i.Materialise is proud to announce a trial of a high-detail material that is perfect for scale modelers: Smooth Detail Resin! The new material features a smooth surface, an extreme level of detail due to its 50 μm layers, and a gray color that’s perfect for painting.

Models made out of Smooth Detail Resin are constructed from a hardened liquid resin, which leads to robust high-quality plastic prints. As the printing process uses layers of 50 μm, the surface of your model will be very smooth and the printing layers will barely be visible. This makes Smooth Detail Resin perfect for miniatures and scale models. Smooth Detail Resin comes in the color gray and was chosen since it makes details much more visible, and it is perfect for hand-painting.

For printing parts in this material, we use a technology that is fairly similar to Stereolithography: Digital Light Processing (DLP). So here’s how it works: Firstly your 3D model is cut into extremely thin layers by a specialized software. If support structure is needed, our software automatically calculates and designs it for your model. Then the printing process starts. DLP printers typically construct the model on a build platform that hangs downwards. A light source shines upwards on the precise spots of liquid resin that will become part of your object. The build platform with the model is then pulled up slightly, and the next layer is printed in one single pass. This is repeated until the model is finished – literally having been printed layer by layer. After the printing process, the build platform is completely raised. The excess liquid resin flows downwards, leaving the build platform ready for removal from the printer.

We currently offer this material in two types of finishes: you can order your model ‘with support’ or ‘without support’. If you order your model ‘without support’ we will manually remove the scaffolding material used for the production of your model. This option is great if you don’t want to get your hands dirty. Some designer prefer to remove these structures themselves (with tools and sanding paper) and thus prefer the finish ‘with support’.

Another great aspect of this material is that the maximum printing size is pretty big for such a highly detailed material. You can print designs with a size of up to 260 x 160 x 193 mm! Smooth detail resin only requires a minimum wall thickness of 0.4 mm – that’s 60% less than most other plastics.

Do you feel like creating a 3D print in Smooth Detail Resin yourself? Then make sure you check out our material page about this amazing material! You will be able to learn even more about its applications, technology, and design rules.

For more information, visit: i.materialise.com/3d-printing-materials/smooth-detail-resin

Published in Materialise

Formlabs announced the release of Dental SG Resin, the first biocompatible resin in desktop 3D printing. Enabling professionals to push new boundaries in digital dentistry, Dental SG is a certified biocompatible Class 1 material designed primarily for surgical guide applications. The latest addition to Formlabs' material portfolio, Dental SG will allow applications never seen before in the desktop 3D printing space such as high-precision drill guides from digital scan data for implant surgeries. Dental professionals can now move from a 3D model to a directly printed surgical guide, at a quick turnaround and a tremendously affordable price.

“When practitioners and researchers have the ability and access to develop incredibly precise tools for surgical applications, it opens up a new range of possibilities for the dental industry and for the medical science industry at large,” said Dávid Lakatos, Head of Product at Formlabs. “Formlabs is leading the way in helping to advance patient care by introducing solutions that enable personalized surgical planning and mass customization. Material innovation, like with the introduction of Dental SG, is a key driver in growing the adoption of digital dentistry powered by 3D printing.”

In recent years, dental applications in desktop 3D printing have rapidly taken off. Formlabs products have become indispensable tools for dental innovation. Dentists use the Form 2 to create surgical guides, educational models, bleaching trays, retainers, aligners, and more. Some of the applications have transformed the medical field. At the Indiana University School of Dentistry, Dr. Travis Bellicchi, a resident specializing in maxillofacial prosthetics, is developing a new digital workflow with Formlabs 3D printers to create accurate prostheses for individual patients, inspired by his work with Shirley Anderson, a Vietnam veteran who suffered severe jaw loss as a result of cancer. Today’s introduction of Dental SG will continue to significantly expand the industry’s repertoire of dental applications.

The new resin has already drawn praise from leaders in the dental community like Dr. Michael Scherer, who has been using Formlabs 3D printers in his private dental office for almost two years. He will be adding Dental SG to the curriculum of his 3D printing training for dentists. “The addition of Dental SG Resin is a game-changer,” Dr. Scherer says. “Dental SG is poised to dramatically improve patient outcome of surgical procedures by making implant surgery faster, more precise, and ultimately more comfortable for the patient. Direct printing of surgical guides has traditionally required larger-scale 3D printers that are beyond the expense and comfort level of most dental laboratories and clinicians. The introduction of Dental SG Resin allows for benchtop surgical guide printing in dental offices and smaller dental labs.”

