1 of 3
IPF Objet MultiMaterialObjet Multi-material 3D Printed Model
2 of 3
3D Printed Multi Hinged, Multi Material Box. Objet Connex500
3 of 3
Industrial Plastic Fabrications (IPF) Ltd., a manufacturing services bureau, has installed a second Objet Connex500 multi-material 3D Printer to increase the capacity of its rapid prototyping service and also capitalise on the high demand received for ABS-like printed parts since Objet released the material last year.
The additional Objet Connex500 provides Essex, UK-based IPF not only with a boost to capacity, but also a greater ability to manage lead-times on 3D printed parts.
IPF's second Objet Connex500, joins Objet Eden350V, EnvisionTec Perfactory and Stratasys Fortus 400 3D printers. Gary Miller, Head of 3D Printing & Rapid Prototyping at IPF, said: "With this portfolio of equipment and the vast and versatile range of materials properties we offer, IPF is perfectly positioned to meet growing customer demand for robust, resilient 3D printed models for demanding prototyping jobs."
Miller goes on to explain that, for instance, whilst one Objet Connex 3D printer can be set to print with a rigid white material (Objet VeroWhitePlus) and a black rubber-like material (Objet TangoBlackPlus) simultaneously — enabling the generation of rubber like materials at different Shore scale A values and rigid materials at different grey shades and rigidity levels — the other can be set to print in the Objet ABS-like material simulating engineering plastics. "This provides huge scope for servicing lots of different requirements at the same time, so we can continue to deliver the speedy service our customers expect," says Miller, "The multi-material capability, unique to Connex technology, is a huge asset. We can produce a mixed tray of parts in different materials, multi-material models and Objet ABS-like models all in the same night."
According to Miller, the Objet ABS-like Digital Material, which combines high-temperature resistances with extreme toughness, is perfect for simulating ABS-grade engineering plastics and provides a seriously compelling alternative for replicating engineering plastics.
"The Objet ABS-like material is engineered to be stronger, so it's very tough and has great impact strength for fully-functional prototypes that are hard to break," he explains. "This, together with its excellent surface finish, gets prototypes even closer to the final design in a dramatically shortened lead time."
These features have proved popular with IPF's diverse range of clients; which as well as those in the architectural, medical and toy sectors, also includes those within Formula One motor racing. "We do a considerable amount of work in the F1 sector, as the teams like the rigid/flexible combinations we can offer. Also important to some of the F1 teams is the impact strength of the ABS-like material in a wind tunnel environment," continues Miller. "We said the Objet ABS-like material could potentially be a business changer, which is why we were the first company in the UK to adopt it - and I think the purchase of the new Objet Connex500 proves the point."
IPF, also the first business in the UK to install an Objet Connex500 in late 2007, has enjoyed staggering growth in recent years. According to Miller this can be largely attributed to the company's Objet-based rapid prototyping activities. With IPF's rapid prototyping service the company's number one growth driver, Miller is confident that IPF will remain ahead of the game when it comes to fulfilling demand for prototypes that truly represent the intended end-product.