Written by Will Hardy
TL; DR: We talked to TRILAB about their history, what makes their products special and how E3D fits into their plans!
Case Study: TRILAB Delta 3D Printers
TRILAB are a company from the Czech Republic that was founded in 2016 by Vojtěch Tambor and Michal Boháč. Their paths first crossed in the R&D business, which incidentally, was the initial target market for TRILAB printers. Hence the ‘LAB’ part of their name!
It became obvious over a short period of time that their machines had potential across many more disciplines within Additive Manufacturing, aside from Research and Development.
The TRILAB team reliably informs us that, from the very beginning “the aim of the project was to offer a comprehensive 3D printing solution, which included friendly and accessible support.” Something that TRILAB has clearly continued through to the present day.
TRILAB machines are currently in use in over 30 countries worldwide with a customer list boasting Nike, JTEKT and Vetropack!
📷 TRILABS became a Prusa Research company at the end of 2021. More on this later!
We had some questions for TRILAB:
What would you say sets Trilab aside from other 3D printer manufacturers?
We like to compare TRILAB to the "MVP" in sports terminology. That's how our customers in the automotive, healthcare, design, scientific and other industries refer to us. In all these industries, we have specific feedback on the benefits of our machines through case studies.
TRILAB printers always reach the customer fully assembled and tested. Our support helps companies with installation and initial training, which is often the most important and first step to enable them to carry out much more efficient prototyping, tooling or small batch production.
After deploying TRILAB 3D printers in their daily operations, companies most frequently praise the ability to remotely manage the machines, the use of a wide variety of printing materials, the ability to print robustly including flexible products, or the accuracy and speed of the delta system.
A separate chapter is the very affordable TRILAB AzteQ Industrial printer, which can print components made from temperature, chemical and mechanical resistant materials thanks to a closed and actively heated print chamber.
📷 TRILAB DeltiQ 2
📷 TRILAB AzteQ Industrial
📷 TRILAB AzteQ Dynamic
Talk to us about becoming a Prusa research company, how did it come about? Have you faced any big changes/challenges?
The acquisition of TRILAB by Prusa Research took place at the end of 2021. TRILAB had been seeking to attract an investor for some time. Prusa Reasearch recognized the market potential in delta printers and was eager to expand its portfolio with printers purely for the B2B segment.
In addition to financial capital for further development, the world-renowned company also brought its know-how to TRILAB. In 2022, TRILAB has grown significantly in personnel, and production capacity and completely redesigned the production system based on the concept it acquired from Prusa Research. The overall setup, production tables, supply logistics and communication with suppliers started to work in the new setup. But thanks to the merger with Prusa Research, TRILAB also has a different negotiating position with suppliers.
What made you choose the delta motion system for your 3D printers? – Would you ever consider a different motion system for your 3D printers?
Delta printers are very simple and elegant in their design. Three towers form the base of the frame and are also used as support for linear rails, on which the carriages move up and down. These carry carbon arms that are very light and rigid at the same time. The print head is mounted on these arms.
One of the advantages of this solution is that the print head gives the same print quality throughout. The big advantage of 3D printers that are based on delta kinematics is that they have a fixed print pad. The fact that the model hardly moves during printing increases print quality, reduces vibration and allows for more complex and intricate models to be printed.
The first TRILAB printers already had the delta system. And future upgrades of our machines and new models do not currently consider changing this.
📷 E3D Volcano in use on a TRILAB Printer
You have a Direct Drive extruder expansion available for your DeliQ system, but your machines predominantly use Bowden. What are your thoughts on Bowden vs Direct Drive systems?
Each of the two systems has its own rationale and is suited to different types of print jobs. With the bowden extruder, we appreciate the absence of a heavy stepper motor on the print head, which allows the print head to move faster and without creating artefacts on the surface of the printed part. We also see here the advantage of the bowden in smoothing out inaccurate material dispensing. The last but not least advantage of this system is seen in the AzteQ Industrial printer, which has a heated chamber and due to the temperatures in the chamber, it is necessary to place the motor outside the chamber.
However, given the state of the 3D printer market and the ever-increasing pressure for higher print speeds, bowden extruders are taking a back seat due to poorer material dispensability at higher speeds.
Your Remote drive extruder looks interesting. What made you go that route for your ‘FlexPrint 2’ Extruder?
We were looking for a solution for printing flexible materials where bowden printing is no longer possible. Given the requirement for the lowest possible print head weight and short distance dispensing, this solution with a motor mounted on the printer frame and torque transmission via a flexible shaft seemed the best choice. As a result, the weight of the print head was not significantly increased, thus affecting the quality of the print surface.
📷 Disha and Ian from TeamE3D visiting TRILAB in March 2023.
We really like the modularity and customisability of your 3D printers, are you working on any other exciting upgrades that you can tell us about?
First of all, we would like to mention relatively recent news. From December 2022, a new model of the TRILAB AzteQ series is on the market. The industrial delta printer with the Dynamic designation is ideal for high-volume printing of PLA, PETG, PA-CF or PC-CF and meets the requirements of customers who appreciate the versatility of the AzteQ series, superior surface quality, high print volume but do not require an actively heated print chamber.
The TRILAB AzteQ series (Industrial and Dynamic) is then available for use in the US and Canada from February 2023. The machine has a newly developed version for 100-120VAC 50/60Hz voltage. We also continuously release print profiles for our machines.
We’ve seen that you have toolheads for V6, Volcano and even Super Volcano. You’re also using our trusty titan extruder. All GREAT choices if we do say so ourselves! – What convinced you to use E3D products?
Due to the nature of our printers and primary focus on entities with high quality requirements for 3D printing solutions, we chose E3D for its wide portfolio of extrusion components and their consistent quality, which is very important for our printers.
📷 E3D V6 in use on a TRILAB Printer
How do you see E3D products being integrated into your machines in the future?
In the future we plan to switch to the newer E3D Hemera extruder in combination with the Revo system. Due to the requirements for higher print speeds, we will also focus on larger print nozzles. For this reason, we are happy to use the components of the upcoming "HighFlow" version of Revo.
For our potential customers, the presence of E3D components is often one of the factors that make them choose TRILAB printers.
E3D are here to help, we’re always looking for opportunities to collaborate. Whether you’re looking to integrate our products into your system like TRILAB, or want something totally custom, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Special thanks to the TRILAB team for answering all our questions, it’s always a pleasure to talk 3D printing with such an exciting and forward-thinking company! If you want to find out more about TRILAB printers, you should check out their website.