Compatible with the Form 2 3D printer, the Dental SG biocompatible resin will be available directly from the Formlabs web store. Dental SG joins Formlabs’ comprehensive library of advanced materials for its 3D printers, which includes a suite of Standard and Functional resins for a variety of capabilities.

For more information, visit: www.formlabs.com/products/materials/dental-sg

Published in Formlabs

Roland DGA has announced the availability of new PRF35-ST resin for use with its advanced monoFab ARM-10 3D printer. After curing, PRF35-ST delivers parts and prototypes with a better grip and greater elasticity than the company’s existing PRH35-ST (a standard hard resin), opening up new creative opportunities for ARM-10 users.

The addition of PRF35-ST to the Roland 3D product lineup enables engineers, product designers, educators, and hobbyists to easily produce flexible parts, such as grips, seals, gaskets and buttons, with the ARM-10 rapid prototyping 3D printer. Parts made with PRF35ST resin can be used independently, or in combination with more rigid parts created with PRH35-ST.

“This new flexible type resin further enhances the ARM-10 3D printer’s ability to turn ideas into reality,” said Will Seith, Roland DGA’s product manager, 3D solutions. “It allows the user to make models and prototypes that not only look real, but feel real as well.”

Roland’s ARM-10 is an advanced, precise and user-friendly 3D printer incorporating an innovative layered projection system that enables users to build complex parts and prototypes quickly and easily. Its suspended build system also keeps resin use to a minimum, making model production efficient and cost effective.

For more information, visit: www.rolanddga.com/products/3d/arm-10-rapid-prototyping-3d-printer

Published in Roland

Formlabs, the makers of the Form 1+ SLA 3D Printer, announced a new functional resin designed for applications in engineering and prototyping. With Tough Resin, Form 1+ users can now produce strong, sturdy parts with physical properties similar to ABS plastic.

Durable parts are essential for engineering and prototyping. Now, parts produced with Formlabs’ Tough Resin will be able to absorb high-impact and other mechanical stress that would normally cause 3D printed parts to snap or shatter. From load-bearing gears to snap-fit enclosures, Tough Resin material has been engineered for applications that require performance under stress or strain.

In celebration of the material’s release, and to demonstrate the many functional properties of Tough Resin, Formlabs has created the first 3d-printed Rube Goldberg machine. This version of the popular chain-reaction machine has been assembled by printing many of the major mechanisms with Tough Resin on the Form 1+ SLA 3D Printer.

Parts printed in Formlabs’ Tough Resin delivers a superior combination of yield strength, elongation, and impact resistance; the key characteristics used to assess material toughness.

“Engineering and prototyping are a really important application of 3D printing. We’re excited to release our new Tough Resin because now Form 1+ users can create high resolution prints in a really durable, resilient material,” said Formlabs co-founder, Max Lobovsky. “Developing new high-quality materials continues to be a really important focus for us. Every time we release a new material, we create new possibilities for every Form 1+ user and build a more compelling experience.”

Tough Resin is available in 1-liter bottles from the Formlabs web store immediately. The material is compatible with both the Form 1 and Form 1+ 3D Printers.

For more information, visit: www.formlabs.com/products/materials/tough

Published in Formlabs

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced the immediate availability of Accura® Xtreme™ White-200 plastic for use in 3D Systems'iPro SLA® printers. This next generation SLA material extends 3D Systems' unmatched solutions for direct manufacture of end use parts further.

As the toughest and most durable SLA material available today, Accura Xtreme White-200 offers high elongation at break, high impact strength and the stiffness and durability of ABS plastic, making it the top choice for functional assemblies that must stand up to the harshest, most demanding environments. Use cases include snap fits, functional assemblies, master patterns for vacuum casting and applications requiring outstanding toughness, such as automotive parts, drill/tap and mechanisms that must be bolted together.

"The new Accura Xtreme White-200 exhibits faster build speeds, better detail fidelity and nicer sidewall quality than other durable materials we've previously offered," said Steve Grundahl, President of MidWest Prototyping. "All this while providing incredibly durable parts."

"Our new Accura Xtreme White-200 material is a revolutionary breakthrough in SLA plastics," said Steve Hanna, Global Director of Materials, for 3D Systems. "Accura Xtreme White - 200 parts have the toughness and durability of ABS for both prototyping and manufacturing uses.  Best of all, these parts reflect a stunning white finish that replicates the look and feel of an injection molded part."

