3D Systems plans to accelerate additive manufacturing (AM) innovation through a host of new products and partnerships. The pioneer 3D printing solutions manufacturer announced new high-throughput 3D printing technologies; a new partnership with UK startup Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) to introduce novel 3D printing workflows; improved AM software, and a new production-grade light-activated resin ideal for automotive components.
The rise of 3D printing technology in recent years has introduced a multitude of new possibilities in a broad range of industries. Moreover, by enhancing innovations and deepening interactions with startups, major 3D printer manufacturers, like 3D Systems, elevate their technologies' potential and add value to a growing community of AM users.
As part of its expansion strategy, the company is introducing a next-generation selective laser sintering (SLS) workflow that combines 3D Systems' new SLS 380, 3D Sprint plastic AM software, DuraForm materials, and AMT's PostPro, the company's automated post-processing solutions for 3D printing.
Made for high levels of repeatability and improved throughput, the SLS 380 can reduce operating costs for more effective, efficient digital manufacturing, according to the company. Thanks to a custom algorithm, it can manage eight separately calibrated heaters, together with an integrated high-resolution infrared (IR) camera that captures over 100,000 thermal data samples per second to manage, monitor and control thermal uniformity within the build chamber.
As part of this new platform, 3D Systems is also introducing a new Material Quality Control (MQC) system, the MQC 600, which ensures an optimal ratio of fresh to recycled material and is optimized to deliver material to up to four printers simultaneously, minimizing material waste and eliminating operator intervention.
The company believes that by enabling cost-effective batch production parts, the new workflow will offer users unprecedented levels of throughput, consistency, performance, and yield for industrial-scale SLS solutions that deliver repeatable end-use parts. To complete the workflow, 3D Systems will also resell AMT's line of products to provide a fully automated post-processing workflow. That includes the brand's PostPro industrial-scale SLS post-processing system with fully automated de-powdering and chemical vapor smoothing solutions that optimize part quality and mechanical performance while improving efficiencies.
Commenting on all the upcoming innovations, Chief Technology Officer for AM at 3D Systems, David Leigh, said 'œWe're excited to be able to meet with our industry colleagues, collaborators, and customers here at Formnext and introduce new product enhancements in our additive manufacturing portfolio. We remain committed to investing in our core technologies that help our customers tackle the toughest production applications. As we approach the end of the year, we're looking forward to the future with great anticipation and the realization that we can’t accomplish this by ourselves. We see tremendous opportunities to collaborate with others in the industry to bring together our products and expertise '“ fundamentally transforming the solutions we provide to help change the world of additive manufacturing.'
Aside from the new SLS 380 and AMT partnership, 3D Systems revealed new additions to its Direct Metal Printing (DMP) portfolio: the DMP Flex 350 Dual and DMP Factory 350 Dual. They include two lasers to help reduce build time by up to 50% and lower cost while accelerating innovation in various applications, including medical devices, aerospace, turbomachinery, semiconductors, and automotive and motorsports.
If you think that was a lot of announcements, think again. As part of 3D Systems' growth strategy to increase its line of dental systems, it has unveiled a new specialized 3D printer called DMP Flex 200. Designed for high-quality, small, complex, fine detail metal parts, the machine is ideal for dental applications, including next-day removable partial dentures (RPDs), crowns, bridges, and implant bars. The DMP Flex 200 features a 500W laser source and a larger build volume with a build plate clamping mechanism that eliminates the need for screw management inside the process chamber.
Finally, 3D Systems announced new integrated software to prepare and optimize parts quickly called 3DXpert 17 and a new material for automotive and industrial applications.
Available from Oqton, a software startup acquired by 3D Systems in September, the 3DXpert is described by the company as a powerful tool facilitating rapid design for AM (DfAM) to shorten production time and increase part precision.
As for the new Figure 4 Rigid 140C Black two-part epoxy/acrylate hybrid material, users can expect toughness comparable to injection molded polybutylene glass fiber (PBT GF), making it ideal for under-the-hood and interior cabin automotive applications, including end-use clips, covers, connectors, housings and fasteners, electrical latching, and board connectors.
The company plans to deliver all of these products in 2022, except for the new 3DXpert 17, which is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year. Furthermore, the lot of announcements was revealed just hours before Formnext 2021 launches. Held in Frankfurt, Germany, the long-awaited in-person event will run from November 16 through 19 and be packed with exhibitors and loads of new product releases and news. In addition, 3D Systems will showcase all of its latest technologies and solutions in booth D101, Hall 12.1.