3D Printing by Agile Manufacturing
3D printing equipment offered by Agile Manufacturing consists of professional printers fabricated by the most-renown manufacturers in the world. Agile carries three-dimensional printers from Markforged and 3D Systems
Markforged is a premier 3D printer manufacturer located in Watertown, MA.
Their line include:
- Metal X industrial printer for metals
- FX 20 industrial carbon fiber composite
- Onyx desktop carbon fiber composite
3D Systems is the company that invented and patented the Stereolithographic (SLA) printing process thirty years ago. Located in Rock Hill, S.C., the company is now the leader in several 3D printing technologies. Some of its most known printers are ProX 800, SLS 380, Figure 4 Modular and DMP Flex 350.
Stereolithography (SLA) is the first commercialized 3D printing technology, invented by 3D Systems’ Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Chuck Hull in the 1980s. It uses an ultraviolet laser to precisely cure photopolymer cross-sections, transforming them from liquid to solid. Parts are built directly from CAD data, layer-by-layer into prototypes, investment casting patterns, tools, and end-use parts.
Once the SLA printing process is complete, SLA parts are cleaned in a solvent solution to remove any residual uncured resin from the part surface. Cleaned parts are then cured in a UV oven.
Advantages & Applications
SLA 3D printers are able to deliver highly detailed, tiny parts just a few mm in size, all the way up to 1.5 m long parts—all at the same exceptional resolution and accuracy. Even large parts remain highly accurate from end-to-end, with virtually no part shrinkage or warping.
SLA is all about precision and accuracy, so it is often used when form, fit, and assembly are critical. The tolerances on SLA parts are typically less than 0.05 mm, and SLA offers the smoothest surface finish of any additive manufacturing process. With the quality SLA can achieve, it is particularly useful for creating highly precise casting patterns (e.g., for injection molding, casting, and vacuum casting) as well as functional prototypes, presentation models, and form and fit testing. SLA technology is extremely versatile and can be used in any number of areas where precision is paramount
SLS Selective Laser Sintering
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a powder-based 3D printing technology that uses a laser to fuse material layers into a final part. The laser traces the pattern of each cross section of a 3D design onto a bed of powder. After one layer is built, the build platform lowers and another layer is built on top of the previous layer. This process continues until every layer is built and the part is complete.
Advantages & Applications
One of the major benefits of SLS is that it is a self-supporting additive manufacturing technology. Because the product lies in a bed of powder as it builds, no supplementary support structures are required, making SLS capable of producing geometries that no other technology can. The self-supporting nature of SLS also means there is no support removal, enabling complex interior components and monolithic assemblies.
SLS really shines when you need durable plastic parts. SLS parts are known for their robustness, and rival parts produced using traditional manufacturing methods like injection molding. SLS is used in a variety of end-use applications in industries including automotive and aerospace.
Engineered for greater end-use part performance, these materials are developed with glass, aluminum, or mineral fiber fillers to offer a range of advanced properties in terms of stiffness, temperature resistance, strength, and surface finish.
Rubber-like flexibility for prototypes and production parts with excellent memory, tear, and abrasion resistance.
Great for sacrificial patterns for prototype metal castings and low to medium production runs without tooling.