3D Systems introduces two new production-grade materials

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3D Systems has introduced Figure 4 Tough Clear and DuraForm PAx Black, two new production materials designed to meet a wide range of industrial applications. Both materials have been engineered for long-lasting mechanical performance and stability in any environment, making them ideal for a multitude of end-use applications in industries such as consumer goods, transportation and motorsports, aerospace and defense, etc.

Figure 4 Resistant Clear

Figure 4 Tough Clear is 3D Systems’ first transparent material for its Figure 4 platform, designed for long-term use parts and working prototypes. Parts produced using Figure 4 Tough Clear have excellent clarity that is enhanced with post-processing. This can be extremely useful for applications such as the flow of fluids and gases to observe the inner workings of complex assemblies. It can also improve light transmission and reflection for lenses, light guides and light covers. Additionally, the material offers a desirable combination of customer-critical performance characteristics including impact strength, tensile strength and elongation properties that remain stable for up to eight years.

Figure 4 Tough Clear has been tested for eight years of indoor and one and a half year outdoor mechanical performance using ASTM D4329 and ASTM G154 methods, ensuring that printed parts remain functional and stable for long periods of time under real-world conditions. In addition to lenses, light guides and light covers, this material is suitable for a variety of high volume small parts applications such as load bearing handles, cranks, knobs, levers, structural supports , snaps and fasteners, and consumer goods packaging.

“3D printing is the most cost effective method to produce transparent parts, and with the introduction of Figure 4 Tough Clear, we are giving our customers a way to reduce their time to market,” said Dr. Edwin Hortelano, senior vice president. materials engineering and development at 3D Systems. “Our Figure 4 platform is easy to use and facilitates lightning-fast production. With our new Figure 4 Tough Clear material, customers now have a production-grade material designed for long-term stability. The combination of our Figure 4 hardware solution and our deep materials and application expertise enables our customers to accelerate innovation and gain competitive advantage.

An armrest produced on the 3D Systems SLS 380 3D printer using the new DuraForm PAx Black material.

DuraForm PAx Black

DuraForm PAx Black is the latest offering in 3D Systems’ new portfolio of open materials for use with Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printers. As with the recently announced DuraForm PAx Natural, this material has similar properties to injection molded plastics and exhibits high impact strength with high elongation at break in all directions. DuraForm PAx Black is designed for use with any commercially available SLS printer, regardless of manufacturer, making it easy to integrate into existing production workflows. The mechanical properties of the material facilitate the manufacture of strong, lightweight, production quality parts for applications such as orthoses, tool handles, splints, splints, ducts in harsh environments, live hinges, liquid tanks and enclosures requiring high impact and high toughness.

Properties of DuraForm PAx Black include low temperature printing (i.e. 120°C) – aiding efficient printing and post-processing, and impressive long-term stability ratings of more than five years indoors (for mechanical properties and color). Using steam lapping to post-cure parts moves elongation at yield beyond that of other nylon materials (i.e. PA-11 and PA-12) and provides a shiny, smooth finish almost indistinguishable from injection molded parts. High reuse rates (a refresh rate of 30% is recommended) help reduce waste and lower production costs.

Figure 4 Tough Clear and DuraForm PAx Black are both expected to be available in Q4 2022.

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