New Materials Debut at Rapid 2010

DN Staff

May 24, 2010

3 Min Read
New Materials Debut at Rapid 2010

Several new materials shown at Rapid 2010 promise to advancethe fast-moving additive manufacturing industry.

DSM Somos, a producerof materials for stereolithography systems, introduced Somos NeXt, which itdescribed as the industry's most advanced resin to date for approachingengineering thermoplastic performance.

"This is a material you need to hold in your hand tofully appreciate," says Vince Adams, DSM Somos' marketing manager."The stiffness/toughness combination produces a look and feel that is solike a thermoplastic, people are really surprised that it's actuallystereolithography." DSM says the material has properties comparable toABS. It has a notched Izod impact rating of 0.52 J/cm, almost double most ofits other materials.

"Finished Somos NeXt parts perform like an engineeredthermoplastic, which means our customers can depend on it for functionaltesting," says Don Portenga, sales engineer at Eagle Design &Technology. Target market segments for the material include: aerospace, sportinggoods, automotive, consumer products and electronics. DSM Somos says it can beused to produce functional end-use performance prototypes for snap-fit designs,impellers, duct work, connectors, electronic covers, automotive housings, dashboardassemblies, packaging and sporting goods.

"The unique combination of mechanical properties iswhat gives SomosNeXt its key advantage compared with all previous SL resinoptions," says Adams. DSM Somos is anunincorporated subsidiary of DSM Desotech Inc.

Andrew Snow of EOS shows a new laser-sintered jet engine component shown at Rapid 2010.

EOSshowed several new metals and plastics it has adapted for use in its laser-drivensintering systems, ranging from Titanium Ti64 to PEEK HP 3. Efforts are underway now to develop new metals for structural aircraft applications, includingnew nickel- and titanium-based alloys, says Andrew Snow, North American salesmanager for EOS.

"Ultimately our goal is to optimize the build process and tohave publishable properties that are superior to cast metals and approachingthose of wrought metals," says Snow.

Objet Geometries, adeveloper of 3D printing systems, showed a new digital material pack thatallows manufacturers and designers to create parts and models more suitable forproduct design testing, simulation and validation. Objet's Connex35 andConnex500 printers are capable of simultaneously printing multiple materialswith 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 includewires and cables, grips and handles, plugs and connections, shock absorbers,function buttons, gaskets and seals, among other rubber applications. The newrigid materials simulate the strength and toughness of products made ofstandard plastics such as polypropylene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride andpolystyrene. Up to 11 different rigid and flexible materials can be combined ina single part in one build.

David Reis, CEO of Objet Geometries, said: "The increasedcapabilities extend tremendous benefits, opening up the use of printed modelsfor many more applications."

3DSystems announced availability of Accura CeraMAX, a new composite designedfor use in applications that require extreme thermal stability, rigidity andaggressive wear resistance. It's an engineered white plastic composite thatoffers outstanding stiffness and dimensional stability over time. 3D Systemsalso introduced Accura PEAK Plastic, a newly engineered SLAplastic designed for optimal performance, accuracy and stability duringprolonged exposure to elevated temperature and humidity.

See other Design News' coverage of Rapid 2010: Z Corp. Introduces New Rapid Prototyping Tool

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