HTC launches MakeVR to turn Vive into 3D printing VR design tool

Mar 29, 2017 | By David

Since advanced VR technology became widely available to consumers a few years ago, the immersive virtual environments it presents have been exploited mostly for gaming and other entertainment purposes. More recently, however, more practical applications are being devised for the the technology, particularly in the design field. Following this trend, HTC has today released the MakeVR app for its HTC Vive VR headset. It’s a professional 3D design tool that allows users to make 3D printable objects in a virtual environment.

Placing the user in a realistically rendered interactive 3D environment that they can manipulate however they want, VR technology has the potential to make 3D design more accessible to people unfamiliar with complex CAD software and concepts. The MakeVR software offers a virtual studio to anyone wearing their Vive headset, and the use of the Vive’s controllers allows for hands-on freeform modelling and sculpting. According to Vive Studios Head Joel Breton, “Room-scale VR gives creators a virtual workshop, and the use of natural physical motions brings unprecedented expressiveness and intuitiveness to object design.”

The advanced Sixense motion tracking technology that the Vive runs on means that a user’s real-world gestures can be replicated in the virtual environment. They can shape their object however they see fit using simple physical movements that will also allow them to shift viewpoints, rotating and scaling up or down with ease. This will present a much more intuitive 3D design solution to beginners than most CAD software where a touch screen, or a cursor and various hotkeys and drop-down menus, are used to manipulate what is essentially a complex 2D interface.

Co-founder and CEO of Sixense, Amir Rubinm boldly proclaimed that MakeVR “allows anyone to create 3D content as fast as they can think it up”. Not only could MakeVR drastically lower the barrier of entry for people wanting to get into the 3D design process, it could also be of use to design experts and advanced CAD users. Experienced makers and modelers can benefit from the efficiency of MakeVR’s 3D multi-touch interface. This will allow them to explore and create objects in ways that are much more powerful and expressive than using a traditional mouse and keyboard or touching a flat screen.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of MakeVR is the ease with which it can be linked up to a 3D printer, meaning that the virtual designs can be rapidly realized as physical objects. Online 3D printing service Shapeways has collaborated with HTC on this project to give MakeVR users access to high quality prints of their work.

Within the app there is a direct link to Shapeways, so the projects can be sent for printing from the VR environment itself without even the need to export the object files. These files are also available for download in various standard formats, so they could be manipulated further in different 3D design applications or produced with alternative 3D printing services.

MakeVR has already made a big impression in some corners of the tech industry, winning the “Best Product: Innovation” award at the 2017 Mobile World Conference (MWC). HTC’s app is currently available for $20 through Viveport, and a more powerful version called MakeVR Pro has been promised for later this year. If the software can truly fulfil its apparent potential to open up 3D design to a much wider group of users, then the future of 3D printing technology just got a whole lot more exciting.

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Kudo3D prepares to launch low-cost Bean SLA 3D printer on Kickstarter next month

Mar 29, 2017 | By Tess

California-based 3D printer developer Kudo3D, maker of the Titan 1 and Titan 2 DLP 3D printers, has announced it will soon be releasing its second-generation SLA 3D printer. Dubbed the “Bean,” the new consumer desktop 3D printer is expected to launch via a Kickstarter campaign next month.

Kudo3D broke onto the 3D printing market in 2014 with its hugely popular Titan 1 DLP 3D printer. The company, which raked in an astonishing $687,116 through its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, got the maker community buzzing over its high-resolution, remarkably fast, and affordable SLA-DLP 3D printer.

Last year, Kudo3D updated its DLP 3D printer with the release of the Titan 2, which integrated a slightly larger build volume (7.5 in x 4.3 in x 9.8 in), and upgraded controls, performance, and functionality. Both the Titan 1 and Titan 2 3D printers offer users a maximum XY resolution of 23 microns, which made them both appealing for detail-oriented applications such as jewelry making, dental modeling, and engineering research.

More recently, however, Kudo3D has been working on the development of a desktop SLA-DLP 3D printer that could be more accessible in terms of cost. The Bean is the product of that effort.

“Make: Rook” designed by MAKE

As Kudo3D founder, Dr. Tedd Syao, said: “3D printing is considered one of the next disruptive new technologies. However, what good is a new technology if a large group of people do not have access to it? We, at Kudo3D, hope to be the answer to this problem. It has always been our mission statement, and we have always worked towards providing the best for our users. We strongly believe that with the new printer, there will be a great shift towards the advancement of the 3D printing industry.”

