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Editor’s Pick: 3D printing at 25µm

Boston Micro Fabrication microArch S350 3D printer is the newest addition to BMF's family of micro-photopolymer 3D printers.

Boston Micro Fabrication microArch S350 3D printer is the newest addition to BMF's family of micro-photopolymer 3D printers.

The microArch S350 is a high-throughput digital light 3D printer capable of printing a 25µm resolution, +/- 50µm tolerance. Image courtesy of Boston Micro Fabrication.

Boston Micro Fabrication (BMF) introduces the microArch S350, the newest member of its growing family of micro-photopolymer 3D printers. The S350 is a 25µm platform, which BMF says allows it to print micro-scale parts with high-resolution features or small parts requiring high accuracy or precision. 

The S350 continues the buildout of a line of micron-scale printers from BMF that already include 2μm and 10μm models. The company says adding a 25µm model to its line opens the market to a wider range of users, needing high accuracy for small parts or high precision micro-scale parts. 

The S350 uses the company’s Projection Micro Stereolithography technology, a technique it says allows for rapid photopolymerization of layers of liquid polymer using a flash of UV light at micro-scale resolution. The S350 features a larger build volume (100x100x50 mm) than previous models, with fewer projection zones in the build box to improve print speed. 

The S350 continues the buildout of a line of micron-scale printers from BMF that already include 2μm and 10μm models. Image courtesy of BMF.

There is a new automated lateral membrane shift, which BMF says enables easier part removal or integration with a robotic arm. Additional capabilities include automated resin fill and adjustment, a laser displacement sensor, and an advanced roller that spreads layers faster than previous models. 

The S350 works with the existing engineering and ceramic resins in use for other BMF microArch models. There are also two new materials being introduced with the arrival of the S350: 

  • BMF MED powered by 3D Systems is a rigid amber material for applications requiring biocompatibility, translucency and/or thermal resistance. BMF says it provides parts with crisp details that can be sterilized or tested at temperatures above 100°C.
  • LOCTITE 3955 is a high-performance halogen-free flame retardant UL94-V0 high modulus photopolymer resin printable at 60°C.  

“As one of BMF’s first customers, we’ve been excited by the performance of their high-resolution 3D printing solution,” says Xiaoming Luo, principal 3D printing engineer, Aerospace, Defense, and Marine (AD&M) at TE Connectivity. “Most recently we have been evaluating BMF's first-generation microArch P150, and it has delivered accuracy that is not attainable by any other system we have used within our additive lab. With its high part quality and throughput suitable for production, as well as the ability to print a wider variety of materials, the microArch S350 has become a critical tool in printing high-resolution connectors. We feel the microArch S350 gives TE the ability to produce very high resolution connectors for our customers.” 

The BMF microArch S350 was introduced at Formnext 2022 in November 2022, and will be available to ship in the first quarter of 2023. For more information, click here.

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

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