EnvisionTEC, a leading global manufacturer of desktop and full-production 3D printers and materials, launched a new material, E-RigidForm, showcasing it in a 328-foot 3D printed chain.
A polyurethane-like resin that 3D prints hard and stiff parts, E-RigidForm is suitable for both prototypes and end use parts. With a high tensile strength of 68-73 MPa at 7% elongation at break, E-RigidForm is a durable printing material.
The strength of E-RigidForm enabled EnvisionTEC to 3D print the world’s longest resin chain in a single piece. Weaker materials would have sagged during printing such a long and heavy item, causing a print failure. The chain was 3D printed on EnvisionTEC’s largest resin printer, an Xede 3SP, which offers a build area of 18 x 18 x 18 inches.
“E-RigidForm is a breakthrough material for use on our 3SP line of 3D printers, which offer very large build areas without sacrificing speed and accuracy,” said CEO Al Siblani. “A print job of this size and complexity would not have been possible before, simply because of the stiffness required during the 3D printing process for so many links and layers.”
The EnvisionTEC Mega-Chain took more than two weeks to design and features more than 6,144 links, each measuring 1.5 in., arranged in 16 layers. It was printed unattended over 99 hours spanning more than four days. The project was so complex it required a computer with extreme processing power to generate the layers and supports for the print job. Check out the video here.
The chain was designed by EnvisionTEC 3D Builder Robert Montes with digital processing and 3D printing support from colleagues Erica Finkowski, Jason Spurlock and Josue Nunes.
The Mega-Chain will be on display April 24-26 in Fort Worth, Texas, at RAPID + TCT, the premier event for 3D manufacturing in North America.