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Rapid Prototyping

Contact: William Evans 510-486-4704

Rapid prototyping is the automatic construction of physical objects using solid freeform fabrication. While primarily used to produce models and prototype parts, the technology is also capable of short-run production quantity parts. The Mechanical Fabrication shop employ:

  • Fortus 450 FDM 3d PrinterParts

    The Fortus 450 system is based on FDM technology. FDM builds parts in production-grade thermoplastics, enabling durable parts. A wide range of thermoplastics with advance mechanical properties so your parts can endure high heat, caustic chemicals, sterilization and high-impact applications. Parts are produced on this FDM printer are within an accuracy of ± .127 mm (± .005 in.) or ± .0015 mm/mm (± .0015 in./in.), whichever is greater). Z part accuracy includes an additional tolerance of -0.000/+slice height. 
    Note: Accuracy is geometry dependent. Achievable accuracy specification derived from statistical data at 95% dimensional yield
    Build size: (406 x 355 x 406 mm [16 x 14 x 16 in.]

  • ProJet 3500: MultiJet Printing (MJP)

    The MJP machine uses a series of printer heads aligned with the y-axis to deposit a photopolymer resin and casting wax onto a build surface to construct a part. The build platform moves along the x-axis and the printer heads move along the z-axis resulting in print layers being uniaxial. Although the layers form a uniaxial structure, the material response in the xy-plane is relatively isotropic. Each individual material drop is about 0.075 mm (0.003 in) in diameter and approximately 0.030 mm (0.0012 in) thick allowing for fine high resolution features. Due to the printer heads moving in the z-axis rather than the build platform there is no way to purge the printer heads during printing meaning that the more material that must be deposited, the higher the risk for printer heads to become blocked and the print fails. Since the material is deposited in a fluid form and rapidly cured utilizing UV light, unless a significant fillet is applied, a lip will forms on all edges of the bottom surface and all edges become rounded on the top surface. 
    The ProJet is recommended for printing of functional parts that have small volumes (< 8 in3), desired tolerances no smaller than 0.25 mm (0.010 in), and in which transparency is not a concern.
  • Desktop Metal Studio
    Similar to how an FDM machine works. Layer by layer, a “green” part is shaped by extruding bound metal rods –metal powder held together by wax and polymer binders – in a process called Bound Metal Deposition. The “Green” part is immersed in a proprietary debind fluid, dissolving primary binder and creating an open-pore channel structure throughout the part in preparation for sintering.  Sintering, as the part is heated to temperatures near melting, remaining binder is removed and metal particles fuse together causing the part to densify up to 96-99.8%
    Build Envelope: 30 x 20 x 20 cm (12 x 8 x 8 in)  Min Layer Height: 50 um with metal materials.
  •  HP MJF Color 3d Printer (coming soon)

    The MJF is a Full-color, Polymer Powder printer.  This Jet Fusion 3D printer use a multi-agent binder jetting 3D printing process, for fully functional, engineering-grade parts or prototypes. This means that the 3D printer applies different types of agents to each layer of base material.The first agent binds the base material’s particles together to form one layer of the final object. Then, the 3D printer applies a detailing agent to ensure smooth surfaces and fine details. Other agents are available, in order to control the base material’s color, texture, density, translucency, and even electrical conductivity. The 3D printer applies these Voxel Transforming Agents voxel by voxel.
    Materials: HP 3D HR CB PA 12. Build envelope: 332 x 190 x 248 mm  (13.1 x 7.5 x 9.8 in).  Layer thickness: 80 Microns.

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