3D Printing Platform Enables "High-Speed Digital Molding"
IMTS 2018: 3D Systems’ Figure 4 3D printing platform consists of Figure 4 Production, Figure 4 Standalone and Figure 4 Modular.
3D Systems’ Figure 4 3D printing series consists of Figure 4 Production, Figure 4 Standalone and Figure 4 Modular models. The light-based UV curing process offers reduced production time compared to heat-based curing processes. The platform is said to deliver Six Sigma repeatability (Cpk > 2) across all materials, and data on Figure 4 Production show part print speeds ranging to 100 mm/hr.
The Figure 4 platform uses a process that 3D Systems describes as “high-speed digital molding,” providing manufacturers the accuracy, reliability, repeatability and uptime of traditional molding but producing parts without the costs and time-consuming aspects of tooling. Digital molding is said to be completely scalable, and because of the high surface quality available with Figure 4, excels at fine part texturing. In comparison to conventional manufacturing, part texturing is applicable to any surface, regardless of shape.
In addition to supporting long- and short-run batches, high-speed digital molding supports the production of different parts in the same batch. This enables manufacturers to iterate a design or manufacture end-use parts without regard to a minimum order quantity.
Figure 4 Production is compatible with more than 30 3D Systems materials, including Figure 4 RGD-GRY 10, Figure 4 RGD-GRY 15, Figure 4 ELAST-BLK, Figure 4 JCST-GRN, and NextDent biocompatible dental resins and orthodontic tooling resins. Users may also collaborate with the company’s engineers to design resins for their specific applications.
Analyzing directed energy deposition and powder-bed fusion provides a thorough understanding of the extra machining necessary for a “near net shape” versus a “net shape” manufacturing process.
A hybrid system combining metal 3D printing with machining gives the Marine Corps perhaps its most effective resource yet for obtaining needed hardware in the field. It also offers an extreme version of the experience a machine shop might have in adding metal AM to its capabilities.
Software tools such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) reveal geometries that can only be realized through 3D printing. HP and Siemens share an example in an episode of The Cool Parts Show: an air duct.