As mentioned, Kudo3D’s new 3D printer is expected to launch through a Kickstarter campaign in April 2017, so until then our knowledge of the new SLA printer is rather limited. We do, however, have some details to share:

Described by Kudo3D as a “true consumer 3D printer,” the Bean SLA 3D printer is a compact desktop machine with overall dimensions of 8 in x 8 in x 16 in and a total weight of 15 lbs. Of course, this means its build volume is also relatively small (at 4.7 in x 2.8 in x 5.9 in), though for its lower price point, makers might be less concerned about its limited build size. The Bean 3D printer has an XY resolution of 50 microns and a maximum Z resolution of 10 microns.

From the early photos of the 3D printer, it seems the Bean integrates Kudo3D’s previous “bottom-up” printing technology. (Kudo3D is known for its patented passive self-peeling (PSP) technology, which utilizes a bottom-up SLA process and which reduces the separation force between the cured layers of the print and the resin container, resulting in a higher resolution.)

One of the most important features of the new 3D printer—its price—has not been divulged yet, though Kudo3D has indicated it will be “dramatically different from the current resin printers on the market.” Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming Bean SLA 3D printer.

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Liza Wallach-Kloski – “A great place to start [having more women in the industry] is focusing on women dominated industries”

This article originates from Women In 3D Printing and is part of our effort to support the use of 3D printing technology by women. The article is re-published with permission. 

Liza is the co-founder of HoneyPoint3D, an online education company for the 3D printing industry, operating through a platform of online classes and workshops. HoneyPoint3D originally started as a retail brand located in the Bay Area. Liza and co-founder Nick both have an extended experience as retailers, teachers and business-owners in the 3D printing industry. Liza kindly accepted to share her experience with us here.

Nora Toure: Liza, before founding HoneyPoint3D, you were running a jewelry business, LizaSonia Designs. Could you tell us more about this previous business?

Liza Wallach-Kloski: I was always fond of art and would make jewelry for fun. One time at an event in San Francisco, 2 women wanted to buy my necklace I was wearing, that I made that day, right at the event! I did a small show later that month where I sold out of everything I brought for sell. I started my company that month. I opened the LIZA SONIA jewelry shop a year later and was selling to over 80 retailers including Nordstrom.

Nora Toure: What brought you to 3D Printing? How did you discovered this technology in the first place?

Liza Wallach-Kloski: My husband mentioned 3D printing to me in 2008 when we met, I wasn’t convinced until I saw one in person, then I was hooked! In 2013 I joined him as a co-founder of HoneyPoint3D.

Nora Toure: LizaSonia Designs was obviously a successful business. It sounds risky to stop this activity to start a family-owned 3D printing business. I assume you had no doubts in the success of this enterprise. What motivated you when starting HoneyPoint3D?

Liza Wallach-Kloski: I was completely taken with 3D printing and the capabilities I saw for the future. I was ready to try something new and so making the decision to start HoneyPoint3D felt like it was the right industry at the right time. Plus my husband is super smart so going into business with him seemed like a good idea!

Nora Toure: How did HoneyPoint3D evolved over time in terms of your business offer?

Liza Wallach-Kloski: We started as a small retail store in Oakland Hills, CA in 2013. Being Northern California’s only 3D printing store, we received a lot of press that year. Word of mouth spread and we were getting all sorts of requests from demoing at events, to prototyping, workshops, consultations and more.  Now we are focused on education though out online platform that will launch in October and our client consultations.

Nora Toure: I believe your classes to be mainly addressed to new-comers in our industry. That must give you a good understanding of their interest for the technology. What are their main points of interest and expectations when attending your classes?

Liza Wallach-Kloski: We actually teach from beginner to advance courses. The beginners are interested in what the technology can do and our advanced students want to learn specific ways the technology can help them with their jobs.

Nora Toure: Do you see more women or men attending the classes and walking into your stores?

Liza Wallach-Kloski: I would say 65% men and 35% women. With the younger set, it’s actually about 50/50.

Nora Toure: That’s encouraging! In your opinion, how could we get more women involved with 3D Printing?

Liza Wallach-Kloski: I think a great place to start is focusing on women dominated industries. For example, we are conducting a workshop at a jewelry bead show in California. The workshop is almost sold out and it will be primarily women who want to learn CAD modeling to make jewelry.

Nora Toure: How would you like to see the 3D Printing industry evolve in the future?

Liza Wallach-Kloski: I would like to see more education and better ecosystems for consumers so that more can participate.

