If you're a working professional in the jewelry, dental, engineering and manufacturing or artistic fields, today's announcement by 3D Systems of five new materials engineered specifically for the ProJet® 1200 micro-SLA 3D printers will surely catch your eye.
The new materials are aimed at expanding the capabilities of jewelers, dental labs, manufacturers, engineers, and 3D artists who create casting patterns, small end-use parts, figurines or presentation models.
When it comes to jewelry, the FTX Cast material line (a wax/resin hybrid material developed specifically for compatibility with a wide range of jewelry casting methods and materials) is made up of FTX Gold and FTX Silver. 3DS says FTX Cast is ideal for detailed pieces from rings to pendants and includes gold and silver particles embedded in the materials.
For dental lab users, the FTX Green line was created for the production of casting-friendly wax-ups for a range of small dental prosthetics, and when used with the ProJet® 1200, objects can be created which feature 30-micron layers at 585 dpi resolution. The company says that means the production of up to a dozen wax-ups takes just one hour.
Engineering and manufacturing users will be interested in FTX Gray, a high-contrast gray material for prototypes, and FTX Clear, a transparent clear material that can be applied in end-use parts and components. The company says FTX Gray and Clear let engineers create precise design prototypes of small assemblies or components for applications like electronic connectors and robotics components.
And for 3D artists, designers and professional model makers, FTX Gray parts are paintable and transparent FTX Clear parts feature a slight iridescence critical for visually appealing clear parts. For artisans interested in creating small cast sculptures, 3DS says the new FTX Cast material will provide a less work intensive way to make accurate casting patterns in their workshops.
"The addition of these five materials represents our commitment to revolutionizing desktop 3D printing and bringing new capabilities to dental techs, jewelers, artists and engineers. Now a jeweler, for instance, can design a ring, prototype it in FTX Gray, print a customer sample ring in FTX Gold and FTX Silver, and create a final casting pattern in FTX Cast – all from the same machine," says Buddy Byrum, Vice President of Product and Channel Management at 3DS.
The latest additions to the VisiJet FTX material line are slated to be available in December 2014 and will be on display at EuroMold 2014 in Frankfurt, Germany at the end of the month.
The latest announcements from 3DS aren't limited to the ProJet 1200. The company also announced it is offering a new industrial Direct Metal Printing (DMP) system, the ProX™ 400, at EuroMold this year.
Aimed primarily at aerospace and automotive companies, medical implant makers, tool and die makers and service bureaus, the ProX 400 can output objects up to 500 X 500 X 500 mm. Capable of printing in more than a dozen alloys including stainless steel, aluminum, cobalt chrome, titanium and maraging steel, the industrial-grade metal 3D printing system uses two lasers to increase throughput and ratchet up the speed of print jobs.