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NXT Factory 3D Printer: This Printer is Self Driving. Yes, Really.
Where do I begin to describe my excitement about this new 3D Printer company I recently visited. Now 3D printers are not new. The technology and processes have been around for quite a while. However, has still not really made into production level manufacturing processes, well, until now. NXT Factory is changing that narrative.
The NXT Factory produces a 3D printer with no downtime.
How does that work, I hear you ask. How can a 3D printer possibly have no downtime, it inherently needs to have its build volume cleared before it can keep printing right? Well, what if the build volume could drive away and a fresh one could come and replace it?
Welcome to the NXT Factory Quantum system! NXT is one of the coolest companies out there in the additive manufacturing industry. The founders saw one of the biggest challenges to 3D printing industry is downtime, machines not operating, clean up, and generally all that less than fun stuff you have to do when the printer is finished making your part. So they came up with a simple, but brilliant idea, to take the one thing that prevents a machine from operating around the clock and turn it into the cutest little autonomous vehicle you’ve ever seen.
What really blows me away about NXT is how small their company is, and how quickly they’ve gone from a basic concept in their heads, to a fully fleshed out product, made with modern sensibilities and methods of working, not just in the product itself, but in how they worked together to make the machines!
NXT has only been around for a short while, and development of the first commercially available machine went from concept to production in four months. Now we’re all about doing things better, faster, and with less at Autodesk but wow; that’s some speed!!
What’s really impressive about NXT is how quickly they adopted a new tool, having been so accustomed to workflows and methods in other software, but they transitioned seamlessly, and adopted a really smart cascading method to all their data inside of Fusion 360 too! This is no small feat considering how complex a 3D printer is to design and engineer, not to mention all the testing, validation and all the mechanical joints you need too design test and verify too.
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