By DE Editors
In conjunction with its World Conference at the end of September, rapid prototyping system manufacturer 3D Systems announced several new materials and software tools.
The company introduced DuraForm EX Black Plastic for use in its Sinterstation Pro SLA systems. Suitable for a variety of rapid manufacturing applications, DuraForm EX Black Plastic offers the durability of injection-molded polypropylene and ABS. It retains its toughness to -65 degrees F, a critical functional requirement in many aerospace and automotive applications. The material is nonsloughing, so its color won’t rub off onto other surfaces. According to 3D Systems, Dura Form EX Black plastic parts built on a Sinterstation Pro SLS System overcome a traditional limitation of additive layer manufacturing-parts remain tough and exhibit consistent mechanical properties regardless of orientation, including the z direction.
Also newly available is DuraForm HST Plastic, a temperature-resistant material for use in 3D Systems’ Sinterstation HiQ SLS systems. It’s designed for applications that require improved strength, higher stiffness, and elevated temperature resistance. The white-colored material offers good accuracy and repeatability in all x, y, z directions. DuraForm HST Plastic is nonconductive and RF transparent, which should appeal to aerospace and motor sports customers concerned about Faraday cage effects. Other applications include UAV components, housings and enclosures, and low-volume parts.
Designed for stereolithography systems, Accura 48HTR Plastic withstands harsh high-temperature and high-humidity environments. It resists heat to 130° C, making it a good candidate for automotive and electrical applications such as under-the-hood testing, production of parts that need long-term mechanical stability, electronic assemblies that generate heat, and fluid flow visualization applications.
Accura 48HTR will be available in the fourth quarter of 2007.
3D Systems released the 3DPro Software Suite for use with its Viper Pro SLA (stereolithography apparatus) rapid prototyping systems. The suite includes 3DView, 3DManage, and 3DPrint. Its user interface resembles those for 2D printing. Other features include CAD file viewing and verification capabilities, STL file manipulation tools, and job submission, tracking, and reporting. Users can drag and drop to place parts and prepare a model for building. A synchronized database tracks system and build data for an entire operation. Users can automatically generate data and reports for scheduling and forecasting, operations management, and SPC (statistical process control). Future releases will support other 3D Systems products, including its legacy SLA systems, Sinterstation Pro systems, and InVision 3D Modelers.
The company also unveiled LS 3.44 and OptiScan Software for use with its Sinterstation SLS systems. LS Software, which was made available in October, supports the Sinterstation HiQ, Vanguard, and 2500 plus systems, all of which use a CO2 laser. OptiScan Software is an optional application that works with LS 3.44 to reduce laser scan times on HiQ and HiQ-HS systems.
— Sara Ferris
Rock Hill, SC