Successfully presented for the first time at the Formnext trade fair which took place from November 15 to 18 in Frankfurt, the 4SHIFT is now featured on our website.
Ingrid Florentin, president of 4D Pioneers, talks about the genesis of this development and the main features of this hybrid printer developed to meet the expectations of industrials for the manufacture of spare parts and to accelerate the industrialization of additive manufacturing technologies for a more responsible and sustainable economy.
What was your ambition when developing the 4SHIFT?
4SHIFT was developed to democratize the use of additive manufacturing to produce certified parts that will ride or fly, for a more sustainable future. Our goal? Create an industrial 3D printer able to manufacture ready to use parts, locally and on demand. The whole supply chain system seems absurd to us in a world where we must reduce our carbon footprint: parts coming from the four corners of the earth, excess orders for spare parts to avoid production stoppages, numerous obsolete parts discarded.
Yet few solutions exist to this problem, why?
Indeed, producing spare parts requires both a perfect understanding of industrial needs in terms of application and of the processes/materials duo as they are closely interlinked. Certification decides whether a spare part can run or fly. Part certification requires not only standardization of production, impeccable printing quality, but also the use of functional materials that give the part the required properties.
What makes 4SHIFT unique in the market ?
The 4SHIFT is a full-hybrid machine that allows printing and post-processing operations to be performed simultaneously with an approach specifically tailored to each part to reach all surfaces for a precise, reproducible, high quality result with a perfect finish. The 4SHIFT operates in 5 axes, allowing post-processing of surfaces inaccessible with traditional printers and eliminating supports, for complex designs and ready-to-use parts. Several features of the 4SHIFT contribute to the ability to print on more than 60 materials including polymers, composites, metals and ceramics, opening up new possibilities for our customers. With 3 patents, the 4SHIFT gathers different functionalities which make it unique and particularly adapted to the industrial constraints for the production of spare parts and maintenance making the 4SHIFT the industry reference machine for the manufacture of certified industrial parts.
When is the 4SHIFT going to be available in the markets?
We are planning to launch it in Q2 2023. Primarily we are focusing on our collaboration with SNCF, producing parts at their maintenance facility in Saintes in early 2023. We want to test 4SHIFT printer in real-time situations where it’s pushed to its limits.