Nora Toure: I know you have a book coming up in January (2016) to be published by Maker Media. That’s a huge opportunity, congratulations! Could you give us a sneak peek of what the book will cover?

Liza Wallach-Kloski: The Book will be about how consumers can integrate 3D printing into their everyday lives. We are very excited about the book and we hope it will inspire more people to become interested in 3D printing!

Thank you Liza for your time and your involvement with Women in 3D Printing!

If you’re interested in learning more about HoneyPoint3D feel free to visit them on Linkedin and Twitter.

And don’t forget to join the Women in 3D Printing group on LinkedIn, click here to join!

Via Women in 3D Printing

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Siemens, Strata and Etihad Airways unveil first ever 3D printed aircraft interior part

Mar 28, 2017 | By Julia

Siemens, Strata, and Etihad Airways Engineering are moving briskly along with their plans for the first ever 3D printed aircraft interior.

Earlier this year, the three companies partnered with the aim of further integrating additive manufacturing into the aerospace industry, with an eye towards improving aircraft designs and structural components.

Now, the three-way partnership has unveiled its first major accomplishment in the project: a 3D printed plastic frame surrounding the media screens on Etihad Airways aircrafts. The new part was showcased during a joint press conference held at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) 2017, the world’s first cross-industry forum.

The first aircraft interior part to be designed, certified, and manufactured with 3D printing technology in the Middle East, the landmark part will be manufactured on demand as part of an overarching program that includes training and skills development for UAE citizens.

The monitor frame was selected for the pilot project because of its complexity and specific appearance requirements, say representatives in a press release.

The 3D printed part is ready for immediate usage on Middle East and North African (MENA) airline Etihad Airways.

“This project showcases our joint capabilities in the UAE to design, certify and manufacture parts using the latest technologies,” said Jeff Wilkinson, CEO of Etihad Airways Engineering.

“Its importance cannot be understated, as 3D printing enables high flexibility during design and prototyping and short lead times during production. It opens new possibilities to the industry and inspires our talented engineers to make their ideas become a reality,” he added.

Benefits of adapting 3D printing technology for the aerospace industry include faster production of complex and discontinued parts, while enabling design improvements. 3D printing also removes the requirement to design and build tooling for the manufacturing process, facilitating future design updates to be swiftly modelled and printed using existing equipment.

“This technology has the potential to revolutionise the aerospace industry through innovation, while also developing local knowledge and skills,” said Badr Al Olama, CEO of Strata and head of the GMIS organising committee.

“We are extremely proud to announce the successful completion of our pilot project, this is a key step towards our goal of deploying 3D printing technology on live applications.”

The delicate timeframe of manufacturing aircraft parts often presents the biggest challenge, Al Olama noted, explaining that integrating 3D printing into this process would greatly reduce production time. Individual parts that previously took 120 days to manufacture would only require a few days of work, he said.

During the pilot project, Siemens primarily handled the selection of materials, as well as testing and development of the manufacturing process. Etihad Airways Engineering was responsible for the part’s design and certification for use in aviation. Lastly, Strata physically 3D printed the parts in their Al Ain factory, thanks to support by local partners VPS and D2M. Final approval was granted by the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA.

With the pilot project now successfully completed, the partners are moving steadily forward. Siemens and Strata next plan to develop a three-year joint roadmap for further industrializing 3D printing in the UAE, Middle East, and North Africa. Siemens has reported the roadmap will include training and skill development for UAE citizens.

Strata will also continue pursuing 3D printing technology in a wide range of aerostructure applications including tooling, fixtures and consumables, using both metallic and non-metallic materials.

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Arcus-3D-M1 evolves from junkstrap into full color 3D printer

Mar 28, 2017 | By David

As impressive as many 3D printing developments may be, one area where the technology has faced real limitations is color. Initially only conceivable in monochrome, 3D printing saw possibilities open several years ago with the introduction of dual color extrusion methods, while more advanced industrial printers offer more comprehensive color options. Now a new machine has been demonstrated that could finally bring full-color printing to everyday FDM printer users who want to watch out for their wallets.

The Arcus-3D-M1 is a filament-based, FDM (fused deposition modelling) 3D printer that was recently unveiled at the MidWest RepRap Festival. This annual gathering in Goshen, Indiana is one of the largest 3D printing events in the world and sees the latest breakthroughs in 3D printing technology shown off to a crowd of enthusiastic hobbyists. One of these gifted amateurs, Daren Schwenke, had started the Arcus last year as a junkstrap, which is to say he cobbled it together from whatever mechanical parts he had lying around and could make use of. Now the machine is a fully fledged 3D printer that could be the start of a Technicolor revolution.

