EnvisionTEC unveils new materials, printer hardware

DEARBORN — The Dearborn-based 3D printer manufacturer EnvisonTec has introduced new medical-grade materials, what it says is its strongest 3D printing material ever, and higher-resolution large-frame printers.

The company says the new medical-grade materials make 3D printing parts for implantation in humans safe and easy on its bioprinters. The materials inclukde a ready-to-print liquid silicone appropriate for microfluidics, wound dressings and more, and a biodegradable PCL polyester for use with its 3D-Bioplotter printers.

The world’s leading bioprinter since 2002, EnvisionTec’s 3D-Bioplotter is offered in three models — Starter, Developer and Manufacturer — that make bioprinting accessible to educators, medical researchers and global manufacturing companies.

Demonstration parts 3D printed in the new materials will be on display this week in Fort Worth, Texas, at RAPID + TCT, an additive manufacturing trade show. EnvisionTec is sponsoring the event’s Medical Manufacturing Innovations conference and will also be showcasing other innovations in Booth 1304.

More information about the company’s new biomaterials can be found at EnvisionTec.com/biomaterials.

Also being unveiled by EnvisionTec was another new material, E-RigidForm. The material’s tensile strength was demonstrated in a 328-foot 3D printed chain.

“E-RigidForm is a breakthrough material for use on our 3SP line of 3D printers, which offer very large build areas without sacrificing speed and accuracy,” said CEO Al Siblani. “A print job of this size and complexity would not have been possible before, simply because of the stiffness required during the 3D printing process for so many links and layers.”

The EnvisionTEC Mega-Chain took more than two weeks to design and features more than 6,144 links, each measuring 1.5 inches, arranged in 16 layers. It was printed unattended over 99 hours spanning more than four days. The project was so complex it required a computer with extreme processing power to generate the layers and supports for the print job.

Finally, EnvisionTec announced a hardware upgrade for its 3SP family of 3D printers. The upgrade allows large-frame models to deliver XY resolution of 25 microns, a precision level equivalent to about half the width of a human hair. The improved performance is gained by controls that allow the printer’s laser to be turned on and off more quickly.

The company’s 3SP series offers a build area of up to 18 inches wide by 18 inches deep by 18 inches tall.

The company said the improved resolution is ideal for applications requiring high accuracy, fine detail or ultra-smooth surfaces, such as medical devices, parts with fluidic chambers, tooling for molds, large investment casting patterns and detailed prototypes.

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