3d printing is constantly evolving, whether that’s making PvP or personal protective equipment during the pandemic, to custom insoles for your sneakers.
Now, new material is opening up a whole realm of possibilities.
Everything from healthcare to jewelry.
I’m speaking with Kathy Buoy from Form Labs, to talk through some of these new materials and what to expect, so, Kathy, thank you for joining me today.
Tell me more about what these new materials are and what we can expect them to do.
Yes, of course, happy to be here and really excited to talk about a little bit about some of the new materials that we’re launching at CES.
We have been doing a lot more kind of hybrid materials recently meaning that it’s materials that are filled with other things.
So this is the next installment of that.
So, we are launching what we called castable wax 40.
And the 40 stands for 40% wax.
So it is a 3d printed material that has 40% wax in it.
So you can actually print really detailed jewelry kind of patterns and things like that and do investment casting with it and actually burn out the wax so that you actually have an investment mold that you can pour your precious metals into and actually cast A metal part.
So this is kind of a push towards also end use type of materials.
So with 3D printing in the past you might have heard it’s used for prototyping is used for making just these fun gadgets but now it’s a lot more serious and we do have a lot more Progress towards these advanced materials.
So with this hybrid type of material, it allows us to actually venture into more and use type of applications like casting.
So let’s talk about some of those sort of advanced uses.
Now you’ve sent me a bit of a grab bag of a lot of different materials.
And and forms that can be printed.
So we have things like a spring system.
There is even a very soft grip for I’m assuming like a bicycle or something like that a handle grip, but the most fascinating one for me out of this entire box that you sent me Was this resin artery?
Now, when we talking about advanced uses, obviously medical applications and things to go inside the body or also to use as kind of diagnostic tools outside the body, am I kind of going down the right path?
We’re sort of talking about that application for something like this Audrey, is this actually something that you would perhaps.
Put inside somebody or is this for training purposes, like talk me through what this is cuz it’s really, really cool.
Yeah, yeah, that’s actually one of our soft materials.
So it’s called elastic 50 a, and it’s actually unfortunately not biocompatible, so it can’t go into your body.
So the one that you’re holding is actually used for training.
So a lot of our medical users actually use the soft flexible materials for medical modeling for training You know suturing and for surgical planning before they go into the operation room because each patient’s anatomy is different.
So though, you know, have scans and models printed so that the doctors can, you know, get a feel for what it looks like and where they should cut and where they should suture and things like that.
So, yeah, that’s one of the artery models.
And there are a lot more really cool looking, heart shaped, really intricate channels and things like that on the inside as well.
Yeah, very cool.
And the whole box is just full of really interesting different shapes.
The most interesting thing to me is someone that hasn’t really been following 3D printing very closely but was very interested in the start.
And then also, obviously with biomedical applications, things like PPE for example.
I’ve just caught up a little bit over the past few years but just seeing the the breadth of what can be done.
With 3D printing is excellent like, you know there’s very consumer based things like say for example, this dryer hood for a hairdryer which is really cool but it’s very solid as well and that was that bicycle mount that I mentioned it was really really squishy as well.
Even more on sort of like the everyday items like you were mentioning the ring for jewelry.
Now this is really fascinating this material now talk me through obviously this is to be used for a mold, as you mentioned, but how do you go about like burning out the particular material because it’s not the fully formed mold as you can see because there’s still like that bracing material.
So what is that and how do you get rid of it to become the actual final mold.
Yeah, excellent question.
So what you’re holding there is the castable wax 40 material that we’re launching it CDs and with SLA printing so because it’s a bat of resin, when you’re carrying it, you need the support.
So that’s what you’re seeing around it.
You would actually break the support off and you have the ring So before I can talk about, how you go about using that in the casting process.
Should I should back up and talk a little bit about the standard casting process and then how 3D printing actually alleviates a lot of the hard work in it.
So essentially normally in a intricate ring like that, you would have a lock of wax and you would have the hand curved.
Block of wax into that ring.
And then you would solder that ring or not solder but attach that ring to a tree.
And then you would dip that into a slurry and it forms like a shell an egg shell around it, and then you put that thing into a furnace and burn out the wax completely and then you’re left with the egg shell And then you would pour you know your metals into the egg shell and you have your ring.
So in 3D printing, it eliminates a lot of that hand carving and tedious work and you can just design your ring and then 3D print it and break off the support.
Attach it to the To the tree and then, make your shell and then you put, the shell and the ring inside it into the furnace to burn it out as you would normally.
And you’re left with the egg shell and you would fill it with your precious metals.
So how are these materials actually sourced or made.
So, 3d printing resins especially for SLA materials, a lot of the components come from your everyday and not a lot of people know this actually, your everyday chemicals.
So if you’ve ever had acrylic nails done.
A lot of the basic chemicals in that is in the resin.
So originally before formlabs had our form cure unit, we actually recommended people cure their parts using a nail spa.
So you would buy, you know, the acrylic nail spa and put your parts under there and the UV light to actually cure it.
Yeah, so it comes from all over the place.
Also, epoxy flooring, if you’ve ever coated your floor with an epoxy So a lot of the chemicals that go in there also go into some of these resins.
But obviously there are secret sources that each company does to get these awesome properties.
But the chemicals come from Your everyday type of things that you already know about.
Well, it sounds like the sky’s the limit.
Thank you so much, Kathy for joining me today and looking forward to seeing what users come up with all these new solutions and resins.
Yes, thank you so much for having me, this was really fun.