It’s a busy time of the year in the additive manufacturing industry. With events such as the Munich Technology Conference (MTC3) taking place this week and one of the industry’s biggest events, Formnext, taking place in a month, companies from across the AM industry are gearing up to introduce new alliances, strategies and, of course, products.

This week, we saw some exciting product releases from digital manufacturing company Carbon, Dutch filament producer colorFabb and Austrian ceramic experts Lithoz. Take a look.

Carbon releases new RPU 130 resin

Carbon has announced it will be introducing a new resin material, RPU 130, suitable for applications in the automotive industry. The material, partially derived from plants, offers a more sustainable solution for high-performance applications that require good strength, rigidity and high temperature resistance.

RPU 130 is the latest addition to Carbon’s rigid polyurethane material family and combines characteristics from many of Carbon’s existing resins, including RPU 70, FPU 50 and EPX 82. The new material is described as a tough, heat and impact resistant resin, with properties similar to ABS, unfilled nylon or polypropylene.

“Our materials team at Carbon is second to none, and RPU 130 represents a true breakthrough in what is possible for new additive materials,” commented Dr. Joseph DeSimone, Co-Founder and CEO of Carbon. “Although some of these properties have been available before in additive, RPU 130 is the first to combine them all into a single manufacturing material suitable for the most demanding conditions. We are really proud of the science that went into bringing this innovative material to market.”

In addition to automotive applications, RPU 130 is well suited for industrial and consumer product applications including sunglasses, tool housings and device enclosures. The dual-cure engineering resin was developed specifically for Carbon Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology.

To accompany the launch of the new material, Carbon has also introduced a new heated C5 Cassette which enables the use of the high-performance resin, as well as a new dispensing solutions and tuning via software.

As mentioned, the material is partially derived from plants—a feat which was achieved thanks to a collaboration with DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products. The resin is made up of roughly 30% Susterra propanediol—a 100% bio-based building block for polymers, coatings and inks. Compared to petroleum-based alternatives, Susterra propanediol produces 48% less greenhouse gas emissions and consumes 46% less non-renewable energy.

Jason Rolland, SVP of Materials at Carbon, said: “We are focused on ways to incorporate more sustainable approaches to developing materials, and our partnership with DuPont Tate & Lyle emphasizes that commitment. We believe that sustainability can go hand-in-hand with improved performance. In the case of RPU 130, we believe it will make the material even more appealing for our customers, as it makes it possible to create better quality products that are also ultimately better for the environment.”

colorFabb releases Laser Marking PLA filament

Dutch filament producer colorFabb this week launched a new 3D printing filament that contains a laser-sensitive additive optimized to work within a 980-1064 nm wavelength. The new material, called Laser Marking PLA, enables users to achieve clearer and more vibrant laser markings on 3D printed products, ideal for bar or QR codes, personal messages, product numbers and more.

From a 3D printing standpoint, the new material functions just like standard PLA, with the same ease of printing and low risk of warping. The material, which has been positively tested with a Nd:YAG and fiber lasers, is the first laser marking material to be released by colorFabb. (It should be noted that the filament is not compatible with CO2 lasers.)

The new 3D printing filament is available in a light grey color and in 750 g spool formats. Its release follows colorFabb’s recent announcement of the new varioShore TPU filament and the lightweight, foaming LW-PLA filament.

Lithoz presents CeraFab System family

Austrian ceramic 3D printing company Lithoz will be presenting its CeraFab System family at Formnext 2019. The 3D printer series comprises of three different build sizes and varying resolutions. Customers can also opt to combine up to four production units to create a scalable production environment.

Lithoz’ CeraFab System machines are designed to meet the needs of high-end sectors, such as aerospace, industrial and medical. The newest member of the CeraFab System family, the CeraFab S230, is also the largest with a build volume of up to 192 x 120 x 320 mm. The machine also has the capacity to reach lateral resolutions of up to 75 µm and layer thicknesses of 25 – 200 µm. The new system, to be on display at Formnext, will be shipping to Lithoz’s first customers in early 2020.

This week, Lithoz also announced a collaboration with Corning to bring a glass-ceramic additive manufacturing workflow to market. The partnership has consisted of using Lithoz’s lithography-based ceramic manufacturing (LCM) technology and a slurry made from Corning’s glass-ceramic powder produced within a Lithoz resin system.

Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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