of our customers’ demand for more flexible, large-scale 3D printing.”
From DIY to large format 3D printing
Guillaume and his father, Wilgo Feliksdal, who worked at Philips for over a decade, established FELIXprinters after using a DIY 3D printer kit to make a walking robot. Guillaume had been studying for his Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) during this time.
This 3D printer kit idea inspired Guillaume to create his own 3D printer that would create higher quality parts at a faster production rate. “The FELIX 1.0 was our first 3D printer which came out after four or five months of development,” added Guillaume.
“Luckily, thanks to the RepRap movement, the initial FELIX 3D printers were iterated quickly. From then on, our machines have had a modular DNA. After we created the FELIX 3.0, our clients began to ask for a larger platform.”
The FELIXprinters team, which comprises of no more than 20 employees, have developed its 3D printers to ease the fears of companies “scared to implement additive manufacturing.” Particularly, the Pro L and XL boast massive volumes of builds up to 144 liters, as well as competitive prices, rivaling others in the large-format 3D printing market for industrial design and prototyping.
Felix 3D printers creating parts for other modular systems. Photo by Tia Vialva.
3D printing food for thought
The Feliksdals also revealed a collaboration on a large-scale custom 3D printer with “a leading global food company.” According to Wilgo, the confidential food company sought FELIXprinters to develop an industrial food 3D printer capable of making paste into different edible structures; This aims to reduce molding costs and material wastage. As a result, food paste extruders are currently under development.
The Intelligent dual extruders integrated into FELIX 3D printers. Photo by Tia Vialva.
Furthermore, the FELIXprinters team are working on a high-temperature extruder capable of processing industrial-grade materials such as PEEK. This would work in tandem with its current magnetic dual-extruder which enables multi-material 3D printing.
“Our extrusion system is one of our USPs [Unique Selling Points] which enables accurate and advanced product development to our customers in education, automotive, architecture, and overall product design. The nozzles work together to realize whatever model it is 3D printing,” added Guillaume.
3D printed parts composed of two filaments. Photo by Tia Vialva.