A proudly South African innovation – the 3D Fusion Printer – made for the signage industry, has been favourably received given its large sales figures as well as its official Award for Innovation as judged by Printing SA and FESPA.

Eric Philpott, signage manufacturer and developer for 3D Fusion Machines, saw that there was a need in the signage industry, or a ‘final piece of the puzzle’, to help players with fabrication.

‘I have a very clever engineer friend, Jacques de Wet, in George who has already developed other machines such as laser cutters and CNCs,’ said Philpott. ‘We started developing this machine about two years ago, and perfected it about a year ago.’

The machine was designed to print letters or ‘returns’, namely for three-dimensional branded signage. The returns are very light, and the machine comes with a 5kg roll of filament, ‘Out of a single roll of filament, plenty of signs can be fabricated,’ continued Philpott.

The machine spends only a few hours printing the returns, which previously couldn’t be done in such a short time. While it is printing, the operator can focus on other tasks and leave the machine on its own to print.

Only one operator and a laptop is required for the machine, which is wireless and can be operated from anywhere. A number of prototype machines have already been used by a signage company in George, with a strong output of signs as well as profit.

At the recent Sign Africa and FESPA Africa expo held at Gallagher Estate from 11-13 September, four models were showcased and demonstrated at the Sign-Tronic stand. ‘The feedback has been unbelievable, showing that there is a very big need for these machines in the market. We sold over 60 machines.’

The machine is available through Sign-Tronic as a monthly rental option, and the filament is available in 12 different colours. ‘If a client’s desired colour is not available, they call us and we will develop the colour for them,’ concluded Philpott.

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SIGN-TRONIC (+27 21) 510 8332 www.sign-tronic.co.za