One step ahead of the rapid prototyping race

The competition to win ground in manufacturing for rapid prototyping technology continues at a suitably impressive speed. DTM, the company which came up with the Selective Laser Sintering Process together with the University of Texas at Austin in the mid eighties has just launched the Sinterstation 2500, a noteworthy progression from its last machine, the 2000.

Introduced at EuroMold in Germany, the system has been developed for the production of one large part or several small ones. The build chamber volume of the unit is now 380mm x 330mm x 420mm.

DTM has also developed a new laser beam system which not only controls the movement of the laser in x and y directions but also has a dynamic z-axis focus control, so that the focus of the beam is always optimal on the surface of the powder bed. Another improvement is scan speed dependent power control. This increases the sharpness of the detail definition of a part by ensuring that the energy input is constant, whatever speed the beam is moving.

Perhaps the greatest advantage for users is the number of materials in which parts can eventually be produced with the new machine. The Sinterstation produces fully functional parts from nylon and glass-filled nylon composite. Master and patterns in polycarbonate are also possible, but most interesting is the RapidTool process which can produce copper infiltrated tool inserts for the production of up to 50000 parts by injection moulding.

A new shortrun process allows inserts to be infiltrated with epoxy and allows the production of injection mould for up to 200 parts.

New for DTM are the so-called SandForm materials (zircon and silica) for the production of moulds and cores for the sandcasting process to avoid the cost and wooden models and core boxes in product development.

Next, DTM promises to introduce an elastomer material for the production of flexible parts such as sealings.

{{DTM GmbHTel: Germany (+49) 2103 95770Enter 404}}