For the First Time, Affordable, In-House, On-Demand Plastic 3D Printing for Both Prototyping and Mass Production is Available for Less than the Cost of Traditional Manufacturing
Vancouver, BC – (May 21, 2019) – 3DQue, the company that makes plastic 3D printing competitive with traditional manufacturing, today launched two systems – an automation upgrade for FFF/FDM 3D printers and a high volume, production-on-demand unit. The QSuite™ and QPoD™ systems change the game for traditional plastic manufacturing with the advent of volume production capabilities that bring plastic parts production inhouse, reducing costs, increasing operational control and decreasing environmental footprint.
The Drive to Automate
At the age of 15, Mateo Pekic, founder of 3DQue was well-known in his hometown of Vancouver, Canada as a whiz at 3D printing. By 2016 he was being asked to go beyond prototyping and make small quantities of parts. The problem? Printing took hours parts had to be manually removed before the next print could be started. He needed a way to remove parts and start the next print from school. Fascinated by industrial automation, Mateo researched, tested, tweaked and researched more until he could complete print jobs autonomously. He has been running his printers with full automation for over 2 years.
After speaking with award-winning finance expert and well-known local mentor for entrepreneurs, Steph Sharp, Mateo knew he wanted to launch the technology but needed a partner to run the business. Not wanting to delay commercialization searching for a management team, Mateo asked Steph to work with him and together they founded 3DQue Systems Inc. in November 2019, just a few days after Mateo’s 18th birthday.
“Until now, plastic 3D printing failed to meet today’s manufacturing needs due to the high cost of part removal and lack of scalability,” said Steph Sharp, CEO and co-founder of 3DQue “Working from his basement, Mateo Pekic has been able to solve a problem that has stumped some of the world’s leading experts in materials science, engineering and innovation by automating plastic 3D printers to safely produce complex plastic parts at scale.”
QSuite – Automation Upgrade for 3D Printers
Introducing the first end-to-end automation upgrade for FFF/FDM plastic 3D printers. Unlike traditional 3D printers, QSuite eliminates the need for manual tasks such as job scheduling (and rescheduling), part removal, print bed reset, and printer restart. Instead, QSuite uses a proprietary suite of hardware and software technologies, to mass produce high quality plastic parts. No need for specialized or dedicated operators, QSuite comes complete with fully automated dynamic scheduling that reprioritizes jobs based on changing deadlines or parts, operates 24/7 in a continuous production loop, provides fully autonomous part removal and delivery without the use of tapes, glues, or robotics, and gives operators complete control through real-time reporting and management data – all managed remotely so users can do other work while the printer delivers parts. QSuite capabilities will be available to end users on pay-for-use basis making 3D printing capable of achieving economies of scale. QSuite will be available for license by FFF/FDM 3D printer manufacturers in September 2019.
QPoD – Automated Mass Production-on-Demand (100,000 Parts/Yr)
Finally, plastic 3D printing for mass production. QPod is 3DQue’s 24/7 production-on-demand unit powered by QSuite. QPoD has 9 printers in a compact 3x3 array with a total footprint of 10 sqft. In a field trial conducted in January, QPoD printers were able to produce switch cube frames (25x25x25mm – 2.7 grams) at a rate equivalent to 100,000 parts per year translating to a production capacity of more than 8,000 parts/sqft. QPoD comes complete with internal conveyors and collection bins, enabling truly autonomous fabrication of plastic parts. A limited number of pre-production QPoDs will be available for lease starting July 2019.
For customers, QSuite and QPoD dramatically reduce the unit cost per part when compared with today’s 3D printers. For the first time, FFF/FDM printing is competitive with mass production techniques like injection molding.
QPoD Installations Start July 2019
Booking is now open for the QPoD with installations beginning July 2019. Each QPoD production-on-demand unit powered by QSuite comes complete with enclosure, conveyor and parts collection system, control panel, 9 printers, and automated part delivery. Full production of QPoD commences in January 2020. QSuite is provided to end-users on an affordable pay-for-use basis making production costs scalable and affordable. Pre-production units are available for a one-time cost of $45,000 which includes: (1) on-site installation of one QPoD; (2) 5-year QPoD equipment lease; (3) 3,000 print-hours of QSuite software; and (4) 18 months of QSuite software support.
This equates to $0.80 per switch cube frame for the first 3,636 frames ($0.89/frame once the free print-hours have been used) for equipment and software. In our field trial, filament, electricity and rent added another $0.08 for a total unit cost of $0.97/frame.
3D printer manufacturers who want to incorporate QSuite’s non-invasive automation solution into their next-gen
printers can apply for a license starting September 2019.
About 3DQue Systems
3DQue Systems Inc., based in Vancouver, BC is accelerating the transformation of plastics manufacturing with endto- end automation of FFF/FDM 3D printers. Founded in 2018 by inventor, Mateo Pekic and finance expert, Steph Sharp, the company provides solutions to the barriers to scaling 3D printing – automated production, autonomous part removal, and unit cost – to make 3D printers an integral component of global plastic fabrication.
3DQue Systems, Inc.
Steph Sharp, CEO