Film application of paint is normally applied by a draw-down bar, also known as “bird” or “doctor blade” applicator, with a well-defined gap size. Automation of this process by using such a metal applicator yields a difficult and costly cleaning process especially when applying waterborne coating. Since the development in 3D printing technology has rapidly evolved the technique is now a days a bog-standard. Because of the latter, design, manufacturing and use of low cost 3D printed applicators with its 3D printed supports used in robotic high-throughput film application becomes within reach. In our laboratory we have developed such applicators with well-defined and reproducible gap sizes for the use in our automated application robot. All ins and outs of the automated film application development by 3D printing technologies will be evaluated in this presentation.
Peter van den Berg, Allnex