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Formlabs introduces a soft, highly elastic 3D printed elastomeric resin

Formlabs introduces a new elastomeric resin material, the newest member of the engineering resin family for Form 2, a desktop-grade SLA light-curing 3D printer.


Elastomeric resin is the most flexible resin in Formlabs engineering resin with a Shore hardness of 50A, high elongation and energy feedback. Parts printed with this material look and feel like molded silicone parts and are durable enough to be recycled multiple times.


Elastic materials: emerging materials


Typically, soft silicone and polyurethane parts for applications such as wearables, medical models, robots, and special effects props are produced by molding or outsourcing services.


In recent years, some 3D printing software materials have begun to rise in the market, but parts printed with these materials can only be used once or twice, and soon lose their elasticity, the effect is not as good as the "silicone" parts. .


It is very difficult to develop soft light curing (SLA) resins. Parts must be highly elastic, while the structure is strong enough to not distort or tear during printing, knowing that these are two opposite characteristics.


Once, high-quality elastic parts could only be produced on expensive industrial equipment, but today, with the availability of new products such as industrial-grade 3D printers (such as Form 2) and Resin Tank LT, they can be used on the desktop in a matter of hours. Production of elastic parts.


Rapid production, fast turnover


For a wearable design expert like NeoSensory to create a new sensory experience, and a company like RightHand Robotics that specializes in the design of production line mechanical grippers, the ability to quickly prototype silicone parts before production is a successful development that can bring about industry change. The key to end products.


Traditionally, engineers and product designers use molding techniques such as RTV molding, transfer forming, and injection molding to make silicone prototype parts. Printing these parts directly saves time and labor, enabling faster cycles and shorter product development cycles.


Small to medium-sized flexible part batches are produced using elastomeric resins, and designs can be modified between batches and within the same batch. Molding can be preferably used to produce large-scale identical parts, or when it is necessary to use the final production material in the later development stage.


Reduce the cost of a patient's specific anatomical model


Surgeons, researchers, radiologists, and other healthcare professionals rely on patient-specific medical models to better prepare for complex case treatments and surgeries. Medical models help strengthen communication within the surgical team and between doctors and patients.


In addition, the medical models of service providers and traditional industrial machines have always been very expensive and have a slow turnaround time. And 3D printing technology can quickly and cost-effectively print coaching models and pre-medical models, which further expands the industry's use of 3D printing models.