3D Systems announced the addition of four high-performance, production-capable resins to its Figure 4 portfolio designed for both batch-run, end-use part manufacturing, and prototyping applications. The company has added Figure 4 High Temp 150C FR Black, Figure 4 Tough 65C Black, Figure 4 Tough 60C White, and Figure 4 Rigid Gray that feature long-term mechanical performance and stability in indoor and outdoor environments and are suitable for complex applications in industries such as consumer electronics, automotive and motorsports, healthcare, industrial goods, and aerospace and defense. These materials are the latest additions to the company’s existing portfolio of Figure 4 high-speed, production-capable 3D printing materials that include rigid, tough, durable, elastomeric, and high heat deflection temperature (HDT). Unlike technologies such as powder binding or fused deposition modeling (FDM), Figure 4 parts feature a similar out-of-printer appearance to injection-molded plastics, with smooth, glossy surfaces and no visible build lines, thus requiring less post-finishing.
Additionally, the company’s latest release of its 3D Sprint software enables high-density part stacking and new strut support structures, which facilitates a 40% improvement in productivity.
Novel material for high HDT, flame retardant applications
Figure 4 High Temp 150C FR Black is a rigid, halogen-free, fire retardant resin ideal for production plastic parts for aerospace and defense, automotive and motorsports, and consumer electronics applications. This material is UL94 V0 rated at 2mm or 3mm thickness for electrical components and printed circuit board covers and housings. It is also compliant with U.S. Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 25.853 and FAR Part 23.853 at 3mm thickness, and can be used to produce rigid covers, panels, housings, and small in-cabin parts for transport and commuter aircraft. This material is easy to handle and can be used as supplied without melting or printing at elevated temperatures.
Parts produced with Figure 4 High Temp 150C FR Black delivered mechanical performance and environmental stability for eight years of indoor and one and a half years outdoor per ASTM D4329 and ASTM G194 methods. This environmental stability ensures printed parts remain functional and stable for prolonged durations in indoor and outdoor environments.
Tough, ABS-like materials for high load-bearing production applications
3D Systems is complementing its Figure 4 portfolio with additional materials that deliver a combination of impact strength, elongation, and tensile strength. Additionally, these materials are engineered for long-term indoor and outdoor mechanical performance and environmental stability. All Figure 4 materials are capable of producing parts with excellent surface quality, accuracy, and repeatability without the need for a secondary thermal cure. The result is faster throughput to part-in-hand.
• Figure 4 Tough 65C Black possesses high elongation at yield (6.6%) which delivers better snaps and clips. This makes it ideal for applications such as brackets, covers, snap fits, structural and load-bearing parts, and custom fasteners. This material delivers long-term indoor and outdoor stability – for eight years and one and a half years, respectively – positioning it for applications such as automotive and consumer goods parts that must remain functional and stable in indoor and outdoor environments. Figure 4 Tough 65C Black is biocompatible-capable per ISO 10993-5 and is UL94 HB rated for flammability.
• Figure 4 Tough 60C White, similar in overall performance to the Tough 65C Black, is engineered to address mechanical-load bearing applications such as small snap-fits, brackets, handles and fasteners in consumer products, wearable devices, and general use parts that require details, and accuracy. This material is biocompatible-capable per ISO 10993-5 and ISO 10993-10 and can be sterilized using common methods while maintaining its mechanical properties, color, cytotoxicity, and dimensional stability. This makes it an ideal material to produce tools, handles, and small plastic parts designed for medical uses.
Figure 4 rigid gray for static production applications
Figure 4 Rigid Gray, similar in overall performance to the previously announced PRO BLK 10 material, demonstrates capabilities for both functional prototyping and end-use part production thanks to its balance of thermal and mechanical properties, combined with excellent print quality, long-term indoor and outdoor mechanical performance and environmental stability. This material is ideal for static rigid housing and covers, casings, panels, and trim. The gray color is helpful for visualization of text, texture, and fine details for functional prototyping. The color also makes this material suitable for secondary processes such as painting and metal plating.
This material is already demonstrating value for 3D Systems’ customers. “We are using the Figure 4 Rigid Gray material to rapidly deliver functional parts for our consumer sporting goods lines, including ski helmet accessories, bicycle lighting covers, and sporting shoe soles and components,” said Grégoire Mercusot, material engineer, Decathlon. “We are very impressed with the performance of this material and the overall productivity of the Figure 4 solution. Out of the printer, parts display excellent dimensional accuracy and perfect quality, comparable to injection-molded plastics. The attractive grey color of the material is also ideal for highlighting fine surface details and texture-on-part.”
“Our customers lead their industries in innovation, and they are turning to us for support with increasingly complex applications,” said Dr. Edwin Hortelano, senior vice president, materials engineering & development, 3D Systems. “We’re not only partnering with our customers to help them design the optimal solution to meet their application challenges, but in many cases, we are also developing new materials that deliver the unique mechanical properties required. Our materials scientists created these latest enhancements for our Figure 4 portfolio to help our customers produce parts that not only enhance performance but improve productivity. The combination of materials, 3D printing technology, software, and deep applications expertise allows 3D Systems to deliver industry-leading additive manufacturing solutions that accelerate time-to-market and enable competitive advantage.”