Robot serves 3D printer at Voodoo
It doesn’t take a magician: using a cobot to load its 3D printers, US startup Voodoo Manufacturing has tripled its production. Now a second cobot is to increase utilization of printer capacity even more.1 Jan 2019 Roland Freist
Voodoo Manufacturing is based in the New York borough of Brooklyn and specializes in delivering 3D print jobs. The company is focused on industrial mass production, but is in competition with service providers who use conventional injection molding processes. To utilize the more than 200 3D printers on the company’s approximately 1700 m2 premises more efficiently, the business is using a UR10-model cobot from Danish market leader Universal Robots.
The robot arm is mounted on a mobile base and can reach around 100 of the installed 3D printers. It is responsible for removing used printing plates from the equipment, placing them on a conveyor belt and loading the printers with new plates. Automation has allowed Voodoo Manufacturing to triple its production – not least because the UR10 also works at night, monitored by proprietary software. With an additional UR10, the company hopes to increase utilization of its printer capacity from the current level of 30-40% to around 90%, further reducing production costs. The firm’s long-term goal is to install up to 10,000 3D printers served by several cobots in order to work more cost-effectively than the injection-molding industry.
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