FORECAST 3D, a privately-held 3D printing prototyping and production service provider since 1994, announced that it has added two of HP’s Jet Fusion 5210 Pro industrial 3D printers, and will be offering a new elastic material (TPU) option, ULTRASINT™ developed by BASF.
The newest additive manufacturing advancement from HP Inc., the 5210 system, is enabling access to more applications and markets that require increased accuracy and repeatability for high volume production of parts. With improved speed, the 5210 system brings increased productivity for production environments, enabling FORECAST 3D to deliver end-use 3D printed parts in quantities of millions faster than ever.
“We have been leading the Multi Jet Fusion movement for the last two years and now, and to keep up with business growth, we want to have the latest equipment and materials,” stated FORECAST 3D Technical Director Ken Burns.
3D printing has historically been known for producing prototypes. For large-scale production, traditional manufacturing methods like injection molding would previously be used to produce high volumes of end-use parts, requiring prohibitively high startup costs and unnecessary long lead times. However, in recent years, with HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology and its speed and robust mechanical properties, final parts can be printed faster. Now with 26 Multi Jet Fusion systems, FORECAST 3D has the capacity to print millions of parts in four different materials enabling companies to accelerate their product development cycle.
“We’re excited to be a part of the 4th Industrial Revolution,” Burns added. “The transition to Digital Manufacturing is changing the way companies design, innovate, and get their parts. It’s really rewarding to see how quickly product developers are recognizing these benefits and taking advantage of what these technologies can solve for today.”
With the new 5210 systems, FORECAST 3D will also be one of the first Digital Manufacturers to offer HP’s “new certified thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), ULTRASINT developed by BASF”. The new TPU produces flexible and elastic parts with quality and performance that has not really been seen in the 3D printing elastomeric marketplace. FORECAST 3D now offers four materials on the HP MJF platform: Nylon PA 12, PA 12 Glass Beads, PA 11 and TPU.
President and CEO of FORECAST 3D, Corey Weber, stated: “Up until now, all of our digital manufacturing has been in rigid nylon polymers. With the introduction of this low-cost 3D printed TPU elastomer, we expect an increased amount of opportunities to come from the ability to achieve mass customization with a solution that can provide a softer custom interface with the body.
“Combining the comfort of an elastomer with the design freedom of 3D printing will allow companies to engineer parts that can provide better impact performance as well as improved ventilation when using lattice type structures. Another benefit of engineered lattice structures is lower weight, which typically further improves the performance of a product. Prosthesis, helmets, body armor, footwear, fashion and sports braces are just a few of the product lines that will really benefit from this technology,”
“Elastomeric parts produced with 3D printing exists today but nearly all the materials are only prototype-grade. We believe this new TPU developed by BASF will add a much-needed solution to the marketplace. Couple that with this material being launched on perhaps the most sophisticated 3D Printing production-grade printer available today and we have a real manufacturing solution,” Burns concluded.