3D Systems Introduces Material for Long-Term Use PartsBy Alejandro Enríquez | Wed, 07/21/2021 - 06:00
3D Systems introduced production-grade resin Accura AMX Rigid Black, which will facilitate the manufacture of large, structural, load-bearing parts for a variety of markets including automotive. “As part of our strategy to invest in and continue to add innovative products to our SLA material portfolio, the introduction of Accura AMX Rigid Black is poised to address a variety of new production applications with additive manufacturing," said Edwin Hortelano, Senior Vice President of Materials Engineering and Development at 3D Systems.
Founded over 30 years ago, 3D Systems is one of the oldest companies in additive manufacturing. It entered a partnership with Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) – the motorsports division of the world's largest automaker by production volume – "to change automotive engineering." Both companies have since developed first-to-market manufacturing solutions "to revolutionize automotive design and production," said 3D Systems on a statement.
Alexander Liebold, Group Leader of Production Engineering and Future Technologies at TGR, is confident that the new Accura AMX Rigid Black can deliver complex stereolithography (SLA) produced parts. “Accura AMX Rigid Black allows us to deliver larger, complex SLA production parts, including full-scale manufacturing aids. We recently used the material to develop 3D printed fixtures for stabilizing larger automotive components for CNC milling," he said on a statement. The new material reduced production time and costs by 90 percent and 60 percent, respectively, when compared to the previous process used in a 40-part batch.
According to 3D Systems, the Accura AMX Rigid Black resin was designed for long-lasting mechanical performance and stability in any environment. This material involved eight years of indoor testing processes and one and a half years of outdoor mechanical performance testing. The company affirms its quality rivals that of injection-molded parts, while exhibiting similar stress/strain toughness performance of standards thermoplastics. The material has high isotropic properties that enable greater part repeatability and accuracy, both key elements in auto part manufacturing.
For Liebold, this is a turning point for additive manufacturing technology. "Unlike other additive production technologies, parts that use Accura AMX Rigid Black provide very smooth sidewalls and superior isotropic strength, critical for accurate jigs and fixtures that are in constant use. Now we can turn around any large-scale part and be confident it will perform as required, for as long as we need. This is a real game-changer for production manufacturing," he said.
During Mexico Business Forum, the potential of additive manufacturing applications was discussed by KPMG, Rockwell Automation, Honeywell, Alian Plastics and Tridi. “Overall, this technology would be most beneficial for companies in the aerospace and heavy-vehicle markets that work with small production volumes, substituting molds for direct manufacturing especially in rapidly changing or highly customable environments," said Sebastian Romo, CEO of Tridi Romo to MBN.