>From a cold and icy Holland: a happy new year and the best wishes
(Some Dutch culture: Last Saturday 16000 mad dutchmen and women tried
to skate 200 km between eleven cities in the northern part of our
country, approx. 9000 succeeded to do this before 24.00h . This race
is called "De Elfstedentocht" (The eleven cities tour), maybe you saw
it on CNN)
As promised on 16-12-96 we will inform you on the KIRA Solid Centre.
>From the comments we received from some of you, we understood there is
a lot of interest in our experiences with this machine.
* First (very quikly) how the machine is working. (for those who
* second some general details,
* third our own experiences.
1. HOW IS THE MACHINE WORKING:
The machine consists of two main parts: The Printer-part and the
>From a STL-file, slice data is being made in the software that is delivered with the
In the printer , an ordinairy office (laser) printer, this data is printed on a sheet of
paper. At the places where the part-geometry is defined, full toner is
applied, on the rest of the paper cross hatches are applied.
The printed papers are fed to the table
The table is raised to the hot press. This hot press melts the toner which adheres
the sheets together.
A knife is cutting the contours of the sectional data and parting lines in the
A complete block is the result of all those layers on top of each
2. GENERAL DATA (KIRA CRPORATION)
Maximum build envelope (WxDxH) 400*280*300 mm
Acc. X-Y-direction 0.025 mm
Acc. Z-direction 0.1 mm
slice thickness min/max 0.085-0.1 mm
Costs (FOB Japan) 14.000.000 Yen (1 US$=110 Yen)
3. OUR EXPERIENCES
The software is working on Windows 3.1 on a Pentium-PC. The software
is easy to understand and ready to use. There are not much parameters
to set , because of the process. (compared to the Helisys we have:
The machine is engineered in a professional way and well build. It is
looking very 'solid'. When you look inside than you see some nice
The paper KIRA is using (0.085 mm) is working better than the paper we
use in our office printers (0.1 mm). We did a few tests with the 0.1 mm paper
and had some problems with the sticking. The same tests with 0.085 mm
were O.K. We think it has to do with the structure of the paper. The
0.085 paper was much smoother than our 0.1 paper.
You can make nice (small ??) detailed parts (Totally different
from the Helisys ). The only problem is that you have to be very
carefull with te removal of the excess material. The best method is by pilling it
off layer by layer. You can imagine that something can go wrong (and
will go wrong according to Murphy) when you have an A3-sized solid block
and details in mm or smaller.
After removing the excess.material the model is fixated with epoxy. In
this way it obtains its final strenght and is protected against
A remark of my collegue Edith Groenewolt (besides KIRA also FDM and LOM
' The result is a product with an incredible surface '
Remarks form my collegue Gabby Kroes (besides KIRA also FDM specialist):
' Easy to use, easy to maintain, not much electronics inside, nice
products, excersises needed in removal of excess material.'
At this moment we have made some nice solid parts, we are now
working on some thin walled products. When we know more we let you
All the best from Holland,
Jan Willem Gunnink
TNO Industrial Prototyping
Ir. Jan-Willem Gunnink TNO Institute of Industrial technology
tel: +31 15 2608747 Dept. of Industrial Prototyping
fax: +31 15 2608756 P.O. Box 5073
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org 2600 GB Delft
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