Jim, I do remember our discussion of the early SLAs. The variety of materials used now in AM is quite wide, though, depending on the process and the app combined. It sounds like in this case an increase in the material's ability to transmit light might make it less dense, i.e., translucent. And perhaps that makes it process faster. But that's just a guess. Let's hope the company can tell us more.
Ann & Beth, I was wondering the same thing ... Ann, you and I had discussed the earliest SLA's (circa 1988) in another article recently.As I recall, those early polymers emerged from the liquid vat only partially solidified, then required a period of time in a UV oven, where a dense bank of fluorescent lights in a hooded chamber finalized the hardening process so the prototypes could be handled.Wondering now, if the light transmissivity (sp-?) hardening characteristic of those old polymers is common to this translucent characteristic of this modern material-?
To me, it makes sense that a business using this printing technology for prototyping would want speed first. I would assume that most of the quick-turnaround prototypers mostly want to know how a part fits into a larger assembly
Thanks, Beth, I hope they can give more detail. It's not an obvious connection. Unless I'm missing something, I think what would be more interesting is what was done to the material to make it fuse quicker, but the fact that it's less opaque is secondary.
I hear you in terms of making the connection, Ann. The company spokesperson was scant on details when I asked. Something about the opaqueness adding to the ability to fuse the materials quicker is really the only takeaway I was able to glean. I will reach out to 3D Systems and see I can get them to weigh in a bit more on the technical explanation.
Most of the new 3D printers and 3D printing technologies in this crop are breaking some boundaries, whether it's build volume-per-dollar ratios, multimaterials printing techniques, or new materials types.
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