May 8, 2017 | By Tess

3D printer manufacturer EnvisionTEC has announced an exciting performance upgrade for its Perfactory 3D printer model which includes the addition of a custom LED light system. The new LED light system, to be offered with EnvisionTEC’s Perfactory 4 (P4) model series, is reportedly more powerful and efficient than existing light projector systems, and enables higher quality prints and lower operating costs.

EnvisionTEC’s Perfactory 3D printer line launched 15 years ago, and at the time was the first commercial DLP 3D printer brought to the global market. Over the years, the Michigan-based company has advanced and updated its recognized line of 3D printers, promoting it for various applications, including jewelry design.

The company’s new P4 LED Standard XL 3D printer will be presented at the RAPID + TCT 3D printing event, running from May 8 to 11 in Pittsburgh, PA. The printer features a build envelope of 192 x 120 x 180 (or 230) mm and an XY accuracy of 100 µm, while the P4 LED Mini 3D printer offers an XY resolution as low as 10 µm and an adjustable Z resolution of between 15 and 150 µm.

EnvisionTEC says it has been developing the new LED light system for its P4 3D printers for over a year, with the new light system promising “crisper black-white contrast between pixels” which in turn offers finer detail for 3D printed parts. The LED light system also offers lower costs compared to EnvisionTEC’s previous light projection system.

For instance, while the P4’s previous light projection system—an ultra-high-performance (UHP) lamp that uses high-pressure mercury gas to produce light—cost an average of $2.90 per hour of use and had an estimated life of 500 hours, the new LED system only costs about $0.50 an hour and has a much longer estimated life of 10,000 hours.

“This new LED system is an example of how we listen to our customers and have worked with them for 15 years to develop better 3D printing solutions,” explained EnvisionTEC CEO Al Siblani. “This change will offer our production 3D printer users much lower operating costs. As an added benefit, the exceptional detail that our machines already produce will get even better because of the improved range of brightness from the LEDs.”

In addition to the new LED light system for its P4 3D printer line, EnvisionTEC has also released seven new 3D printing materials geared towards industrial and medical 3D printing applications. Of the seven materials, three are engineering-grade materials suitable for the company’s Desktop, Perfactory, and 3SP 3D printers, while the rest make up EnvisionTEC’s first line of research-grade materials for its 3D-Bioplotter 3D printers.

The three engineering-grade materials are:

  • E-CE: A stiff cyan-type ester material with good heat and chemical resistance. The material features a heat deflection temperature of 170°C and is suitable for various industrial applications that require thermal stability (i.e. encasements for electronics or under-the-hood parts).
  • E-Poxy: A hard, dual-cure material that is made up of partially biosourced materials. E-Poxy offers sturdy and strong thin-walled parts, as well as good flexibility, hardness, and heat resistance. It is reportedly ideal for 3D printed parts like connectors. 
  • E-Model Flex: An accurate end-use and modeling material that offers improved elongation at break rates. This material if offered in both yellow and green colors and is compatible with EnvisionTEC’s Desktop, Perfactory, and 3SP 3D printers.

EnvisionTEC’s first ever line of bioprinting materials consists of the following:

  • Silicone TG: Described as a “technical-grade silicone,” Silicone TG is ideal for printing soft implant surgical models, like noses or breasts. The printable RTV-1 silicone material is self-curing, has demonstrated low shrinkage, and boasts a medium hardness of roughly 20 Shore. The odorless material is available in transparent, black, or shades of gray.
  • PCL 45K RG: This bioprinting material is a research-grade polycaprolactone that has applications in tissue engineering. The material is suited for bone and cartilage regeneration, as well as drug delivery. According to EnvisionTEC, the material’s mechanical stability can be controlled by varying the porosity of parts, and its surface erosion allows for “controlled release of additives during the 1-3 year degradation period of the fabricated parts.”
  • LT Support RG: A low-temperature cellulose-derived saccharide material that is developed for sacrificial supports. The material, which can be processed as a hydrogel and is biocompatible and cell friendly, is designed to dissolve in distilled water. It’s processing temperature is 23°C.
  • HT Support RG: Another sacrificial support material, HT Support RG is a high-temperature research grade sugar derivative that can be dissolved in room-temperature distilled water in just a few minutes. This material’s processing temperature is 150°C.

EnvisionTEC will be presenting parts made from the new materials at the RAPID + TCT show this week. “These new offerings showcase our commitment to material development as well as our close relationships with customers, who have asked us to develop specific materials for our highly accurate and reliable desktop and production machines,” added Siblani.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer

 

 

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