Arcus-3D-M1’s full multicolor printing works by mixing five differently colored filaments together. Much like the spectrum used with color inkjet 2D printing, these filaments are designated C (Cyan), M (Magenta), Y(Yellow), K (Key, i.e. Black) and W (White). Combining these colors in a user-specified ratio gives a huge range of different color options, effectively offering any color imaginable. The results that the Arcus 3D has managed to achieve are so far being received with real enthusiasm and excitement.

The Arcus-3D-M1 has a number of unique mechanical and design features. According to Schwenke, the current design is based on the Beaglebone Black dev platform, running a Machinekit velocity extrusion branch. Its hotend extruder feeds six PTFE tubes into a water-cooled assembly that mixes and squirts 1.75 mm filament out of the nozzle, making use of a small brushless motor. The end effector of the hotend is surprisingly light- weighing only about 150 grams. This means its weight isn’t significantly different from any other delta printer currently on the market. The impeller spins at a relatively high speed and is designed such that it also generates it’s own extrusion pressure to feed the nozzle, greatly reducing the feed pressure required. This design allows this printer  to move very fast, providing a multicolor print in the same amount of time many machines would create a regular monochrome one. The Arcus-3D-M1 also uses a CRAMPS controller board, and its code is available to access remotely.

(Images: Hackaday) 

The Arcus-3D-M1 isn’t by any means the first multicolor 3D printer, but could be one of the simplest and most effective yet seen, and it is encouraging to see such impressive results achieved by open source design. Its success suggests that we will only see the technology improving in the coming years, perhaps looking back at this project as the first in a new wave of accessible machines that bring the full potential of color to the 3D printing masses.

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Lightform combines 3D scanning & augmented reality in new projection mapping technology

Mar 28, 2017 | By Julia

Augmented reality (AR) startup Lightform emerged from stealth mode yesterday with news of $2.6 million in seed funding. As the first developers of a computer specially made for AR, also known as projection mapping, the San Francisco-based startup has been on the tech industry’s radar for some time.

Up until now, the Lightform team was keeping relatively quiet about their new AR innovation: a computer and 3D scanning device that, when connected to any video projector, can quickly scan complex scenes and transform any object into a projection screen.

“It’s augmented reality without the headset,” promise Lightform reps in a statement.

Now the California-based company has come forward with exciting news that it’s secured $2.6 million in seed funding from Lux Capital and Seven Seas Partners, as well as several private investors and the National Science Foundation.

By all accounts, Lightform intends to plough steadily ahead with its mission of creating simple, powerful tools that connect the real and digital worlds.

“While at Disney Imagineering eight years ago, I saw a demo of projected AR that was the most compelling VR/AR demo I’ve ever seen,” says Lightform co-founder and CEO Brett Jones.

“There was an entire enchanted forest set covered in projection, with lightning and rain, butterflies fluttering across the scene, and a running waterfall. My co-worker threw his ID into the waterfall, and I swore that the ID was wet. The problem was the demo cost millions and only Disney could build it. That’s when I knew I wanted to bring this technology everywhere.”

And Disney’s only part of the story. The Lightform team boasts years of projection mapping experience that ranges from large scale entertainment to PhD research. Alongside Disney Imagineering, Lightform staff have cut their teeth at Bot & Dolly’s and Microsoft, as well as the popular blog Projection Mapping Central.

Using advanced computer vision, Lightform aims to simplify the projection mapping process. “We believe projected light can be inherently more interesting than a flat screen because it can be overlaid on the existing environment,” says Phil Reyneri, Design Director at Lightform. This enables designers to blend digital content with existing materials and structures around them, he continued.

The Lightform team vows to democratize the medium of projection mapping so that it can be used pervasively across film, art, education, cultural exhibits, and even home entertainment and weddings.

While a highly ambitious goal, Lightform is already well on its way to success. The news of their newly secured funding is symbolic not only for financial reasons: as the San Francisco startup officially emerges from stealth mode, they’re sending a message that they’re ready to go big or go home.

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Ability3D Launches the Affordable Ability1 3D Metal Printer

And there’s another problem: there doesn’t seem to be software available yet. And that’s one of the main purposes of their Kickstarter campaign; to raise funds to engage a software team to develop programs to convert 3D models into the correct GCODE for the Ability1. This is obviously essential for the success of the project, but at the same time is a problem that is likely solvable with the right team.

