3D Systems presented a number of new products at the Formnext trade fair. The company introduced new, high-performance 3D printing systems, announced a new post-processing partnership, new and improved software for additive manufacturing, and a new production-grade photopolymer.
The first novelty is the industrial SLS 3D printer – 3D Systems SLS 380, which provides a high level of repeatability, better throughput and lower operating costs. The 3D printer uses a custom algorithm that manages eight separately calibrated heaters, along with an integrated high-resolution infrared camera that captures over 100,000 thermal data samples per second to manage, monitor and control thermal homogeneity in the working chamber.
3D Systems has also introduced a new material quality control system – the MQC 600. The MQC ensures the optimal ratio of fresh material to recycled material, and the MQC 600 is optimized to deliver material to four 3D printers simultaneously, minimizing material waste and eliminating the operator’s work.
3D Systems will also sell AMT’s product line to provide a fully automated post-processing workflow. AMT’s SLS PostPro post-processing system includes fully automated powder removal and chemical vapor smoothing of 3D prints that optimize part quality and mechanical performance while improving productivity. PostPro enables batch cleaning and smoothing of parts, thus reducing lead time and production costs, and allowing factory scalability.
Another new 3D printers are metal powder printing systems. The DMP Flex 350 Dual and the DMP Factory 350 Dual are equipped with two lasers which help to reduce construction times by up to 50%. The new devices maintain the operating advantages of the single laser models, including integrated powder recycling (DMP Factory 350 Dual) and a central server to manage print jobs, materials, settings and maintenance for 24/7 productivity.
Additionally, the company’s unique vacuum chamber significantly reduces argon gas consumption while ensuring best-in-class oxygen purity (<30 ppm). The DMP Flex 350 Dual and DMP Factory 350 Dual can accelerate innovation in a variety of applications including medical devices, aviation, rotating machinery, semiconductors, and automotive and motorsport. The general availability of new 3D printers is expected in the first quarter of 2022.
The DMP Flex 200 is designed for additive manufacturing of high-quality, small, complex, fine-detail metal parts, making it ideal for dental applications including removable partial dentures, crowns, bridges, and implant beams. The DMP Flex 200 is equipped with a 500W laser source and a larger workspace (140 x 140 x 115mm) with a build plate clamping mechanism that eliminates the need to manage screws inside the process chamber. 3D Systems plans to make the DMP Flex 200 available in the first quarter of 2022.
Customers integrating the DMP 3D Systems portfolio into their workflow can also take advantage of the enhanced features of the 3DXpert 17 software that are available through Oqton solutions. With the Oqton acquisition, announced in September this year, 3D Systems will make its entire suite of AM software platforms available to the additive manufacturing industry. 3DXpert is the most powerful integrated tool in the industry for rapid part preparation and optimization, enabling rapid additive manufacturing (DfAM) design to reduce production time and increase part precision. The features available in the new version accelerate part design with higher productivity and faster printing times. General availability of 3DXpert 17 is planned for the fourth quarter of 2021.
Rapid innovations appearing in the 3D Systems materials portfolio enable the company’s customers to address a variety of new manufacturing applications. The company unveiled the Figure 4 Rigid 140C Black, a two-component epoxy / acrylate hybrid material designed to provide production-quality parts with long-term mechanical stability in a variety of environments. The material, made of a patented filler, provides strength comparable to injection molded polybutylene fiberglass (PBT GF).
This makes the material very attractive for automotive applications both under the hood and inside the cab, including end-use clamps, covers, connectors, housings and fasteners, electrical latches, and plate connectors. Under the hood components manufactured with the Figure 4 Rigid 140C Black have demonstrated excellent reliability when subjected to the High Temperature Life Test (HTOL). These parts also exhibit good friction between them, making them an ideal material for industrial applications such as levers, knobs and clutches as the material retains its structural properties.
Source: 3D Systems press materials