Black ULTEM Stratasys (stratasys.com) is offering a new thermoplastic material that comes in any color you like, as long as it’s black—Black Ultem 9085, that is. The material is from SABIC Innovative Plastics (sabic-ip.com).
Like Henry Ford’s legendary obstinacy, there’s a good reason for that. Most takers for the thermoplastic material designed for the company’s Stratasys’ FDM 900mc and FDM 400mc additive manufacturing systems sought out black because it provides a uniform appearance to product assemblies, and so Stratasys complied. The standard ULTEM material, previously made in tan hues, had just the opposite effect of showcasing the grime. “It also helps mask dirt or grease found in mechanical systems or under the hood, in the fuselage, or on the manufacturing floor. For many users, the black color will eliminate the need for the non-value-added post-processing step of painting or coating,” said Fred Fischer, business development director at Stratasys.
The company recently presented a case study involving Minimizer, a conversely named manufacturer of semi truck fenders and accessories. Minimizer uses ULTEM for its prototype parts, especially those that require drilling or must be secured with fasteners or mated with other parts.
“We found that [because] the ULTEM has high tensile strength and is rigid, it’s a good alternative for us to prototype with. 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 we look for in the [standard] ULTEM material.”
Mounting brackets are commonly made from glass fiber and tough, rigid plastics, which can be a challenge to prototype, according to Minimizer mechanical engineer, Martin Larsen.
“When we make an FDM part and mount it on a truck there’s a lot of drilling, using fasteners and even mating parts together,” he says. “We found that [because] the ULTEM has high tensile strength and is rigid, it’s a good alternative for us to prototype with. 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 we look for in the (standard) ULTEM material.”
Fenders made with ULTEM 908 and a Stratasys system.
Rexcan CS+: More Scanning, Less Moving
Users of the Rexcan CS+ 3D scanner don’t move a part to input it, they click a mouse.
So says eQuality Tech (eqtinc.com), which distributes the Solutionix- (solutionix.com) made 3D scanner. The scanner does away with scan targets, letting users position an individual part by clicking instead of physically moving it or the scanner.
The Rexcan CS+ has a turntable with four degrees of motion. It includes an interchangeable lens set with resolution of 100 mm, 200 mm and 400 mm and automatic calibration for different fields of view. A blue-light scanning function captures dark small- and medium-sized parts, and can generate scanning paths by clicking on the model itself, which cuts down on the preparation and scanning time, the company notes. Mounting the Rexcan CS to a tripod enables scanning of larger parts.
It comes with ezScan Software for data acquisition and Geomagic Qualify (geomagic.com) for automated inspection analysis.
“Eliminating targets, streamlining scanning with the four-way turntable, and comprehensive automation in Rexcan CS+ can reduce data acquisition and processing time by 50%,” says Srdjan Urosev, president and CEO of eQuality Tech.
Rapid Manufacturing to Double by 2017; Reason: Autos
Led by the automotive industry, the additive manufacturing market will reach $3.4-billion by 2017, according to a report from research firm Markets and Markets (marketsandmarkets.com).
Additive manufacturing’s market, which currently stands at $1.84-billion, is growing in every manufacturing sector and will continue its expansion at a compounded annual growth rate of 13.5%. Markets and Markets notes that automotive accounts for the largest share, unsurprisingly, due the increase in 3D printing in the production of end products such as engines, spare parts, other interior, and exterior parts.
Point, Shoot, Scan
The promo video for the Go!SCAN 3D, Creaform’s (creaform3d.com) handheld scanner, shows a worker using the tool much like a spray paint can. Panning the instrument back and forth, the shape and contours are revealed, and a colorful shape emerges.
Creaform notes that setting up the scanning takes only slightly more time than shaking up and opening a can of spray paint, just under two minutes. And competently using the tool takes just about as much experience. The 1.1-kg scanner has a resolution of up to 0.1 mm, and, according to Creaform, renders an object in real time.
The scanner includes 3D VXelements software in which the resolution can be changed either before or after the scan. The software also can recreate a meshing from the raw data previously acquired.
The Go!SCAN 3D rounds out Creaform’s portfolio of handheld portable 3D scanners, which also includes the Handyscan 3DTM and the MetraSCAN 3DTM.