3D Systems Introduces First Material for Long-Term Use Production Parts Manufactured with Stereolithography

July 13, 2021, 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced the availability of a breakthrough production-grade acrylate resin – Accura® AMX™ Rigid Black. Designed for use with the company’s stereolithography (SLA) technology, this tough material is the first to produce large-scale additively manufactured parts with exceptional resolution, accuracy, and surface quality capable of withstanding the rigors of long-term mechanical use. As part of a complete 3D Systems additive manufacturing solution – comprising Accura AMX Rigid Black, the company’s SLA 3D printing technology, 3D Sprint®, and application engineering services – customers in markets such as automotive & motorsports, consumer goods, service bureaus, and contract manufacturers are able to rapidly address a broad range of production applications.

Textured retail fixture produced using Accura AMX Rigid Black exhibits similar stress/strain toughness performance of standard thermoplastics.

3D Systems’ materials scientists engineered Accura AMX Rigid Black for long-lasting mechanical performance and stability in any environment. This material has been tested for up to eight years of indoor and one and a half years of outdoor mechanical performance, enabling significantly improved part performance and stability. The superior surface quality rivals that of injection-molded parts and exhibits similar stress/strain toughness performance of standard thermoplastics. Additionally, Accura AMX Rigid Black’s high isotropic properties enable greater part repeatability and accuracy.

Accura AMX Rigid Black is 3D Systems’ latest customer-centric innovation – inspired in part by the advanced production application requirements of TOYOTA Gazoo Racing (TGR). In 2019, 3D Systems entered a partnership with TGR to change automotive engineering. Since that time, the companies have developed first-to-market manufacturing solutions to revolutionize automotive design and production. TGR has extensive experience with 3D Systems’ Figure 4® materials and was particularly impressed by the mechanical properties of the company’s Figure 4 PRO-BLK 10. However, they had a vision for a CNC fixture that would be larger than the build size of the Figure 4 printers.

TOYOTA Gazoo Racing manufactured this automotive grill CNC fixture using 3D Systems’ new Accura AMX Rigid Black – achieving a production part with smooth sidewalls & superior isotropic strength.

“Accura AMX Rigid Black allows us to deliver larger, complex SLA production parts, including full-scale manufacturing aids,” said Alexander Liebold, group leader, production engineering & future technologies, TGR. “We recently used the material to develop 3D printed fixtures for stabilizing larger automotive components for CNC milling. Using Accura AMX Rigid Black we achieved 90% time savings and 60% cost savings in comparison to the previous handwork process for a batch of 40 parts. Unlike other additive production technologies, parts in 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.”

In addition to bringing significant benefits to automotive and motorsports applications, Accura AMX Rigid Black is engineered to enable long-term use production parts for:

  • Consumer goods for direct digital production to replace injection molding or soft tooling processes, as well as manufacturing aids and jigs and fixtures
  • Service bureaus for applications such as large, structural load-bearing functional prototypes and end-use production parts for manufacturers and tier 1 suppliers to a variety of customers in consumer goods, industrial engineering, automotive, and motorsports
  • Specialty contract manufacturing for custom load-bearing parts such as levers, arms, couplings, cranks, jigs, and fixtures

Acoustic amplifier produced in Accura AMX Rigid Black has superior surface quality rivaling injection-molded parts. Design courtesy: Jesper Nygaard Sorensen

“We’re excited to bring this game-changing material to market,” said Dr. Edwin Hortelano, senior vice president, materials engineering & development, 3D Systems. “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. For example, we are seeing a larger percentage of work that service bureaus are undertaking is focused on the manufacture of end-use parts. Accura AMX Rigid Black in combination with our SLA 3D printing technology will allow service bureaus to more efficiently, and cost-effectively meet their customers’ needs – helping to fuel the growth of their businesses and their customers’ innovation. This is just the first of many planned breakthrough additions to 3D Systems’ portfolio of production-grade industrial SLA resins.”

General availability of Accura AMX Rigid Black is planned for July 20, 2021. For more information on this material, please visit the company’s website.

Source: 3D Systems

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