3D Systems Unveils Material to Enable Direct Digital Production of Plastic Parts

New Figure 4 advanced photopolymer material exhibits thermoplastic behaviors.

New Figure 4 advanced photopolymer material exhibits thermoplastic behaviors.

3D Systems unveiled Figure 4 Production Black 10 (PRO-BLK 10)—a production material for additive manufacturing applications that enables manufacturers to directly produce end-use plastic parts without tooling. This results in parts produced the same day versus weeks required with conventional tool-based approaches.

Figure 4 PRO-BLK 10 is 3D Systems’ photopolymer for additive manufacturing that exhibits thermoplastic behaviors, providing a combination of speed, accuracy, strength and durability previously only associated with injection molding output. The material works with a simple isopropyl alcohol (IPA) wash and does not require a secondary thermal post-cure process, which significantly improves throughput yield and significantly reduces the extensive solvent cleaning cycles needed with other technologies. 

In customer testing of a variety of parts, using the Figure 4 system and the new production black material delivered a part in hand on average up to 4X faster (including print and cure time), compared to customers’ existing 3D production systems.

“Through collaboration with its customers, 3D Systems continues to innovate, and rethink manufacturing,” said Menno Ellis, senior vice president and general manager, plastics, 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.” 

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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