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3D Printers Review

New Objet Dual-Head 3D Printer Opens Door to Custom 'Digital Materials' Rapid Manufacturing

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Full article is available for a fee

Jenée D. White, December 10, 2007

Objet Geometries Ltd. has launched the Connex500, a 3D printer that uses a new technology to combine two distinct photopolymer materials for one printing operation. The ability to blend two distinct materials -- what Objet calls ‘Digital Materials’ -- should find a ready market in design and manufacturing settings already taking advantage of various rapid manufacturing technologies. The ability to mix and match materials and properties adds a new element to the design process, as engineers discover new ways to combine materials for form, fit, and function.

The patent-pending PolyJet Matrix technology works via the conjunction of two preset combinations of Objet’s FullCure model materials. The Connex500 can use 21 types of Digital Materials on demand, allowing the mixing of composite materials to create specific properties. The technology should reduce prototyping production costs, as simulation of double injection products can be viewed in the early stages of the design process.

Digital Materials are formulated by simultaneously jetting two model materials to create new composite materials. The mechanical properties of Digital Materials are different from the two model materials that were used to create the composite. Printing parts and assemblies with multiple model materials eliminates the need to design, print and glue together separate model parts to make a complete model.

“This is an industry first,” says industry expert Terry Wohlers of Wohlers Associates. “This opens up exciting new options that before were impossible with methods of additive fabrication. I anticipate strong interest in the technology and materials from a wide range of organizations worldwide.”

Objet says it sees its first market for the Connex500 among companies that design and manufacture consumer, industrial, and medical products, as well as sporting goods. Example products are toothbrushes and razors that typically require over-molding in the manufacturing process, and the grips on other handheld devices, such as communication devices and power tools.

Read more...

  • Mix and Match Materials

  • Over-Molded Parts and Doubled-Injection Process Simulation

  • Biomedical and Translucent Parts

The full article is available for a fee at CADCAMNet

 

 
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