In the meantime, all the prints you’ve seen from the Ability1 and it’s prototypes have been based on handcrafted GCODE.

I’m not overly concerned about the lack of software, as it can be certainly be created and will likely enable a significant refinement in the quality of the output.

For now, Ability3D hopes you will sign up for a machine at a starting price of USD$2,799, which is a ridiculously low price for a 3D metal printer. They have set a rather ambitious goal of USD$640,000 for the raise, and it’s an “all or none” project. This means that if they do not hit that target it will not proceed.

However, that lofty goal is likely what is actually required to get this project completed, so I suspect they’ve done some careful planning here. That’s a good sign.

They hope to deliver the machine in October, but I must caution buyers that this is a Kickstarter project from a small startup company. I recommend you review our checklist for such situations.

It is possible they may incur a delay as they develop the software. However, software development is a continuous process and I expect things to gradually improve as the months tick by.

If this project succeeds, we will see an entirely new set of 3D metal printing operators: those who were unable to afford the very expensive traditional equipment.

Via Kickstarter and Ability3D

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What is SAP’s 3D Print Distributed Manufacturing System and Why is Roboze In It?

Italy-based Roboze announced they’ve joined the growing SAP Distributed Manufacturing program.

SAP is a massive software manufacturer, known for providing heavy-duty business administration functions, but also providing other types of business solutions. One new venture they’ve had is a new Distributed Manufacturing System.

What is this program? Here’s how they describe it:

SAP today announced it has signed an agreement with UPS (NYSE: UPS) to collaborate to transform the ad hoc world of industrial 3D printing into a seamless, on-demand manufacturing process from order through manufacturing and delivery. By integrating extended supply chain solutions from SAP with UPS’s additive industrial manufacturing and logistics network, SAP and UPS plan to enable companies large and small to access on-demand manufacturing with the touch of button, creating new opportunities to streamline their supply chains and get products to market more quickly and cost-effectively.

While this sounds like a simple ordering system, it’s far, far more than just that. Larger companies operate extremely complex administration systems that track all financial transactions in order to comply with tax regulations, monitor in <almost> real time their financial status, and integrate with internal processes and departmental budgets. If you think that’s challenging, consider a multinational company doing that for operations in 100+ countries. And then integrating it all together to find out what’s going on overall.

That’s what SAP does: it automates all of this activity. One of the many features it offers is the ability for departments to place orders for resources within their system.

This announcement is an extension of that capability, where participants in a company’s SAP system can directly order externally manufactured goods. Why not just order directly from the supplier? Because the paperwork in some large company situations is so unbearably complicated that they may not even bother.

The SAP Distributed Manufacturing system makes that easy because the entire transaction is automatically captured in their system, making ordering extremely simple for users. And if something is easy, it will be done more frequently.

Initially SAP’s Distributed Manufacturing program had a number of notable 3D print participants, including: Stratasys, HP, Airbus APWorks, and others. Each are major players.

Now Roboze, a relatively small Italian 3D printer manufacturer, has also joined the program. The company makes powerful desktop 3D printers capable of reliable printing in unusual high temperature materials.

By entering the SAP program, Roboze gains an equal footing with those other major players, at least in the eyes of the SAP participants through their system. This should result in the company obtaining a greater number of orders for prints and possibly equipment than they otherwise would have received.

It’s an excellent move for Roboze, and one that I haven’t seen other players of their size in the 3D print space take. Advantage to Roboze!

Via SAP and Roboze

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Planar chromatography experts hack Prusa i3 3D printer to separate & examine mixtures

Mar 28, 2017 | By Benedict

Researchers at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, have used a modified Prusa i3 3D printer to create thin layers of silica gel which can be used for thin layer chromatography, a lab technique for separating mixtures into their individual ingredients.

The Prusa i3 is a versatile 3D printer, but we doubt any makers have used the RepRap machine to fabricate a mixture-separating silica gel. Until now, that is…

Thin layer chromatography (TLC) is a form of planar chromatography, a process used in scientific research, quality control, and other fields in order to separate mixtures into their constituent parts. The unique feature of TLC, which dates back to 1938, is that it uses a thin layer of an adsorbent such as silica gel in order to draw out parts of a mixture at different levels, leaving the constituent parts clearly separate. (Other methods use special chromatography paper or other tools for separation.)

Researchers at Germany’s Justus Liebig University recently found that, by 3D printing the layer of silica gel, a kind of “patterned plate,” they could carry out the process of TLC in a highly affordable and effective manner.

