Increased rigidity and durability ideal for wear resistant molds


Stratasys unveiled its second generation Digital ABS this week, which it claims offers sharper edges and improved wear resistance.

The new 3D printing material was created with a nod toward making small parts, such as pins, that are strong enough to handle the high stresses of the injection molding process.

"In addition to general purpose applications, Digital ABS2 is ideal for prototyping consumer electronics and other consumer goods, including small appliances and cell phones, which require high stability with thin-wall geometries," Fred Fischer, Stratasys director of materials and applications product management said.

The new material's increased rigidity also makes it ideal for 3D printing models with cavities designed into them for use in low-volume injection molding applications using thermoplastics.

The material, which comes in ivory and green, is designed for Stratasys' Objet Connex PolyJet line. PolyJet 3D printers shoot layers of liquid photopolymer onto a build tray. The layers build up one at a time to create a 3D model, as well as a gel-like support material specially designed to uphold overhangs and complicated shapes, but can be removed by hand with water. Once the models are cured with ultraviolet light, they can be handled and used immediately.

With offices in both Minneapolis and Rehovot, Israel, Stratasys is one of a handful of giants in the 3D printing industry. The company's fused deposition modeling (FDM) and PolyJet processes produce prototypes and manufactured goods directly from 3D CAD files or other 3D content.

Stratasys made headlines earlier this year when it bought MakerBot in a deal worth $403 million.