Some call it 3D printing, others refer to the process by its generic name, stereo lithography. And while auto makers are using the process, so are other industries like medical and the movie industry.
Per its press release dated April 13 from Rehovot, Israel, Objet Geometries Ltd. is the innovation leader in 3D printing for rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, because it owns more than 50 patents and patent pending inventions. Founded in 1998, Objet serves its growing global customer base, though, through offices in USA, Mexico, Europe, Japan, China and Hong Kong, and a global network of distribution partners. Objet
The company provides 3-dimensional printing systems that enable manufacturers and industrial designers to reduce cost of product development and dramatically shorten time-to-market of new products. No doubt, their presence at SAE is their way making themselves known better to automakers.
And while companies like GM, Ford and Chrysler tout they have SLA equipment, how many can produce a two-piece assembly like a shifter knob with a hard substrate under a soft rubber-like material? Fact is, Objet can. Watch the video.
With the major automakers needing to reduce development time, you can see where rapid prototyping is a major tool in its product development processes. As a former design engineer once assigned to the GM Studio, I concur that the very presence of this technology in the auto industry has literally exploded. Now with new materials being introduced all the time, the process and capabilities are getting better.
That is why Objet’s announcement of new materials at SAE 2011 World Congress is such a win for the company and the industry. Again, stereolithography has been around for some time, but it is the availability of new materials that are now taking center stage.
Objet now touts the commercial availability of three new advanced materials:
a new ABS-like Digital Material (RGD5160-DM),
a new clear transparent material (Objet VeroClear), and
a new addition to the Objet Vero family; the Objet VeroWhitePlus.
With these new additions, the number of Objet 3D printing materials is brought to a total of 65, including 51 composite materials (Digital Materials), for a wide range of rapid prototyping purposes, covering from realistic product visualization all the way to advanced functional verification.
The Objet ABS-like Digital Material is a high-impact (65-80J/m or 1.22-1.50 ft lb/in), high-temperature-resistant (65°C or 149°F and after thermal post treatment 90°C or 194°F) material ideal for manufacturers and engineers looking to functionally simulate products made of ABS-grade engineering plastics, including snap-fit parts, durable and movable parts and products requiring drop-testing.
The Objet Clear material provides clear optical and visual transparency combined with great dimensional stability enabling designers to simulate PMMA in glass-like applications such as lighting cases, lenses and cosmetics containers.
The Objet VeroWhitePlus all-round general purpose material that was recently released for Objet's desktop family 3D printers is now available for the Objet Eden professional line of 3D printers and the Objet Connex line of multi-material 3D printers. The Objet VeroWhitePlus is ideal for fit and form testing for a wide range of industries and for validating model design.
When asked about availability, Objet makes it clear that not all released materials are currently available for all platforms/systems. Objet will update its website further as releases become available and/or compatible with specific platforms/systems.
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