Formlabs launch four new ‘engineering materials’

Published 27 October 2016

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: engineering, prototype, 3d printing, formlabs, sla, resin

The in-house materials development team at Formlabs has released the company’s new line of resins, set to simulate real world engineering grade properties with four new materials.

Durable, Tough, and High Temp resins, and an existing Flexible resin, make up the new family of materials as the Form2 machine continues to target professional users.

“We’ve experienced lots of internal ‘aha!’ moments experimenting with these new resins, and one of the most exciting things about the development process is when we’re able to print something on the Form 2 that we couldn’t have created before,” said a spokesperson.

“We’re even more excited to see what others do with our printers and this new lineup of materials.”

The materials:

Tough:
Offering an ABS-like resistance to stress and strain, Formlabs’ reformulated Tough Resin balances strength with elongation, ‘so Tough parts absorb energy and begin to deform before they snap or shatter’. The example use is snap-fit joints, assemblies, and rugged prototypes that need to resist breaking or deforming under a load.

Durable:
Like polypropylene, the Durable resin bends and has a smooth and glossy finish like as everyday plastics used in consumer products, packaging, and low-friction and low-wear moving parts.

Available in January 2017, the material is high wear-resistant, ductile material for parts where breaking would be the worst possible outcome, or for parts that need to deform multiple times.

High Temp:
With a HDT @ 0.45 MPa of 289 ºC, Formlabs claims this is the highest on the 3D printing materials market, making it great for static applications that will undergo higher temperatures such as casting and thermoforming.

Flexible:
Parts made with Flexible Resin can bend and compress - useful for simulating soft-touch materials or parts that need to flex and bend, especially over time. It can be used to simulate an 80A durometer rubber and should prove useful for prototyping grips and overmolds, cushioning and dampening, and wearables.

To achieve the most accurate print results possible, a new version of Formlabs PreForm software is available for download, which generates different laser paths from those used with the other resins.

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