With the introduction of polyphenylsulfone (PPSF) for its fused deposition modeling systems, Stratasys Inc. has upped the ante on the mechanical performance available from plastic models created on rapid prototyping machines. This new PPSF offers a tensile strength of 8,000 psi, a flex modulus of 320,000 psi, and a heat-deflection temperature of 189C at 264 psi—all far above the ABS that previously represented the company's highest-performing material. PPSF also exhibits strong resistance to chemicals, including petroleum and chemicals used for medical sterilization. Parker Hannifin served as a beta-test site for the new material and managed to run a PPSF model of a crankcase vapor coalescer on a V8 engine for about 40 hours. Visit www.stratasys.com.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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