This issue introduces you to share the 3D Systems company’s fist product, Figure 4.
This product has reached the 6 Sigma repeatability standard. What does that mean? In other words, there are only 2 defects per 1 billion products, and the pass rate is as high as 99.99999998%. In the manufacturing sector, it can be said that this level of mass production has reached a perfect level.
Recently, 3D Systems released a new Figure 4 stand-alone photo-curing 3D printer and announced the price.
3D Systems’ Figure 4 stand-alone version is currently priced at $21,900 (US) /19,900 euros (EU countries), £18,900 (UK), and the price in China has not yet been announced.
What is Figure 4?
Figure 4 printing technology: DLP (Digital Light Processing)
Figure 4 is an extensible , an integrated 3D printing platform. Its printing technology is based on DLP (Digital Light Processing Technology), which can print resin materials.
Figure 4 3D printing platform
Why is it called Figure 4? Because it includes a control unit, four 3D printing units, and a post-processing unit. The four print units in Figure 4 are an expandable printing system (in theory, can be expanded indefinitely) or can be run independently. So in order to create a more compact and easy to use system, 3D Systems created the Figure 4 standalone version.
In other words, Figure 4 can be either a single-engine printer or a fully automated, high-volume production system with 16 or more print engines.
Extensible print unit
On 3D Systems’ official website, we saw four types of printing s material. The four materials are:
1. Materials for jewellery castables;
2. Rubber-like elastic materials;
3. Economical and high-hardness industrial materials;
4. High-hardness industrial materials for mass production.
Digital molding technology is a very important part of smart manufacturing technology, so Figure 4 also integrates the robot arm. The digital molding system is connected to other plant equipment and operates via a network and cloud connection.
The action of the robot arm grabbing the part runs through it, seamlessly.
Application of Figure 4 /span>
▎US Air Force
The first appearance of the Figure 4 platform was at AMUG 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Figure 4 production platform has been selected as a US Air Force-funded research project focused on integrating high-speed 3D printing into the supply chain for aircraft maintenance.
This program is part of the long-term development plan of the US Air Force and is known as “low-cost support for advanced manufacturing development” (MAMLS), marking the Air Force’s first deployment of 3D printing technology for the production of military components. Includes electrical connectors, knobs, elastic grommet and gaskets for traditional maintenance equipment to repair parts faster and extend the flight life of the aircraft.
3D printed parts for the US Air Force
In addition, NextDent Dental material compatibility has been achieved on the platform, enabling 20-30 crowns to be produced in 15 minutes. The traditional process can only make one in 15 minutes.
Dana Taylor, engineer consultant for Figure 4, medical diagnostic equipment manufacturer LumiraDx, said: “By using the Figure 4 platform, we can print out our functional samples in a few hours, and The test is completed on the same day, and it takes at least a week or more to go to an external print service provider. In addition to the fast print speed, the parts printed on the Figure 4 stand-alone version have high surface precision and can meet tolerances, functions and other aspects. Requirements.”
For different scale dental laboratories, 3D Systems will also offer different customized solutions. For example, for small laboratories, a separate system will be provided to produce thousands of crowns or other dental products per year; for large laboratories, they will provide fully automated solutions that will produce more than 100 per year. Ten thousand crowns or other dental products.
Before that, 3D Systems entered the market through the acquisition of dental resin company Vertex, and the resin used in Figure 4 is the company’s NextDent brand.
Figure 4 parameters
The following are some of the parameters of Figure 4 standalone :
Building volume: 124.8 x 70.2 x 196 mm (4.9 x 2.8 x 7.7 in)
Maximum resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
Weight (boxing): 59 kg (130 lbs)
Materials UV Curing Plastic: Figure 4 TOUGH-GRY 10, Figure 4 TOUGH-GRY 15, Figure 4 ELAST-BLK 10, Figure 4 JCAST-GRN 10
Pixel Spacing 65 microns (0.0025 in) (390.8PPI)
Software 3D Sprint, 3D Connect
The Six Sigma standard is mentioned at the beginning of this article. Six Sigma is a measure of product quality, and reaching Six Sigma levels means providing near-perfect products or services. In the quality inspection of 3D Systems, generally 3 sigma has reached the pass rate of 99.73%, 6 sigma is 99.99999998% pass rate, PPM is 0.002. In other words, there are only 2 bad things per billion products.
The following is a comparison of 3D printing (FIG.4) with injection molding.
A Figure 4 digital forming system consisting of 8 modules can produce 10,000 textured automotive air conditioning vents in 11 days; The traditional 11 days can only open the mold.
The speed of manufacture and print quality are amazing. For the injection molding industry, the arrival of digital 3D printing technology may mean new changes.