Caracol’s HERON AM is a cutting-edge, in-house developed hardware and software platform designed for advanced large-format applications production. The system comprises key components that enhance its performance and quality:
Caracol has engineered a compact, lightweight extruder capable of processing various polymers and composite materials in pellet form. Its small size enhances agility during printing, reducing collision risks with printed parts while maintaining a high flow rate, making it ideal for high-speed, high-quality material processing.
HERON AM offers flexible integration options into clients’ shop floors. Caracol’s Engineering team collaborates with clients to customize layouts, features, and configurations to meet specific needs. Climate-controlled enclosures ensure precise environmental parameters, including temperature and humidity, to meet AS/EN 9100 standards and ensure process repeatability, quality, and safety. Configuration options include Structural Insulated Cells, Mobile Containers, and Open Air Systems.
Caracol’s expertise in LFAM (Large-Format Additive Manufacturing) design and manufacturing, slicing strategies, and robotic kinematics led to the creation of an integrated software platform. This platform streamlines 3D CAD optimization, employing advanced features like computational design techniques, complex slicing, non-planar tool path generation, time/material/cost simulation, and full workflow G-code generation. A custom automation control panel integrates inputs from the robot, extruder, feeding system, and software for seamless management and automation.
The LFAM system utilizes robotic arms for their flexibility, including 6-axis movement. This flexibility enables the printing of complex geometries with non-planar tool paths and unconventional slicing. These arms are logistically simple, easy to transport, and adaptable to existing production spaces. Caracol primarily works with KUKA Roboter’s Quantec Line, with potential size extension through a 7th axis.
Caracol’s automated material feeding system connects a dehumidifying unit to the extruder, allowing continuous input of pellets without manual intervention or interruptions. Pellets are stored at optimal humidity and temperature levels for peak performance and quality. The standard unit can hold up to 80kg of pellets and can connect to larger storage options for uninterrupted printing over extended periods.
The printing bed employs mechanical gripping to securely hold large-scale components, preserving their shape during production. This bed consists of a sturdy aluminum frame with interchangeable panels to which the first layer adheres, ensuring part stability throughout the printing process. The printing bed can be customized in proportion and size to meet client specifications.
Caracol’s HERON AM platform combines innovative hardware components, customizable configurations, advanced software capabilities, and robotic precision to deliver exceptional performance and quality in large-format additive manufacturing for industrial applications.
If you would like to learn more information take a look at this HERON AM Brochure.