Carbon, the Silicon Valley startup known for its Digital Light Synthesis 3D printing technology, has released two new production-grade 3D printing materials, Epoxy (EPX) 82 and Elastomeric Polyurethane (EPU) 41. Both materials are currently only available on the North American market, though a global release for the materials will follow.
Carbon’s two new materials mark an expansion of the company’s production-ready materials. In brief, EPX 82 is described as a high-resolution and high-strength material developed for engineering applications and EPU 41 is the company’s “production-scale elastomeric material.” The latter was developed for the production of durable elastic lattices.
“The world’s most innovative companies are adopting digital 3D Manufacturing and Carbon is helping accelerate this growth through our expanding portfolio of production-ready materials,” says Jason Rolland, Vice President of Materials at Carbon. “At Carbon, we are constantly pushing the boundaries to create solutions for producing more durable, higher quality end-use parts. The introduction of EPX 82 and EPU 41 is a testament to this, and further validates our vision to fundamentally change how the world designs, engineers, makes, and delivers products.”
Looking at the new materials more closely, Carbon’s EPX 82 boasts a heat-deflection temperature of 125°C and mechanical properties in line with a number of glass-filled thermoplastics including 20% GF-PBT and 15% GF-Nylon. The material’s toughness and high impact strength make it suitable for producing functional parts such as connectors, brackets and housings for both the automotive and industrial sectors.
“When selecting a material for the production of electrical connector housings, it is critical that the material is tough and allows for flex-features to perform adequately, yet stiff enough to yield strong, thin-walled geometries,” explains Jerry Rhinehart, Manager of Additive Manufacturing Development at automotive parts manufacturer Aptiv. “These mechanical properties must also be maintained as the connector withstands harsh environmental conditions, including temperature-humidity cycling and exposure to caustic chemicals.”
Rhinehart goes on to explain that the new EPX 82 material has enabled Aptiv to attain the USCAR-2 T2 temperature class of connection systems. “Our confidence in this material enables our product development engineers to free their minds from the design constraints imposed by traditional manufacturing processes, paving the way for the creation of connectors that outperform their injection-molded counterparts by adding value through geometric complexity,” he adds.
EPU 41, for its part, falls into Carbon’s family of elastomeric materials, which already includes SIL 30 and EPU 40. EPU 41, which has a better temperature resilience (for temperatures > -10°C) compared to EPU 40, is particularly well-suited for the production of elastomeric lattice geometries, offering an advantageous alternative to traditional foam materials. This is because its tear strength, energy return and elongation rates are conducive to superior cushioning, impact absorption and comfort.
Carbon adds that EPU 41 has showcased good results when undergoing fatigue, hydrolysis, UV-stability and plastic deformation tests. Further, the material can be combined with Carbon’s tunable elastomeric lattices and software tools for the purpose of innovating new benchmarks previously set by foam-based materials.
Carbon is currently offering its new EPU 41 elastomeric 3D printing material in bulk quantities of five liters for the cost of $150 per liter. This makes it the second material that Carbon offers under its “production-scale materials pricing” plan. Because it is sold in bulk, the material does require an MMD (meter, mix and dispense) device.