Rapid Product Development – PolyJet

Design and Development - Comments Off - Posted on January, 29 at 9:02 pm

PolyJet™ is a rapid prototyping process used to develop plastic prototypes from CAD data (computer aided design). This technology is a layer additive process where parts are constructed by building (or adding) layers atop layers. PolyJet is ideal for smaller parts (typically half a shoebox or less in size) or models requiring excellent fine feature detail and accuracy. It’s also exceptional for appearance models and for master patterns used for Solid Concepts’ QuantumCast™ advanced cast urethane process.

A feature unique to Solid Concepts is their special parameter treatment of down-facing (overhanging) PolyJet surfaces, allowing all surfaces to be unmarred and pristine. Additionally, PolyJet is one of the fastest rapid prototyping processes available to develop high-precision physical parts.
Similar to other layer additive methods, the PolyJet process begins by “splitting” CAD data into cross-sections or layers as thin as 16 microns (0.0006”). Next the machine begins constructing the object one layer at a time – from the bottom up. This technology is also referred to as 3D printing due to its similarities to standard ink-jet printers. Just as an ink-jet print head lays down pigment as it moves across paper, the PolyJet print head lays small amounts of ultraviolet (UV) curable material down – eventually forming a single cross-section of the part. A UV light is attached to the print head and cures the material as it is printed. Once a cross-section is complete, the build platform is slightly lowered and the next layer is “printed”. As the part is built, support material is added to give supplemental strength to fine structures and down-facing surfaces. Once all of the layers have been created, the part is removed from the platform and cleaned. Although finishing is not necessary, a number of hand sanding and paint options are available through Solid Concepts’ Finishing Department.

A number of flexible and rigid PolyJet materials are available at Solid Concepts. Build styles include PolyJet Standard (0.0012” layer thickness) to provide quick and economical prototypes, and PolyJet HD (0.0006” layer thicknesses) suitable for parts requiring exceptional detail, surface finish and edge visualization. For the lowest priced PolyJet parts available right away, Solid Concepts has developed ZoomRP.com providing an easy to use, self-service website where you can upload your STL file today to have your part shipped same day via FedEx Priority Overnight service.

source: www.solidconcepts.com

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