By DE Editors
Objet Geometries Ltd. (Rehovot, Israel) has announced its new PolyJet Matrix Technology, a method of rapid prototyping and manufacturing (RP&M) enabling the simultaneous jetting of different types of model materials.
The company says the new technology offers virtually unlimited opportunities for emulating the look, feel, and function of final products. The process allows engineers to create a product with a rubber-like handle perfectly bonded to a rigid tool, all in one step. It also means designers can combine two different materials in a variety of combinations to result in numerous degrees of mechanical values resulting in what the company calls Digital Materials.
Objet’s patent-pending PolyJet Matrix Technology works by jetting two distinct Objet FullCure model materials in preset combinations. The technology controls every nozzle in each print head, enabling combinations of model materials to be jetted from designated nozzles according to location and model type. The ability to manage the jetting matrix provides full control of the mechanical properties of the jetted materials, allowing the user to choose and fabricate the most suitable composite materials to emulate the target design.
In combination with Objet’s new Connex500 printer, the technology allows for the printing of parts and assemblies made of multiple model materials, all in a single build. The Connex500 printer also fabricates digital materials on the fly, enabling users to create composite materials that have preset combinations of mechanical properties.
Printing parts and assemblies with multiple model materials eliminates the need to design, print, and glue together separate model parts to make a complete model. The savings are realized in printing and postprocessing time. Another inherent benefit of the process is the dramatic reduction in the cost of error when creating complex molds for double injection.
"This is an industry first," stated Terry Wohlers of Wohlers Associates, Inc., after reviewing the capabilities of the new PolyJet Matrix Technology. "This opens up exciting new options that before were impossible with methods of additive fabrication."
The Connex500′s build volume is 500 x 400 x 200 mm (19.7 x 15.7 x 7.9 in.). New Objet Studio software is included to assign multiple materials to STL files and create files that include different material types, assemblies, and model characteristics.
Objet will unveil the Connex500 and PolyJet Matrix at the EuroMold 2007 exhibition on December 5-8 in Frankfurt, Germany (Hall 8.0, Stand H-144).
For more information, visit Objet Geometries Ltd.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.