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Graphite clear ABS-like
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Graphite Eiffel Tower ABS-like
Large-scale parts additive manufactured in ABS-like materials have been added to Graphite Additive Manufacturing's already extensive offering.
High-performance materials for demanding applications such as aerospace and motorsport are in demand and Graphite can now produce parts for extreme conditions in a range of ABS mimics, a range of materials that start as liquid photopolymer resin which can be formed into complex structures using stereolithography.
ABS-like components can be supplied by Graphite in their natural grey, white or clear state, while parts can also be hand-finished, polished, painted or metal plated according to the customer's requirements. Graphite also supplies sanded and primed parts ready for customers to finish themselves.
The clear version of Graphite’s ABS-like material is a multi-purpose plastic with a good elongation to break, water resistance and optical clarity. In certain forms it can be supplied polished to make it crystal clear (to represent lenses or inspection windows for example) or with a blasted finish to make it ‘frosted’ or opaque. Typical applications for this material include flow analysis, master patterns, concept models and quickcast patterns.
It is possible to create highly complex and detailed geometries within the parts thanks to the precision afforded by stereolithography. The clear component shown in the photo was made with in-built 'pressure taps'. Pressure taps are used on wind tunnel models and are small holes perpendicular to the surface of a part, connected by long thin tubes to a pressure transducer outside of the model. Previously made by drilling the surface of a part and using pipes to connect to the transducer, stereolithography allows complex taps to be built-in to a part during its construction. This negates the need for drilling or the construction of complex pipework systems and because the pathways are completely enclosed within the solid part there is no danger of leakage leading to inaccurate pressure measurements. Such pressure taps can be reliably built down to a diameter of 1 mm and in lengths of up to 500 mm. This demonstrates the abilities of stereolithography to produce such detailed features inside a component.
Graphite’s grey and white ABS mimics are also multi-purpose plastics. They have a good impact strength and are ideal for functional concept models and snap fits. Graphite has previously supplied a customer with prototypes made up of over 20 individual parts produced in their different ABS-like materials. The separate parts were painted and chrome plated to represent the appearance of the final manufactured components as closely as possible. Material choice was very important as the components needed to withstand the fitting together of the multiple snap-fit mounts and parts, allow the model to be drilled and tapped during assembly and be strong enough to cope with general handling and use during operational trials.
Producing the parts using stereolithography and Graphite's specialist ABS-like photopolymers was an ideal solution as not only were the surface finishes of the materials important but the components had to be completely accurate in order to mount internal electronics, user controls and read-out screens.