May 9, 2017 | By Tess

If it’s seeming like an exciting week for 3D printing news, we’ve got the RAPID + TCT additive manufacturing event in Pittsburgh to thank. The expo, which kicked off yesterday, has brought together all the leading companies from the 3D printing world—a real who’s who of the industry!

The latest from RAPID + TCT is from additive manufacturing giant 3D Systems, which has unveiled a range of new products, materials, and tools to accelerate its plastic 3D printing solutions.

More specifically, the South Carolina-based company has introduced its newest large-format multi-material composite 3D printer: the ProJet MJP 5600; a slew of new SLA 3D printing materials, including Accura materials; and Geomagic Freeform 2017 software, which features a range of tools to enable mass-custom design and manufacturing.

Let’s look at the first big announcement, the ProJet MJP 5600, which is the newest addition to 3D Systems’ ProJet line of 3D printers. According to the company, the new printer offers faster print speeds (up to 2X), a larger build volume (up to 518 x 381 x 300 mm), and lower print costs (up to 40% cheaper) compared to existing multi-material 3D printers on the market.

3D Systems' ProJet MJP 5600 3D printer

The new 3D printer, which utilizes a jetting technology, is well suited for prototyping, as well as functional testing and medical modeling applications. As a multi-material machine, the ProJet MJP 5600 enables its users to produce parts that blend rigid and elastomeric materials at a voxel level.

Additionally, the printer is accompanied by the new 3D Spring 2.5 software program, which makes it easy for users to blend materials in a given design and provides accurate build time estimates and material use information. The new software will be available this week and is compatible with 3D Systems’ SLA, MJP, and CJP 3D printers.

3D Systems' 3D Spring 2.5 software

The printer also offers a number of other upgraded features, including a 10-inch 64-bit OS display, and the ability to slice multiple prints at once. The ProJet MJP 5600 is expected to become available in June 2017. For those who have already invested in 3D Systems’ Projet MJP 5500X 3D printer, the company says it will offer an upgrade program to bring its features up to par with the MJP 5600.

Now, let’s get into the materials. First off, to go with the new ProJet MJP 5600, 3D Systems has unveiled VisiJet CR-BK, a new rigid black plastic material which is compatible with the aforementioned printer and offers improved mechanical performance.

3D Systems' Accura HPC SLA material

That’s not all though. 3D Systems has also announced two new stereolithography (SLA) materials: Accura HPC and Accura Phoenix. The former is a high performance composite developed for use with the ProX 800 3D printer. It boasts a high level of stiffness as well as high-throughput production capability for advanced performance applications, such as wind tunnel models, welding fixtures, assembly fixtures, etc.

Accura Phoenix, for its part, was developed for the ProJet 6000 and 7000. According to 3D Systems, the SLA material has “exceptional clarity” as well as high-temperature resistance, both of which make it suitable for producing high-temperature fluid flow visualization models for automotive parts.

3D Systems' Accura Phoenix SLA material

3D Systems has also announced that it is preparing to launch its new Geomagic Freeform 2017 hybrid design software this June. The program promises to help users “solve complex design and manufacturing challenges in a single platform.”

The hybrid software program is particularly well suited for designing parts for mass customization, as it integrates a number of features and workflows that help speed up the processes for personalized design variations. Notable features also include the ability to make 3D text labels or other design details that fit onto the surface of an existing model, which will be helpful for users designing parts that have to mold fit with another object.

3D Systems' GeoMagic Freeform 2017 hybrid design software

If you’re interested in learning more about 3D Systems’ new offerings, the company can be found at booth 2525 at the RAPID + TCT 2017 trade show in Pittsburgh, PA.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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