We are excited to announce the latest addition to the MD lineup of extruder accessories: the Material Conveyance Unit! It’s okay, you can call it the MCU for short, all of us at the lab do too. The MCU was born from the need to keep our large format printers supplied with pellets through the course of long prints. Unlike a conventional filament-driven desktop printer that could run even an overnight print on a single 1 kg spool, these printers could require 5 kg, 10 kg, or an even greater supply of pellets to successfully complete a twelve-hour print. Such a supply of pellets can be bulky enough both in terms of weight and volume to make a hopper mounted directly to the extruder feed throat an impossibility, thus requiring a bulk storage option at a distance from the printer. The MCU allows pellets to be transported automatically as required by the extruder from the bulk storage to a material reservoir attached to the feed throat.
The MCU is designed to be easily set up by the end user. There is no configuration or programming required. A capacitive sensor on the material reservoir is constantly sensing the level of pellets- once it drops below a certain threshold, the sensor signals to the panel box to pull more material through the vacuum lines. Once the reservoir is full again, the signal stops. All you have to do is connect the vacuum lines, an air compressor, and plug the panel box into the wall! The MCU comes with modular mounting options for both the MDPH2 and MDPE10, and could be made adaptable to any pellet-driven extruder with a little bit of 3D printed ingenuity. Once it is connected to your extruder, the duration of your unattended prints is only limited by the size of your bulk storage container- which could be as large as a 55 gallon drum of pellets or even bigger!
As with all of our product line, we hope this new accessory can help all of you expand your printing possibilities- with longer, bigger prints that you don’t have to babysit. For more technical specification, renders, and ordering information see the product listing here. You can frequently see the MCU in action supplying our MDPH2 with pellets on our Twitch channel, now live streaming prints from our lab!