Ricoh Launches its First 3D Printer, the Ricoh AM S5500P, for Prototyping, Manufacturing

ricoh 3d printerRicoh Company of Tokyo is today announcing the Ricoh AM S5500P, its first 3D printer to be marketed under the Ricoh brand name. Ricoh will begin taking orders for the 3D printer on October 30, 2015 in Japan, and then will expand sales to Europe and other countries. The company says it worked in collaboration with partner Aspect to develop the AM S5500P, and says it’ll continue working with Aspect to develop proprietary materials and other functionality.

The company says the AM S5500P is capable of producing high-definition and highly durable fabricated objects, and the printer appears to be designed for prototyping and manufacturing. It employs an additive 3D-printing manufacturing method known as SLS (selective laser sintering). Using this technique, a powdered material is irradiated with a laser for sintering (binding) – selective laser sintering is an additive manufacturing technology that uses a laser to bind together powdered material such as metal, binding the material together to create a solid structure.

Ricoh says that in addition to the polymer powder materials mainly used with the SLS method, such as PA (polyamide) 11 and PA12 polymer powders, PA6 and PP3 polymer powders can also be used with the AM S5500P. This can be used to fabricate car parts for testing, as well as parts for end products.

With a modeling area of 550 mm wide × 550 mm deep × 500 mm high, Ricoh says the AM S5500P can fabricate different kinds of parts at the same time, as well as mold large parts all at once.

The company notes that in September 2014, it launched its Additive Manufacturing Business (AM Business), which focuses mainly on 3D printers. Up until now, however, Ricoh has been selling third-party 3D printers and providing various 3D-printing services, from consulting to 3D-data design, to fabrication.

It’ll add the new RICOH AM S5500P to the services it has been providing, and promote it to customers’ design and manufacturing departments. It’ll also be exhibiting the AMS5500P  at the international exhibition and conference on additive technologies and tool making “formnext,” scheduled to be held in Frankfurt, Germany, from November 17-20, 2015.

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