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WEB EXCLUSIVE: Stratasys, Eden Prairie, Minn., has introduced black Ultem 9085 for direct digital manufacturing and rapid prototyping by users of its Fortus 900mc or 400mc 3D Production Systems, which are based on the company’s patented FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) technology.
Previously only available in tan color for FDM parts, Ultem 9085 polyetherimide (PEI) from SABIC Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., is said to offer high strength, heat and chemical resistance, and excellent FST (flame, smoke, and toxicity) rating, particularly important to the automotive and aerospace industries. According to Stratasys, the majority of its tan Ultem users have requested the material be also offered in black because it gives a uniform look to product assemblies. In addition, it helps mask dirt or grease in end-use environments.
For many users, the black color will eliminate the need for painting or coating. One example is Minimizer, a Minnesota maker of truck fenders and accessories. The company has been using the Ultem tan material to make FDM prototypes because of its high tensile strength and its rigidity, according to mechanical engineer Martin Larsen. “When we make an FDM part and mount it on a truck, there’s a lot of drilling, use of fasteners, and even mating parts together. Having the black material is a big bonus for us. We don’t have to spend the time to finish the part, and we get the same material properties as the standard Ultem.”
Stratasys anticipates the black color material will also be useful for construction, agriculture and industrial equipment manufacturers.