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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Additive Manufacturing Technology Expands

Objet, EOS, Z Corp. and 3D Systems introduce new technology at Euromold

Several suppliers introduced new technology at Euromold this month that reduces costs and boosts capability for additive manufacturing equipment.

Objet Geometries of Rehovot, Israel introduced a new family of desktop 3-D printers (Objet24 and Objet30), starting at $19,900. The company also demonstrated advanced materials featuring clear transparency, high-temperature resistance and ABS-like quality.

Objet CEO David Reis says, "Our new family of desktop 3D printers is the first high resolution 3-D printer with a low price tag and exceptional ease of use - making it ideal for office printing and opening up a new world of opportunities for designers and engineers."

The new clear material means customers can print thin, transparent parts which previously had to be outsourced to service providers.

 Additive Manufacturing Technology ExpandsThe photo shows an exhaust manifold laser-sintered out of EOS NickelAlloy IN625. Source: EOS

EOS introduced a new metal material, NickelAlloy IN625 and two new plastic materials: PrimePart FR (PA 2241 FR) and PrimePart ST (PEBA 2301).

"These new materials open up completely new fields of application," says Peter Klink, executive vice president global sales at EOS.

EOS says the new nickel alloy has high tensile strength, excellent processability and uniform corrosion resistance. It is targeted at aerospace, chemical, motor sport and marine industry applications. 

Greg Morris, CEO of Morris Technologies, says, "We are using IN625 with Direct Metal Laser Sintering to build complex aerospace parts for high-temperature and high-strength applications. The process achieves material properties that are comparable to wrought metals and far exceed casting."

PrimePart FR (PA 2241 FR) is based on PA 12 polyamide and has an 11 percent elongation at break, which is significantly higher than its predecessor material PA 2210FR. PrimePart ST is an elastomeric material that targets applications such as flexible fasteners, seals and buffers

Z Corp. of Burlington, MA showed its TZBuilder Ultra rapid prototyping machine that builds durable plastic parts, which it says rival injection molding's accuracy, material properties, detail, and surface finish, at one-third of the price of machines with comparable performance. 

3D Systems Corp. showed extra-large automotive parts, representing several Fiat Group development projects.

Doug Smock -- Design News, December 15, 2010



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CAD Guide To STL Export for 3D Printing

This document contains an overview about how to export STL model from some leading CAD



applications. The information may be outdated due to newer releases of the CAD systems. If you

have information that is more up to date, please inform us about this.


A. Solid Works

B. Pro/Engineeer

C. Unigraphics

D. AutoCAD

E. AutoDesk Inventor


G. I-Deas

H. IronCAD

I. Mechanical Desktop

J. Solid Edge

K. Think3

L. 3D Studio Max

M. Alibre

N. Rhino



1. Tools > Options > Export

2. STL Options

3. Select Binary for file type

4. Set Quality to Fine

5. File > Save As

6. Set Save As Type to STL

7. Save


1. File > Save As

2. Choose .STL

3. Set chord height to 0. The field will be replaced by minimum acceptable value

4. Set Angle Control to 0.5

5. Choose file name

5. Select OK

C) Unigraphics

1. File > Export > Rapid Prototyping

2. Set Output type to Binary

3. Set Triangle Tolerance to 0.0025

4. Set Adjacency Tolerance to 0.12

5. Set Auto Normal Gen to On

6. Set Normal Display to Off

7. Set Triangle Display to OnCompetence Center for Innovative Manufacturing

D) AutoCAD

Type these commands in AutoCAD's command line:

1. Set DISPSILH to 1

2. Set ISOLINES to 0

3. Set FACETRES to 10

4. Relocate the object to the positive X-Y-Z octant

5. Use the STLOUT command to export an STL file. (AMSTLOUT for AutoCAD Desktop


NOTE: Your design must be a three-dimensional solid object to output an STL file.

E) Autodesk Inventor

1. File > Save Copy

2. Select STL

3. Click the Options button, and choose the High detail level

4. Click the Save Button.


1. File > Export > STL

2. Type in a filename and select OK

3. Change Format to Binary

4. Use default Facet Tolerance

5. Additional export tolerance options are in the Solids99 Configuration window

accessed from the Tolerance section of Configuration.


1. File > Export > Rapid Prototype File > OK.

2. Select the Part to be prototyped

3. Select Prototype Device then, SLA500.dat then OK

4. Set absolute facet deviation to 0.000395

5. Select Binary, then OKCompetence Center for Innovative Manufacturing

H) IronCAD

1. Select Part Properties then Rendering

2. Set Facet Surface Smoothing to 150

3. Select File then Export

4. Select .STL

I) Mechanical Desktop

1. Use the AMSTLOUT command to export your STL file.

2. The following command line options affect the quality of the STL and should be

adjusted to produce an acceptable file.

· Angular Tolerance - This command limits the angle between the normals of

adjacent triangles. The default setting is 15 degrees. Reducing the angle will

increase the resolution of the STL file.

