3D Systems has today introduced a new material for its Figure 4 digital production system. The material, Figure 4 PRO-BLK 10, is the first photopolymer released by 3D Systems with thermoplastic characteristics that meets the speed, precision, strength and durability of injection molded components. 3D Systems has also announced four addition Figure 4 materials.
Figure 4 PRO-BLK 10
Figure 4 PRO-BLK 10 was developed for the purpose of 3D printing end-use plastic components without the need for tooling. The material is quick to cure as it does not require a secondary thermal post-cure process and needs only a simple isopropyl alcohol (IPA) wash. These two properties drastically reduce the time associated with cleaning and curing parts.
According to 3D Systems, end-use components 3D printed using its Figure 4 system and the new black material were completed on average four times faster (including printing and curing times) than other 3D production systems.
So far, the 3D printing company has received positive feedback from customers who have used the new production material. At D&K Engineering—a San Diego-based product design and contract manufacturing—for instance, Figure 4 PRO-BLK 10 has already been comfortably integrated into production workflows.
“One thing we’re really excited about with Figure 4 PRO-BLK 10 is the capability to produce complex, fine details on parts without tooling,” explained Chris Nicoll, Prototype Lab Manager at D&K Engineering. “We created several threaded parts in the same print with a variety of dimensions and each one is perfect. The quality is just outstanding. I’m excited about how the new Figure 4 production black material along with our Figure 4 Modular printer will help us provide production parts to our customers more quickly. With the enhanced speed, we’ll also be able to take on more projects, which will help us grow our business.”
Four additional materials
As mentioned, 3D Systems also introduced a number of other materials for its Figure 4 3D printing solution, including Figure 4 EGGSHELL-AMB 10, Figure 4 HI TEMP 300-AMB, Figure 4 FLEX-BLK 20 and Figure 4 RUBBER-BLK 10. Presently, 3D Systems has a dozen materials listed for its Figure 4 system, each with unique properties.
Let’s take a closer look at the four additions to 3D Systems’ Figure 4 portfolio and what applications they fit:
- Figure 4 EGGSHELL-AMB 10 is process-optimized for the production of sacrificial tooling for casting true silicone components.
- Figure 4 HI TEMP 300-AMB is described as an industry-leading, ultra-high temperature (up to 300 °C) rigid plastic that is ideal for production applications like high-temp component testing, stators and motor enclosures.
- Figure 4 FLEX-BLK 20 is a flexible material with good durability, high impact and fatigue resistance. It also reportedly has long term environmental stability making it suitable for functional assemblies and prototypes for automotive, consumer goods and electronics applications.
- Last but not least, Figure 4 RUBBER-BLK 10 is a high-tear strength, malleable material that was developed for prototyping hard, rubber-like parts, such as grips, handles and couplings.
“Through collaboration with its customers, 3D Systems continues to innovate, and rethink manufacturing,” said Menno Ellis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Plastics at 3D Systems. “The release of our newest Figure 4 materials enables production of parts through additive across the entire product development and production value chain – an industry breakthrough unparalleled by competitive offerings. This is further proof that 3D Systems is the only additive manufacturing solutions group providing the depth of expertise and breadth of technology leadership, which enables companies to create new, improved products while gaining efficiencies that place them well ahead of their competitors.”