Frequently Asked Questions
Simple and Informative Questions
Below are a few questions our clients and prospective clients ask
3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes.
In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
There are a number of technologies, only a few technologies are mentioned below.
Fused deposition modeling (FDM) uses a heated plastic filament deposited layer by layer to produce plastic parts. Laser sintered systems. Laser melts powder deposited layer by layer.
Liquid resin systems that use nozzles like a dot matrix printer to extrude resin layers by layer that is cured by ultraviolet light.
Powder systems that use ink-jet type technology to deposit ink and a binder to harden powder.
We will only discuss STRATASYS FDM (fused Deposition Modeling). This system extrudes high grade engineering thermoplastics through extrusion nozzles heated from 326 deg c in a build envelope at 80 to 140 deg. C. This allows for extremely accurate models with strong bonds and material flow between layers The Stratasys FDM material is sealed in a airtight container to prevent moisture absorption. Plastic is hygroscopic, it absorbs moisture, Stratasys FDM use only approved engineering thermoplastics.
Hence Stratasys FDM systems are classed as manufacturing centers producing low volume production parts and assemblies.
Stratasys use standard engineering thermoplastics. This creates parts than can be used rather than just prototypes. The office 220 volt systems use ABS Plus™ a blend of ABS( Acrononitrile Butadene Styrene) and Polycarbonate. This allows for higher temperature printing than standard ABS and produces a very strong printed part.
The automatic support building material has been modified to be soluble (Patented technology) this allows for very complex models to be produced and the part is placed in a 70 deg c alkali wash bath and the material is dissolved. ( No user intervention required.)
The 3 phase Fortus 380mc, 450mc and 900mc systems build Polycarbonate, Nylon 12, Ultem 8085 ,Ultem 1010. PC –ABS, PC ISO (Medical and Food Grade). Polyphenylsulfone.(PPSF). We use Ultem 9085 to manufacture aerospace components. Material has FST rating for aircraft component use. AEROSUD’s new AHRLAC aircraft has 61 production Ultem 9085 components.
Polycarbonate is being used for Hydro forming press tools to deep draw Stainless steel 1,4 mm and heat treated aircraft grade aluminum.
We are also manufacturing automotive components for low volume production parts on race and rally vehicles. An engineering company uses the technology to print automotive component patterns for the aluminum foundry. A Fortus 450 system has been purchased to design and manufacture (UAV) Unmanned Aerial vehicles.
We have recently printed instrument panel bezels and component s for a milspec Mirage flight simulator and a professional piper Seneca flight simulator designed and manufactured locally.
Please see Material Specification List in Navigational Bar for the specifications on on all materials used.
In today's world of 3D printing there are many industries getting involved.
- Commercial Products.
- Consumer Products.
You will need to contact Margie Oosterlaak to arrange a demo at our offices.
Please call +27 12 345 5112.
Our working hours are Monday to Thursday 8.00am to 4.30pm and Friday 8.00am to 2.30pm.
We do not do demo's on the weekend.
575 Grafiet, Street Elardus Park, Pretoria.
We have over 200 companies using the professional Stratasys FDM systems in South Africa.
3D Solids AMT have USA certified service engineers rated on all FDM systems from Dimension U Print to the latest Fortus 450 and 900 high end systems.