For more information, visit: www.production3dprinters.com/materials/accura-xtreme-white-200-plastic

Published in 3D Systems

Ecospan, a global company that specializes in both the development of bio-based resins and the manufacturing of bio-based durable goods, has introduced BioFlow T, which removes a number of barriers that have-until now-prevented industrial designers from incorporating sustainable bioplastics into their new product designs. With BioFlow T, bioplastic materials are now available that meet or surpass petroleum-based plastics performance standards in several areas, including heat resistance and impact resistance-the two main drawbacks to date in developing durable goods products with bio-based materials.

Most notable, perhaps, is the company's introduction of the first bioplastics living hinge, giving packaging designers a solution that has never before been possible with bioplastics. This innovation means that a wide range of consumer and industrial products-- from cosmetic cases to electrical junction boxes - can now be made with bioplastics, since living hinges are typically manufactured in an injection molding operation that creates all three parts at one time as a single part.   BioFlow T materials are used to create everything from protective cases and packaging for high value electronics like handheld devices, mobile phones, GPS consoles and cameras to the actual products themselves, running the gamut from TV remotes and electronic housings to alarm clocks, desk phones, cable TV boxes, and much more.  

"We are innovation partners with product designers and developers from start to finish," said Scott Sanderson, Ecospan's Senior Vice-president of Research and Development. "Providing whole solutions, Ecospan develops custom-designed bioresin blends to meet specific application and product performance requirements and partners with its clients from the industrial design phase, through the product development and manufacturing processes right to the delivery of the finished, manufactured products."

BioFlow technology makes bioplastics a viable solution for industrial designers with other 'firsts', including:

  • Exceptional melt flow characteristics, giving it the ability to duplicate intricate designs and textures
  • High heat resistance
  • Durability, impact resistance
  • High gloss capabilities
  • Complete spectrum of colors
  • Blending compatibility with other petroleum-free ingredients or with petroleum-based ingredients
  • Limitless customizable formulizations

For one global smart phone manufacturer, Ecospan has even incorporated more than 12 million bioplastic shipping containers into their reverse logistics operations for phones that are returned by consumers for repairs. The containers, unlike other sustainable options such as cardboard, can be reused multiple times and then reground and reused-all while saving the smart phone company in excess of $20-million a year.

"Ecospan is leading the way in taking bioplastics from a niche market and into the mainstream," says Ecospan's CEO, Greg Hoffman. "BioFlow technology provides new solutions across the supply chain for replacing or reducing petroleum-based plastics with sustainable, bio-based materials and a 'cradle to cradle', reuse and regrind model for keeping material resources in the value chain and out of landfills."

BioFlowT has been certified as 94% bio-based by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as part of its BioPreferred program.

With over 20,000 square feet of R&D facilities in Exton, PA, and global production facilities, Ecospan has developed over 5,000 BioFlow plastics formulations over the past nine years that it uses to customize materials for product development applications and manufacturing.

For more information, visit: www.ecospan.com

Published in Ecospan

Laser Reproductions recently enhanced their stereolithography resin list by adding Somos® ProtoGen™ O-XT 18420. 18420 is a liquid, ABS-like, photopolymer used for general purpose prototyping. As stated on the material spec sheet, ‘ProtoGen 18420 offers superior chemical resistance, a wide processing latitude and excellent tolerance to a broad range of temperatures and humidities, both during and after build.’ Ideal uses include SLA prototyping for the medical, electronic, aerospace, and automotive markets.

By supplementing the resin index with ProtoGen 18420, Laser Reproductions now has a wider variety of white ABS-like resins for their clientele. Laser Reproductions currently hosts 18420 in an SLA 7000 machine which allows for a maximum non-sectioned part size of 20 x 20 x 23.

