Several new materials shown at Rapid 2010 promise to advance
the fast-moving additive manufacturing industry.
DSM Somos, a producer
of materials for stereolithography systems, introduced Somos NeXt, which it
described as the industry's most advanced resin to date for approaching
engineering thermoplastic performance.
"This is a material you need to hold in your hand to
fully appreciate," says Vince Adams, DSM Somos' marketing manager.
"The stiffness/toughness combination produces a look and feel that is so
like a thermoplastic, people are really surprised that it's actually
stereolithography." DSM says the material has properties comparable to
ABS. It has a notched Izod impact rating of 0.52 J/cm, almost double most of
its other materials.
"Finished Somos NeXt parts perform like an engineered
thermoplastic, which means our customers can depend on it for functional
testing," says Don Portenga, sales engineer at Eagle Design &
Technology. Target market segments for the material include: aerospace, sporting
goods, automotive, consumer products and electronics. DSM Somos says it can be
used to produce functional end-use performance prototypes for snap-fit designs,
impellers, duct work, connectors, electronic covers, automotive housings, dashboard
assemblies, packaging and sporting goods.
"The unique combination of mechanical properties is
what gives SomosNeXt its key advantage compared with all previous SL resin
options," says Adams. DSM Somos is an
unincorporated subsidiary of DSM Desotech Inc.
Andrew Snow of EOS shows a new laser-sintered jet engine component shown at Rapid 2010.
showed several new metals and plastics it has adapted for use in its laser-driven
sintering systems, ranging from Titanium Ti64 to PEEK HP 3. Efforts are under
way now to develop new metals for structural aircraft applications, including
new nickel- and titanium-based alloys, says Andrew Snow, North American sales
manager for EOS.
"Ultimately our goal is to optimize the build process and to
have publishable properties that are superior to cast metals and approaching
those of wrought metals," says Snow. Objet Geometries
developer of 3D printing systems, showed a new digital material pack that
allows manufacturers and designers to create parts and models more suitable for
product design testing, simulation and validation. Objet's Connex35 and
Connex500 printers are capable of simultaneously printing multiple materials
with different mechanical and physical properties.
The new materials encompass the full Shore A hardness scale
(from 27 to 95) that mimic elastomeric products. Target applications include
wires and cables, grips and handles, plugs and connections, shock absorbers,
function buttons, gaskets and seals, among other rubber applications. The new
rigid materials simulate the strength and toughness of products made of
standard plastics such as polypropylene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride and
polystyrene. Up to 11 different rigid and flexible materials can be combined in
a single part in one build.
David Reis, CEO of Objet Geometries, said: "The increased
capabilities extend tremendous benefits, opening up the use of printed models
for many more applications."3D
announced availability of Accura CeraMAX, a new composite designed
for use in applications that require extreme thermal stability, rigidity and
aggressive wear resistance. It's an engineered white plastic composite that
offers outstanding stiffness and dimensional stability over time. 3D Systems
also introduced Accura PEAK Plastic, a newly engineered SLA
plastic designed for optimal performance, accuracy and stability during
prolonged exposure to elevated temperature and humidity.
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