Objet's new 3-D printer can jet 2 materials at one go

25th July 2011
Objet's new 3-D printer can jet 2 materials at one go
Complex shapes ( right) can be realised with the Objet260 3-D printer

3D printing leader Objet has brought the Objet260 Connex, multi-material 3D printer to India. It boasts the ability to jet 2 materials at the same time. The system can also print a model replica made of up to 14 individual materials in a single print run.
The Objet260 Connex can use a range of over 60 printing materials which provide users with a wide range of mechanical, thermal and physical properties from rigid (Objet Vero family) to rubber (Objet Tango family) to clear transparency (Objet VeroClear) and ABS-grade engineering plastics (Objet RGD5160-DM). It has a 260 x 260 x 200mm (10.2 x 10.2 x 7.9”) tray size and uses sealed material cartridges that are easy to insert and remove. Models are cured during the build process and can be handled immediately after printing. The system prints in 16-micron layers, producing models of unrivalled resolution detail and professional accuracy.

Says Ashan Dhunna, Sales Director - India & ME, Objet Geometries AP Limited, said,“India is a very important market for us where 3D printing and prototyping sector holds huge potential. The availability of the Objet260 Connex will not only ensure high quality results but we believe that it will also be a preferred choice for a price conscious market such as India. The compact Objet260 Connex brings our high-resolution, multi-material 3D printing to new levels of accessibility in a system that is quiet, reliable and small enough to run in the corner of any office.”

The Objet Connex family of 3D printers is the recipient of the EuroMold 2007 Innovation Award, recognizing the most innovative developments from the fields of mold-making and tooling, design and application development. It is used at companies such asJaguar Land Rover, adidas AG, Trek Bicycles, DRS Tactical Systems, Vista Technologies, IPF, Zedax, Elster, Medtronic, andmany others.

Tech note on Multi-material 3D Printing – Objet’s inkjet-based technology is the only one that allows 2 materials to be jetted at the same time. This opens up a whole range of new applications for 3D printing, including the accurate representation of assembled goods and consumer products. For example, consumer device prototypes that require a particular tactile feel such as mobile phones can be accurately reproduced in a single print job using a hard material for the shell and a flexible material for the keypad.
Composite materials – Objet’s inkjet-based technology enables the mixing of 2 materials to produce new materials with distinct properties, textures and colors. From a base of 14 cartridge ready materials, users can create up to 51 composite, Digital Materials based on various combinations of the original 14. Examples include Objet’s newly released ABS-like Digital Material, able to simulate the toughness and high temperature resistance of ABS-grade engineering plastics.
Mixed parts – Using Objet’s multi-material 3D printers, users can print a model or prototype made of up to 14 distinct material elements. Such prototypes and models can consist of soft, flexible rubber-like elements, seamlessly joined with transparent elements, or rigid elements, in a number of various colors and shades.  We  have a video on the Objet 260, for a few days in our Tech Video slot.  July 25 2011