Lab equipment for carrying out TLC can be expensive, but these Justus Liebig researchers, Dimitri Fichou and Gertrud E. Morlock, discovered that a modified Prusa i3 3D printer could be used to create the silica gel layers required for this particular form of planar chromatography.

The 3D printer’s slurry doser modification in digital (A) and 3D printed (B) form

Makers will recognize the Prusa i3 as one of the more popular open source RepRap machines out there, though few will ever have used the 3D printer to print silica gels. In actual fact, Fichou and Morlock couldn’t do so either—until they made some fairly significant changes to their i3.

These 3D printer hacks involved replacing the i3’s filament-dispensing extruder with a syringe-like tool called a “slurry doser,” which was itself 3D printed, before writing specific G-code that would instruct the 3D printer to deposit the silica gel as needed. The researchers only needed to print a single layer of the silica gel, making it more 2D printing than 3D printing, but the i3’s bed leveling feature was used to full effect in order to guarantee a consistent level of the substance, while its heated print bed helped the substance to dry in as little as five minutes.

“The layer printing process was fast,” Fichou and Morlock explain. “For printing a 0.2 mm layer on a 10 cm × 10 cm format, it took less than 5 minutes. It was affordable, i.e., the running costs for producing such a plate were less than €0.25 and the investment costs for the modified hardware were €630.”

The hacked Prusa i3 3D printer used for planar chromatography

Interestingly, the researchers also found that an entire “plate,” at just 25 cents, was actually more than they needed. They also tried 3D printing 40 channels in parallel on a 10 cm × 10 cm square in order to separate 40 different samples, and found that these channels were just as effective at separating as the plate. This “channeled” print cost only €0.04, and took just two minutes to print.

While this is certainly a niche use for a Prusa i3 or any 3D printer, those interested in the planar chromatography project can check out the research paper or Fichou’s Github repository for the slurry doser modification. The researchers want to keep the entire project open source, so those in the chromatography field can work together to make the new process cheap and accessible.

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CRP Technology releases rubber-like Windform RL 3D printing material

Mar 28, 2017 | By Tess

Italian additive manufacturing specialist CRP Technology has released the newest addition to its family of Windform materials: Windform RL. The 3D printing material marks the first thermoplastic elastomer in the Windform line.

CRP Technology’s newly launched Windform RL thermoplastic elastomer is being marketed as a durable 3D printing material with rubber-like properties, ideally suited for 3D printing parts and components with complex geometries and which require flexibility. The new material helps to round out CRP Technology’s Windform material family, which currently comprises eight different materials, including the impact-resistant Windform FX Black; Windform XT 2.0, a carbon-fiber composite; Windform GT, a polyamide-based glass-fiber reinforced composite; and more.

Franco Cevolini, CEO and Technical Director for CRP Group, commented: “We created Windform RL to provide complete and tailored end-to-end service to meet all customers’ needs.” That is, Windform RL was developed to be used alongside the other Windform materials, as parts printed from them can be attached or bonded together to make up larger structures with varying properties.

According to CRP Technology, its new material offers users a number of advantageous qualities, including durability and stability, good chemical and heat resistance, and a high tear resistance—an important quality for rubber-like materials. The aforementioned characteristics make Windform RL a suitable material for 3D printing flexible and rubber-like prototypes as well as end-use parts (i.e. hoses, gaskets, handles, grips, etc.)

Not only for small parts, however, Windform RL has applications in a variety of sectors, as it can be used in the fashion industry for wearables and footwear, and in the automotive and motorsport industries, to name but a few. CRP Technology’s new material can also be used to simulate cast urethane, thermoplastic elastomer, and rubber and silicone parts, as it provides a suitable alternative for testing the form, fit, and function of parts that will ultimately be made using the other materials.

Users also have the option of employing the Windform RL Seal Infiltration method, which helps to strengthen and seal parts 3D printed out of Windform RL. Windform RL Seal Infiltration also offers users a number of different color finishes.

Technical specifications for Windform RL*:

    • Density: 0.45 g/cm3


    • Particle size: 100% < 160 microns


    • Melting point: 190 degrees Celsius / 374 degrees Fahrenheit


    • Tensile strength: 1.5 – 4.2 Mpa / 217.55 – 609.16 psi


    • Tensile modulus: 6.5 – 8 Mpa / 942.74 – 1160.30 psi


    • Elongation at break: 130 – 160%


    • Shore A hardness: 45 – 80


* All values are said to increase by 5 to 15% with application of Windform RL Seal Infiltration

(Images: CRP Technology)

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