Stereolithography Resins Move Up in Performance

Six new epoxy-based materials from DSM Somos, New Castle, Del., are said to add new levels of elasticity, flame retardance, and heat resistance to stereolithography (SL) resins for rapid prototyping, tooling, and manufacturing.

Six new epoxy-based materials from DSM Somos, New Castle, Del., are said to add new levels of elasticity, flame retardance, and heat resistance to stereolithography (SL) resins for rapid prototyping, tooling, and manufacturing. Three new grades are designed for SL equipment with solid-state lasers and three for helium-cadmium (HeCd) laser systems. Somos ULM (ultra-low-modulus) 17220 is an elastomeric material for prototyping rubber-like parts for automotive and other transportation uses. Up to now, such prototypes have required SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) or liquid silicone rubber (LSR). Somos FR 16120 is said to be the first flame-retardant SL material for g-p applications. The UL 94V-0 resin boasts properties similar to V-0 rigid urethane structural foam used in medical and electrical equipment housings, lawn/garden, and transportation applications. The material can be used for both prototyping and rapid manufacturing. Somos 12920 Precision HT is said to deliver the look of injection molded parts plus the highest HDT (150 C/302 F) available in an unreinforced SL material. It is for rapid tooling and other applications that require a combination of stiffness and heat resistance. It boasts excellent accuracy and water resistance and a 4% elongation at break—similar to g-p epoxy hybrid systems such as Somos 7120. Somos HeCd Flex, HeCd Ultra GP, and HeCd Pattern HT are for HeCd laser systems. HeCd Flex is a g-p material that mimics polypropylene properties and is suited for applications where parts must bend without breaking. It has properties similar to Somos 9110 but with a whiter color. HeCd Ultra GP has a light glass-green color and its properties mimic ABS. HeCd Pattern HT is a high-temperature material with inherent dimensional accuracy and water resistance. It is suitable for tooling patterns and other applications that require stiffness and heat resistance.