· Aspect Ratio - This setting controls the Height/Width ratio of the facets. A

setting of 1 would mean the height of a facet is no greater than its width. The

default setting is 0, ignored.

· Surface Tolerance - This setting controls the greatest distance between the

edge of a facet and the actual geometry. A setting of 0.0000 causes this

option to be ignored.

· Vertex Spacing - This option controls the length of the edge of a facet. The

Default setting is 0.0000, ignored.

J) SolidEdge

1. File > Save As

2. Set Save As Type to STL

3. Options

4. Set Conversion Tolerance to 0.001in or 0.0254mm.

5. Set Surface Plane Angle to 45.00

6. Save

K) Think3

1. File > Save As

2. Set Save As Type to STL

3. SaveCompetence Center for Innovative Manufacturing



3D studio Max



First check for errors:

An STL object must define a complete and closed surface. Use STL-Check modifier to test

your geometry before export your object to STL.

1. Select an object.

2. Click <Modify>

3. Click <More...>

4. Select "STL-Check" under Object-Space Modifiers

5. Select <Check>

If there are no errors, continue to export the STL file by:

6. <File> <Export>

7. Select "StereoLitho [*.STL]" in <Save as type>

8. Select location in <Save in>

9. Enter a name in <File name>

10. <Save>

11. <OK>

Export To STL dialog:

12. Object Name: Enter a name for the object you want to save in STL format.

13. Binary/ASCII: Choose whether the STL output file will be binary or ASCII (character)

data. ASCII STL files are much larger than binary STL files.

14. Selected Only: Exports only objects that you selected in the 3D Studio scene.


M) Alibre


1. File

2. Export

3. Save As > STL

4. Enter File Name

5. Save


N) Rhino


1. File > Save As

2. Select File Type > STL

3. Enter a name for the STL file.

4. Save

5. Select Binary STL Files

via Competence Center for Innovative Manufacturing



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Monday, December 13, 2010

Rhodia launches polyamide powders for rapid prototyping

Rhodia has announced the upcoming launch of polyamide (PA) powders for rapid prototyping and small series manufacturing by selective laser sintering (SLS). This is the first time that PA 6 powders are offered for direct part fabrication by SLS, claimed the company. The range will be extended to include PA 66 powders in the coming months.


Using SLS, designers and processors can produce complete families of fully functional prototype parts, said Rhodia, before they cut any metal for tooling. Once the design is validated, they can even use SLS for limited series commercial production.


“With processing properties perfectly adapted to SLS laser sintering – as well as other fabrication techniques based on addition of layers of powder – this new product range makes these innovative technologies much more accessible than before, opening the way to new applications and new markets,” said Jean-Pierre Marchand, director of marketing and innovation for Rhodia’s Engineering Plastics activities.


The part of the rapid prototyping/manufacturing sector using these additive technologies has a current turnover of around €800m, with a potential estimated to reach €3bn in 2015.


“In this context, the potential for SLS powders is forecast to rise to between €100m and €200m by 2020,” explains Pierre-Emmanuel Lucas, director of the PA powder project at Rhodia. “With this new range of materials, Rhodia expects to play an important part in this market.”


By Anthony Clark via 


Rhodia Polyamide


Rhodia Polyamide supplies customers around the world with a wide range of industrial and consumer goods based mainly on its core product, Polyamide 6.6.

The world’s second largest producer of Polyamide 6.6, and with a fully integrated Polyamide manufacturing chain, the enterprise producesintermediates and polymers (for downstream polyamide and non-polyamide products, such as polyurethanes and food additives), oxygenated solvents (for the industrial paints, leather, automotive, packaging and inks markets), engineering plastics (for the automotive, electrical and electronics markets), fibers (used in the automotive, tire, filtration, print, rope, carpet, furniture and textile markets) and textile and industrial yarns (for lingerie, clothing and sportswear).

In 2007, for the fourth consecutive year, Rhodia Polyamide generated growth on the engineering plastics market twice that of market growth worldwide, a result of its expansion in the rapidly developing markets of Asia and South America.


Leading brands & innovation


The enterprise has launched more than 20 new product lines during the past five years, with its flagship brand Technyl® regularly enhanced by innovations, including, in 2007, the launch of Technyl Star™ AFX, a polyamide 6.6 with exceptional fluidity to fill the gap between standard polyamides and higher-cost metals or engineering plastics.

Rhodia Polyamide offers as well the industry’s largest PA 66 Polymer brand,STABAMID®, by combining the Polyamide 66 intermediates through a top class process of polymerization. 
Our Polyamide 66 STABAMID® polymers offer exceptional performances for high quality products and a full range of products for engineering plastics, industrial yarns, textile or fibers market.


Total sales 2009: €1,476 million




Leadership positions


  • N°2 in the world in polyamide 6.6 markets

  • N°2 in the world for polyamide-based engineering plastics

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