For more information, visit: www.laserrepro.com/materials

Published in Laser Reproductions

New polylactic acid (PLA) alloys enable manufacturers of electronic housings and other components to incorporate substantial amounts of bio-based content in their products without sacrificing the essential mechanical and thermal properties provided by engineering thermoplastics (ETPs).
Based on alloys of PLA and ETPs, Terraloy® BP 70010 and 70011 compounds provide similar or greater strength, stiffness, and heat distortion temperature in comparison with standard polycarbonate (PC), ABS, and PC/ABS blends while incorporating 40 and 36% levels of bio-based content, respectively (see accompanying table). Teknor Apex can formulate other Terraloy 70000 Series alloys on a custom basis, providing similar benefits while meeting specific customer requirements.
Potential applications for the new compounds include injection molded housings, handles, covers, and other components of electronic devices, medical equipment, and consumer products. When used in applications like medical equipment housings and bar code scanners, Terraloy 70000 Series alloys help manufacturers meet sustainability goals such as the minimum 25% biocontent specification in the BioPreferred Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.   
“Teknor Apex has drawn on its formulating and compounding expertise to develop ETP compounds that have high bio-based content yet deliver performance comparable to standard petroleum-based engineering resins, while lowering overall greenhouse gas emissions,” said Edwin Tam, manager of new strategic initiatives. “Indeed, both of the Terraloy alloys surpass ABS in mechanical and thermal properties and provide substantially higher levels of stiffness than PC or PC/ABS blends.”

For more information, visit: www.teknorapex.com/division/bioplastics

Published in Teknor Apex

Cereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP), a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, sustainable bioplastics, today announced the launch of Hybrid 111D and Hybrid 112D, thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) starch hybrid compounds for injection molding applications. Hybrid 111D boasts 30% starch and Hybrid 112D has 50% starch, which lowers the environmental impact of the material compared to conventional TPE. Both grades are soft and pliable, offering stretch with some recovery for soft grip applications such as handles for bicycles and tools, cosmetics packaging, housewares, household appliances, footwear and automotive applications.

"We are enthusiastic about the addition of TPE starch blends to the Cereplast Hybrid Resins family, as we continue to expand our line of bioplastic resins to provide low carbon footprint products to the marketplace," said Cereplast CEO and Chairman Mr. Frederic Scheer. "In the next few months we will also introduce polyethylene hybrids, which will round out our product offering, furthering our leadership role for hybrid resins in the bioplastics industry and meeting the demands of our customers for the properties and pricing that they desire."

Cereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP) designs and manufactures proprietary biobased, sustainable bioplastics which are used as substitutes for traditional plastics in all major converting processes - such as injection molding, thermoforming, blow molding and extrusions - at a pricing structure that is competitive with traditional plastics. On the cutting-edge of biobased plastic material development, Cereplast now offers resins to meet a variety of customer demands. Cereplast Compostables® resins are ideally suited for single-use applications where high biobased content and compostability are advantageous, especially in the food service industry. Cereplast Sustainables® resins combine high biobased content with the durability and endurance of traditional plastic, making them ideal for applications in industries such as automotive, consumer electronics and packaging.

For more information, visit: www.cereplast.com

Published in Cereplast

New technology that yields heat-resistant polylactic (PLA) compounds without the typical tradeoff in impact strength will be the subject of a presentation by Teknor Apex Company at the BioPlastek 2012 Forum, which will take place March 28-30, 2012 in Arlington, VA.

Presenter Edwin Tam, manager of new strategic initiatives for the company’s Bioplastics Division, will report on the properties of a new series of Terraloy™ PLA compounds and their importance for semi-durable and durable applications requiring impact strength and heat stability, as well as for high-end disposable applications such as microwavable containers.

Compounding innovations by Teknor Apex have overcome an inverse relationship between heat distortion temperature (HDT) and Izod impact strength in PLA. As a result, the new series of compounds exhibit levels of both HDT and impact strength that are considerably higher than those available with standard PLA resin.

Mr. Tam’s presentation, “Heat and Chemical Testing of High Heat Resistance PLA Compounds,” is scheduled for the morning of March 29.

Published in Teknor Apex

Cereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP), a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, sustainable plastics, will unveil several new technologically advanced bioplastic resin grades at The International Plastics Showcase, NPE 2012. The exhibition is hosted by SPI, The Plastics Industry Trade Association, and takes place April 1-5, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.

The new bioplastic resin grades include Sustainable 1020D, a translucent injection molding grade, Compostable 4008D, a new paper extrusion coating grade, Hybrid 106D, a high starch, high melt flow injection molding grade, and an EVA Hybrid grade. Cereplast will also feature the Cereplast Compostables® family of resins, including the recently added Compostable 3002, Compostable 3010 and Compostable 3020, which are for use on blown film extruder lines for the manufacture of compostable bags, all of which have received DIN CERTCO certifications of compostability. Additionally, the Company will feature the Cereplast Sustainables® product line, which includes the new Cereplast Hybrid Resins® grades Hybrid 102D and Hybrid 105D.

