In the course of my diligent efforts to keep you good people up to date on the state of additive manufacturing, I come across many interesting news items. I’ll gather them up once every few weeks and present them in a Rapid Ready Roundup (like this one). You can find the last Roundup here.
We’ll start up this Roundup with a look at recent 3D Systems acquisitions. Back in April, 3D Systems acquired Paramount Industries. Paramount is a direct manufacturing firm with experience in the medical and aerospace parts businesses. Selective laser sintering, stereolithography, urethane castings and injection molding are some of the processes offered by the new acquisition.
Even if you consider additive manufacturing (AM) an emerging technology (which it isn’t, really), advances are still being made in AM processes. Created by EOS, high temperature laser sintering (HTS) is a relatively new process of AM that is being put to use mainly in the aerospace and medical industries. HTS has been embraced by Paramount Industries and the University of Exeter, among others.
The process uses a CO2 laser that can run at temperatures of 385°C (725°F) to build layers with a thickness of 0.1mm (.004”). The high temperature allows the EOS P800 to sinter high-performance polymers, such as polyether ether ketone (PEEK) and polyaryl ether ketone (PAEK). The result allows for the direct part production of strong, complex plastic parts.
High temperature laser sintering is a 3D printing process that is growing in popularity for making strong plastic production parts. While it is true that aerospace, defense, energy, medical and transportation are natural consumers, there are many more industries that will benefit from this processing and material technology.
–Jim Williams, Paramount CEO