In Short #5 - 3D Printer Releases at RAPID 2012

At the SME’s RAPID 2012 conference and exposition, four new 3D printers were announced by Objet, Mcor, envisionTEC and 3D Systems. These systems cover the whole gamut: tiny 3D printers to big parts and parts in full color to parts with advanced materials.

See how Adidas used 3D Printing to cut 6 weeks off their design cycle at engineering.com/adidas



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5 new 3D Printers: In Short
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At the Society of Manufacturing Engineers¦ (SME) RAPID 2012 conference and exposition, four new 3D printers were announced by Objet, Mcor, envisionTEC and 3D Systems. These systems cover the whole gamut: tiny 3D printers to big parts and parts in full color to parts with advanced materials.

Objet30 Pro
To kick start an exciting week at RAPID 2012, Objet opened with the announcement of its new Objet30 Pro 3D printer. With this news, Objet is showing the industry that it believes users want more options and more flexibility in a personal-class 3D printer.

The Objet30 Pro replaces its predecessor, Objet 30. These two printers are identical, with one big exception, the materials offered. The Objet30 Pro adds two advanced materials to the five previously offered · one clear and one high temperature.

On the Objet30 Pro, VeroClear makes clear and translucent parts; with the Objet High Temperature material parts have a heat deflection temperature of 149 ªF at 66 psi. With an optional thermal post cure, the heat deflection temperature increases to 176 ªF.

The five other materials include VeroWhitePlus, VeroBlue, VeroBlack, VeroGray and DurusWhite, which are all opaque materials that range from rigid to somewhat flexible for living hinges. Like all of its products, Objet 30 Pro uses the PolyJet technology, which is an ink-jet like process that deposits and solidifies photopolymers.

This 3D printer offers an 11.8 X 7.9 X 5.9-inch build volume with high resolution · 600 by 600 dpi and 0.0006 to 0.0011-inch layers.

Objet 30 Pro will start shipping in June of this year. For those that own Alaris30 or Objet30 3D printers, upgrades are available.

Matrix Iris
The next announcement came from a company that many don¦t know, Mcor Technologies. Although the company has been around for a few years, it only recently started selling its 3D printer, the Matrix 300, in North America.

Mcor uses a lamination process that builds parts from ordinary, letter-size paper available at any Staples. For each slice, a nozzle deposits water-based adhesive in the area of the part¦s cross-section. Then a fresh sheet of paper is laminated to the one below. After that, a knife precisely cuts the outline of the part.

For the existing Matrix 300, users can load any combination of colored paper to produce multi-color parts. But Mcor is taking this to the next level with the Mcor Iris, which the company states will produce photo-realistic, 3D printed parts. Early samples from their first test prints look quite promising.

What Iris will do is add a full-color offset printer to the architecture of the Matrix 300. This 2D printer will print only along the contours of each layer and it does so in a way that saturates the paper. After color printing, the sheet is then fed into the lamination process.

For the Iris, the dimensions of a standard sheet of letter-sized paper dictate part size and layer thickness.

The Iris will be available in the fourth quarter of this year, but pricing has not been announced. Mcor has stated that I