Z Corporation says its ZBuilder rapid prototyping systems create high-end functional prototypes at less cost than stereolithography machines. These all-in-one devices build parts additively using a high-resolution Digital Light Processor (DLP) projector to solidify a liquid photopolymer. The resulting durable plastic parts mimic injection molding in terms of accuracy, material properties, detail and surface finish, the company says. Imagining an entire cross-section at once, the devices are said to build at twice the speed of machines with comparable performance. Part features are accurate within ±0.008" (±0.2 mm). Precision optics and motion systems provide repeatability, and the only movement is in the Z direction.
Applications include evaluation of product designs prior to full-scale production; verification of designs for form, fit and function; and creation of concept models to improve communication and refine designs. According to the company, users can eliminate modifications to production tooling and shorten time to market.