PrintFoam announces the development of a new foam 3D printer
PrintFoam, a start-up founded by MIT alumni in Cambridge, Massachusetts, recently announced the development of the first printing hardware specializing in the industrial-scale printing of resin foams. Of all the additive manufacturing materials on the market, 3D printing foams are still quite unknown to most 3D printing manufacturers. However, in today’s world, the need for lightweight structured materials is greater than ever. In branches such as the aerospace sector or in the creation of 3D printed homes and furniture, having a material that weighs less than any of the traditional materials is widely sought after. Focusing on finding a way to meet this demand, Mathew Pearlsondirector and co-founder of Print Foam, has now announced the development of the first printing device specialized in printing foams on an industrial scale.
PrintFoam has come a long way since its inception a few years ago. Mathew Pearlson came up with the idea to create the 3D printing foams after his time at MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment, where he conducted research into jet fuel renewal. He soon discovered that environmental success would depend more on making the whole industry lean than on switching fuel sources. While keeping this in mind, Pearlson then began looking to modify the stereolithography (SLA) process to print with foam. Soon after, Pearlson tested the concept of the foam printing project while on vacation, then perfected it on an industrial desktop SLA machine. “Using a combination of new optical patterning techniques, as well as moving away from a standard vat printing process, we realized it would be possible to produce 3D printed foam sheets the size of a plywood in a few minutes”explained Matthew Pearlson.
Introducing technology to larger markets
PrintFoams single resins have been around for a few years now and have demonstrated amazing performance improvements along with increased production speed in many applications. Although after some time other 3D printing companies started noticing its benefits, large printing platforms were unable to introduce this unique resin technology to new markets. exciting. dr. David Walkerco-founder of Azul 3D and executive chairman of the Photopolymer Additive Manufacturing Alliance, said in this regard that “It’s really remarkable, and I haven’t seen anything like it. Everyone in the field is trying to mimic the behavior of traditional foams using plastic lattices produced by computer models. These models continue to tell engineers to generate arrays with smaller struts and a smaller unit cell. Essentially, the computer is yelling at the engineer to stop what he’s doing and use a foam for the application. As a community, we have not listened and acted on this.
This specialized 3D printer that uses resin foams is currently being designed to meet the needs of its customers. Production is focused on the scale and speed of the final launched version of the device. While the technology is currently still limited to beta access, PrintFoam is actively accepting a limited number of new partnerships. Currently, the company is working with its customers to explore some details that would make the 3D printer even better for further use in the additive manufacturing industry. For more information, visit the company’s website HERE.
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*Cover photo credits: Mdiproducts