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Micro Fans & Blowers in Automation Processes

Posted by Sam Pelonis | Nov 11, 2016 12:35:26 PM | 1 Comment

As technological devices of all kinds become increasingly compact and portable, manufacturers require small, lightweight components that will fit inside device operating systems while performing with the same efficiency as their traditional counterparts.

In thermal applications, micro fans and blowers allow compact equipment to effectively perform necessary heating and cooling operations. In addition to being smaller and more lightweight, these innovative components reduce heat generation as well as power consumption, thereby prolonging the overall service life of the device. For applications with limited space and restricted power budgets, they are an ideal thermal cooling solution.

The Importance of Micro Fans and Blowers

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Robotics and automation are among the many industries experiencing the miniaturization trend.

Depending on various advanced electronics for power, robotic and automation equipment often requires micro fans and blowers in a range of sizes for ventilation, dust collection, separation, and fume exhaust.

Increasingly popular in today’s changing landscape, micro components are now used in drones, 3D printers, and medical automation systems.

Micro Components in Drones

Drones, also referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), operate under remote control of a human operator, as well as autonomously through onboard computers. Though originating in the military, civilian drones now actually outnumber military drones, and applications within other industries continue to grow.

These recreational and commercial drones, which don’t require life-critical systems, are designed to be as lightweight as possible. Therefore, unlike manned or weaponized systems that require engines and heavy-duty control systems, micro fans and blowers can be incorporated into commercial UAV design for efficient electronic operation.

Micro Components in 3D Printing

By printing smaller details at faster rates, 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, has become even more precise in recent years. Hot layers of resin and higher speeds naturally demand better fans. In this case, “larger” micro fans are available to provide higher airflow and increased cooling speeds, while still fitting into the space constraints of compact printers.

 

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These are just a few examples of how micro thermal technology is being used to increase efficiency and safety in a range of industries. From commercial goods to critical applications, micro fans and blowers can meet strict space requirements without sacrificing performance or quality.

Feel free to browse our full selection of micro fans on our online catalog. If you have questions about our micro fans, or need help selecting the right one for your application, please contact one of the experts at Pelonis Technologies today.

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Using Cooling Fans for 3D Printing

Posted by Sam Pelonis | Dec 12, 2013 11:48:24 AM | 3 Comments

Though 3D printing has been around since the 1980s, the process has only just begun to enter mainstream society.  A 3D printer works by depositing material, such as PLA thermoplastics, in layers until it has built up a physical object based on a digital file. In the past, these printers have been used to create jewelry, prototypes, industrial parts and more. As an increasing number of manufacturers, hobbyists and companies experiment with the potentials of this process, they’ve also developed new methods to improve the quality of the end product. One of those methods is to use a cooling fan to improve bridging and overhang performance.

Fotosearch_k14489016A cooling fan is crucial for good overhang performance on a PLA 3D printed product. It can be programmed to operate at different speeds during the printing process, which has several desirable consequences. Running a fan constantly during printing is detrimental to the final product. It can cause stringing, a defect in which “small threads of plastic are trailed into undesirable areas.” Stringing occurs when the machine is unable to remove the force that pushes the thermoplastic filament out of the nozzle quickly enough. Using a fan at different speeds also makes the quality of a 3D print more consistent and less dependent on the temperature of the environment at the time.

There are several other factors to consider when implementing a PLA cooling fan. Cooling reduces the level of adhesion to the bed surface, so the fan should not be used while the first few layers of the item are built up. It must also not be directed toward the hot end of the printer, as this will naturally alter the temperature of the nozzle and thus affect the heated PLA material. Lastly, fans should not be used when printing items with ABS, another commonly used thermoplastic material used in 3D printing. This is because ABS is prone to cracking when cooled.

Before embarking on a 3D printing project that requires the printer to print across gaps or create overhangs at sharp angles, you might consider the use of a cooling fan. For 3D prints made of PLA material, a cooling fan can be a crucial factor in obtaining high-quality prints. When used correctly, a fan will reduce stringing, thus helping you achieve a cleaner, more appealing final product.

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