"We are excited to be an exhibitor at NPE, the world's largest plastics exhibition, a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our unique and technologically advanced materials to the international marketplace," said Cereplast Chairman and CEO, Frederic Scheer.

For more information, visit: www.cereplast.com or www.npe.org

Published in Cereplast

Cereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP), a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, compostable and sustainable plastics, has introduced the next generation of Cereplast Hybrid Resins®, an expansion of the Biopropylene® PP-based resin product offering through two new bioplastic resin grades, Hybrid 102D and 105D. Cereplast anticipates going to market with the new resin grades during the first half of 2012 in the United States and Europe.

Cereplast Hybrid Resins replace up to 50% of the petroleum content in traditional plastic products with biobased materials such as starches from annually renewable plants. Cereplast Hybrid Resins are suitable for durable goods, including consumer products, interior automotive parts, and furniture, and have a lower carbon footprint than traditional plastics. The new grades Hybrid 102D and Hybrid 105D are both injection molding grades, a heating and cooling manufacturing process in which the material is molded in different shapes.

Cereplast's Biopropylene PP-based resin consists of polypropylene encapsulating starch particles, and includes Hybrid 101, Hybrid 102D and Hybrid 105D. In addition to providing a lower carbon footprint than traditional PP, many of the desirable PP properties are maintained including chemical resistance, mold shrinkage, mold flow, surface appearance, heat deflection temperature, and hinge performance. Hybrid 102D is a formulation that offers a higher starch content than Hybrid 101, while maintaining similar performance. The primary application is injection molding requiring some ductility. Hybrid 105D is a high flow injection molding grade for thinner wall applications than Hybrid 101 and replaces Hybrid 103, providing more consistent properties and processing. All Hybrid grades are FDA compliant for direct food contact.

"As demand for bioplastic resins grows, so does the demand for high-performance durable grades that are cost effective," said Chairman and CEO of Cereplast, Frederic Scheer. "As the price of oil continues to rise, Cereplast Hybrid Resins get closer to parity with traditional plastics, providing an affordable, eco-friendly solution for companies that wish to reduce their environmental impact. Our research and development team have answered the demands of our clients for better-performing hybrid resins with higher levels of starch content. We are proud to introduce the next generation of bioplastic hybrid resins."

Cereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP) designs and manufactures proprietary biobased, sustainable plastics which are used as substitutes for traditional plastics in all major converting processes - such as injection molding, thermoforming, blow molding and extrusions - at a pricing structure that is competitive with traditional plastics. On the cutting edge of bioplastic material development, Cereplast now offers resins to meet a variety of customer demands. Cereplast Compostables® resins are ideally suited for single-use applications where high biobased content and compostability are advantageous, especially in the foodservice industry. Cereplast Sustainables® resins combine high biobased content with the durability and endurance of traditional plastic, making them ideal for applications in industries such as automotive, consumer electronics and packaging.

For more information, visit: www.cereplast.com

Published in Cereplast

INEOS Styrenics today announces the launch of ZYLAR® 960 resin. 960 is the newest addition to the ZYLAR product line of clear, impact-modified styrene acrylic copolymers, and sets the bar for a new level of practical toughness without adversely affecting resin clarity. With a typical notched Izod impact strength of 11 ft-lb/inch, ZYLAR 960 was engineered for demanding injection molding applications.

For the past 20 years the ZYLAR family of clear, impact resistant resins has been synonymous with toughness and ease of processing in applications from housewares to medical devices. The newest addition to the product family, ZYLAR 960, expands and enhances the ZYLAR product line by offering practical toughness in the range of many grades of polycarbonate. Building on its proud styrenic heritage, ZYLAR 960 has a lower density and provides processing advantages over alternative resins like polycarbonate and copolyesters.

With ongoing efforts by molders to manage high energy costs and reduce molding cycle times, the value and performance provided by ZYLAR resins has never been greater. The low density, excellent flow properties, and low moisture retention of ZYLAR resins can result in significant energy savings and processing efficiencies. Add to this the fact that all INEOS Styrenics High Performance resins, including ZYLAR, NAS®, and CLEARBLEND®, are manufactured without bisphenol A or phthalates for safe use in infant care, houseware, and medical applications.

The launch of ZYLAR 960 demonstrates the commitment of INEOS Styrenics to being an industry leading and customer focused organization, delivering consistently innovative, high quality products and services.

For more information, visit: www.ineosstyrenics.com

Published in INEOS Styrenics

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