MATERIALS TECH NEWS

3D Systems Expands Plastics Materials Portfolio to Address Wide Set of Applications in the AM Industry

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Above: 3D Systems Figure 4 Production Platform/Image Credit: 3D Systems

3D Systems announced several innovations for its plastics materials portfolio designed to help manufacturers address a broader portfolio of applications. These materials which include Figure 4 RUBBER-65A BLKAccura FidelityAccura BondAccura Patch, and Figure 4 JEWEL MASTER GRY – are designed for the company’s Figure 4 and Stereolithography (SLA) printing technologies. With the expansion of its renowned materials portfolio, 3D Systems continues to open new production applications.

Offering details of how the company has been continuously engaged in developing new materials, Menno Ellis, SVP and General Manager, plastics at 3D Systems said, “Our team has continued developing new materials across our plastics portfolio to address a broader set of production applications and providing data sheets with key test results and performance specs to make it easy for our customers to make the optimal material choice for their needs.” 

“Our material scientists and technical experts have leveraged decades of experience to engineer these high performing materials to deliver accurate, economical, and repeatable results to enable our customers to maintain competitive advantage,” added Ellis.

Figure 4 RUBBER-65A BLK

The Figure 4 RUBBER-65A BLK is a Production-Grade Rubber Suitable for Multiple Industrial Applications. This mid-tear strength elastomer has high elongation at break for flexibility and durability, is engineered for long-term environmental stability, and is tested per UL94 standards. These properties enable production of end-use elastomeric parts with a high degree of accuracy and minimal scarring from supports, which makes it ideal for applications such as air/dust gaskets, seals for electronics, vibration dampeners and pipe spacers.

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Above: A part produced using Figure 4 RUBBER-65A BLK and 3D Systems’ Figure 4 technology. The parts produced using this technology can be produced at a faster rate than other similar competitive materials that require a secondary thermal post-cure/Image Credit: 3D Systems

As with all of 3D Systems’ production-grade materials, Figure 4 RUBBER-65A BLK is specially formulated for additive manufacturing by addressing three key customer needs: Production Performance Properties, Production Mechanical Properties, and Production Testing Standards. The new material is also biocompatible capable as per ISO 10993-5 and ISO 10993-10 so it can be used to produce grips and handles as well as padding for splints and braces. Parts produced using Figure 4 RUBBER-65A BLK and 3D Systems’ Figure 4 technology can be produced faster than other similar competitive materials that require a secondary thermal post-cure.

The New Accura Fidelity Material

Accura Fidelity is an ultra-low viscosity, antimony-free stereolithography (SLA) resin with clean burnout that is designed to create patterns for a variety of castable metals, including titanium and aluminum alloys. When used as part of 3D Systems’ QuickCast process, Accura Fidelity enables rapid creation of medium to large, lightweight, and easy-to-handle casting patterns – leading to increased casting yields.

ACCURA FIDELITY
Above: A part produced using ACCURA FIDELITY. When used as part of 3D Systems’ QuickCast process, Accura Fidelity enables rapid creation of medium to large, lightweight, and easy-to-handle casting patterns – leading to increased casting yields/Image Credit: 3D Systems

Providing more details about the new material Nancy Holt, Director of Operations, 3D Systems On Demand, states, “The new Accura Fidelity material for Stereolithography printing has improved the post-processing of our QuickCast investment casting patterns. The low viscosity of this material facilitates better drainage and faster cleaning of the patterns, resulting in an expected increase in throughput by up to 30% as we move into full production with this material”.

Explaining further about how the new material has been beneficial for foundry customers, Holt adds,  The ultimate test is in its castability, and our foundry customers are providing very positive feedback. One customer, SeaCast, said the QuickCast pattern with Accura Fidelity casted extremely well with their process and they were very pleased with the final metal part.

Figure 4 JEWEL MASTER GRY

In addition to the above materials, the company also announced Figure 4 JEWEL MASTER GRY – a versatile master pattern material for high volume jewelry silicone molds and for prototype/fit models. The material’s high heat deflection temperature ensures compatibility with a range of silicones for creating master patterns. The new material is well suited for producing high definition master patterns for making silicone or RTV molds – especially for high volume, mass production of designs.

Figure 4 JEWEL MASTER GRY
Above: Figure 4 JEWEL MASTER GRY – a versatile master pattern material for high volume jewelry silicone molds and for prototype/fit models/Image Credit: 3D Systems

Meeting the biocompatibility standard ISO 10933-5 for cytotoxicity, making it safe for try-ons and fittings, this material also delivers exceptional precise surface quality for design and functional prototyping, as well as snap-fit and stone-in-place testing. The general availability of the material is planned for late June 2020.


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