In keeping with its ongoing commitment to the development of innovative stereolithography (SL) materials, DSM Somos showcased its four newest resins at the recent 2006 EuroMold exhibition held in Frankfurt, Germany, from 27 November to 2 December 2006):
ProtoGen O-XT 18120 a translucent, highly accurate, high-temperature, ABS-like resin;
ProtoGen O-XT 18420 a white highly accurate, high-temperature ABS-like resin;
ProtoCast AF 19120 a fully antimony-free (heavy-metal-free) resin designed specifically for investment casting - more environmentally-friendly than standard SL resins and produces very low ash content during burnout;
NanoTool a high-temperature composite resin featuring superior sidewall quality and fast processing speeds - used for wind tunnel models in aerospace and Formula 1, rapid tooling inserts and metal plating.
Each new Somos material represents significant performance advantages over existing SL marketplace offerings, which were highlighted through the display of novel prototype parts – such as a partially metal-plated faucet (tap) designed by Tau Design group and manufactured by Alphaform AG using Somos ProtoGen O-XT 18120.
"Alphaform metal plated much of the faucet to produce a finished part that simply does not look or behave like a traditional rapid prototype part," says Somos Marketing Manager Eva Montgomery.
Somos ProtoCast AF generated interest among visitors from the investment casting industry, as what is claimed to be the industry's first environmentally-friendly, zero-antimony SL material. The resin opens the door for foundries seeking a cost-effective way to produce low-volume production metal parts in a variety of alloys. While the use of stereolithography for investment casting patterns in place of wax patterns has become quite common in the USA, it used less in Europe.
Finally, Somos' extremely versatile NanoTool resin – the newest in its line of composite SL materials – generated excitement among industry groups needing high-stiffness parts with exceptional sidewall quality. For those involved in wind tunnel testing, such as aerospace and Formula 1, Montgomery says: "NanoTool's sidewall quality means reduced finishing time requirements – a valuable benefit given the size of parts these industries generate." For the Rapid Tooling community, a showcased NanoTool mould, demonstrating the resulting quality of an injection moulded part, left visitors impressed with the level of aesthetic that could be obtained.
Somos Product Manager Brian Bauman, comments: "Using DSM Somos resins, today's design engineer has an ever-growing range of cost-cutting or time-saving options available to him. Whether it is using ProtoGen O-XT to produce parts that mimic ABS or metal (once plated), ProtoCast AF for actual metal parts, or NanoTool to produce tooling for injection moulded plastics, Somos' newest resins can make it happen."