3D Systems is the only digital manufacturing solutions company that can provide the depth of expertise, and breadth of technology leadership to address any application — enabling businesses to reduce costs, increase revenue and remain ahead of the competition like never before. Through collaboration with its customers, 3D Systems continues to innovate, and rethink manufacturing, and the release of Figure 4 Modular and new materials will enable even more applications.
The Figure 4 platform is a flexible production system with configurations designed to allow customers to grow as their needs and businesses require. Figure 4 Modular is a digital light printing (DLP) production solution capable of producing parts with high surface quality and fidelity. The Figure 4 platform helps accelerate time-to-market with ultra-fast production (up to 100 mm/hr) and six sigma accuracy and repeatability – enabling manufacturers to quickly iterate designs or produce end-use parts without regard to a minimum order quantity. It is the industry’s first, truly scalable solution, and meets the needs of various production environments, from standalone units to automated factory solutions. The Figure 4 platform includes three models:
- Figure 4 Standalone is an affordable, industrial-grade single engine solution for low-volume production and rapid same-day prototyping. Ideal for small design shops and OEMs, it provides industry-leading durability economical print volume at the lowest cost compared to other printers in its class.
- Figure 4 Modular provides customers with an upgradable and cost effective direct 3D production solution which can include automated materials-handling and centralized post-processing. Manufacturers can scale Figure 4 Modular, as their production needs expand – including up to 24 print engines. Powered by 3D Sprint software, each engine can run different materials and jobs simultaneously as part of a single, high-throughput line. With a low cost of entry (starting at $49,900 – including controller and single printer engine), and automation options that include job management and queuing, material delivery, and centralized post-processing, manufacturers can reduce demand on manufacturing resources and lower total cost of operation. Additionally, it is 3D Connect™-capable, allowing remote services via 3D Connect Service – automatically notifying 3D Systems’ service team when an alert condition occurs. Figure 4 Modular is planned for general availability in June 2019.
- Figure 4 Production is a completely customizable and automated tool-less manufacturing solution that packages the design flexibility of additive manufacturing in configurable, in-line production modules. Automated material delivery and integrated post-processing reduce labor requirements — increasing productivity and lowering total cost of operation.
Figure 4 Modular Enabling Scale for Digital Manufacturers
Customers are already realizing the benefits of Figure 4 Modular. Decathalon (a global sporting goods manufacturer based in France), Midwest Prototyping (a Wisconsin-based service bureau), and D&K Engineering (a product design and contract manufacturer based in San Diego, CA) have experienced great success with the printer.
- “At Decathlon, we’re proud to design and produce innovative sporting goods for our customers globally in order to make sports accessible,” said Julien Guillen, AM leader, Decathlon. “By incorporating the Figure 4 Modular into our design and development cycle, we have the potential for much higher productivity with a wider variety of material choices. For example, using an existing desktop SLA solution, it would take 29 hours to produce our tensile test for material validation. With the Figure 4 Modular using the Figure 4 TOUGH-GRY 10 material, we were able to print the same quantity in 90 minutes – more than 19X faster. With features like automated material feed and job management, we are able to improve productivity and reduce costs associated with labor.”
- “The combination of Figure 4 Modular and the Figure 4 TOUGH-GRY 15 material allows us to produce very accurate, high fidelity parts in a matter of hours as compared to overnight with traditional processes,” said Steve Grundahl, president and CEO, Midwest Prototyping. “With its automated material feed and job management, Figure 4 Modular is very easy to use, and one of the fastest technologies we have in-house. We can now build high fidelity parts with superior surface quality, and offer same-day delivery of parts with different materials. Our customers have been very happy with the part quality we delivered.”
- “The quality of the final parts we are able to produce using the Figure 4 Modular is excellent,” said Chris Nicoll, prototype lab manager, D&K Engineering. “Many of our engineers have commented ‘this looks as good as a molded part’ due to the excellent model conformity, surface finish, and physical properties. We can instantaneously create prototype parts, and small quantities of production parts, with injection-molded quality. The Figure 4 Modular is replacing other traditional technologies we currently use, decreasing our development cycle, shortening time-to-market, and dramatically increasing our productivity to better serve our customers.”
New Materials Pave the Way for New Applications
Today, 3D Systems is also announcing new DLP and SLS materials to continue the expansion of its robust plastic 3D printing solution portfolio – enabling new production workflows.
The company is announcing immediate availability of Figure 4 FLEX-BLK 10, a flexible material for the production of exceptionally durable propylene-like black parts. This material is ideal for functional assemblies and prototypes, master patterns for RTV/silicone molding, short-run production, and concept and marketing models. Figure 4 FLEX-BLK 10 joins the portfolio of currently available Figure 4 materials which includes Figure 4 TOUGH-GRY 10, Figure 4 TOUGH-GRY 15, Figure 4 ELAST-BLK 10, and Figure 4 JCAST-GRN 10.
3D Systems is also announcing the planned release of additional Figure 4 materials to add to its range of applications:
- Figure 4 TOUGH-BLK 20 (anticipated availability Q3 2019) – an ABS-like black material with industry-leading UV stability and high accuracy for production applications.
- Figure 4 MED-AMB 10 and Figure 4 MED-WHT 10 (anticipated availability Q3 2019) – a transparent amber and a white biocompatible material that is sterilizable and capable of meeting ISO 10993-5 and ISO 10993-10, suitable for use in general medical applications requiring translucency, sterilization, and/or thermal resistance, as well as consumer high temperature applications where rigid function are desirable with transparency or white color properties.
- Figure 4 HI-TEMP-AMB 250 (anticipated availability Q4 2019) – a very high thermal-resistant material (HDT > 250C) for design verification testing, motor enclosures, and low pressure molding/tooling with transparency for flow visualization.
“The newest additions to our plastic 3D printing portfolio demonstrate our commitment to driving the adoption of digital manufacturing,” said Vyomesh Joshi, president and CEO, 3D Systems. “With the industry’s first, truly scalable plastic production platform and our robust selection of materials, 3D Systems enables customers to rethink manufacturing and realize improved agility, reduced complexity, and lower overall total cost of operation.”
About 3D Systems
More than 30 years ago, 3D Systems brought the innovation of 3D printing to the manufacturing industry. Today, as the leading additive manufacturing solutions company, it empowers manufacturers to create products and business models never before possible through transformed workflows. This is achieved with the Company’s best-of-breed digital manufacturing ecosystem – comprised of plastic and metal 3D printers, print materials, on demand manufacturing services and a portfolio of end-to-end manufacturing software. Each solution is powered by the expertise of the company’s application engineers who collaborate with customers to transform manufacturing environments. 3D Systems’ solutions address a variety of advanced applications for prototyping through production in markets such as aerospace, automotive, medical, dental and consumer goods. More information on the company is available at www.3dsystems.com.