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DSM Somos announces full commercialisation of NanoForm 15120

DSM Somos : 17 November, 2004  (New Product)
DSM Somos has announced the full commercialisation of NanoForm 15120 after nearly one year of successful, comprehensive beta testing by a variety of industries and stereolithography (SL) service bureaux worldwide.
NanoForm 15120 is a composite stereolithography material which incorporates non-crystalline nano-particle technology for enhanced performance properties, including exceptionally high stiffness and heat resistance. Heat deflection temperatures of more than 265C have been reported.

'The composite technology of NanoForm contributes to exceptional dimensional stability, low shrink, and low coefficient of thermal linear expansion,' says DSM Somos Application Development & Technical Service Manager Matt Cantwell. 'This material offers a unique alternative to previous stereolithography and selective laser sintering solutions available on the market. It is processed in an identical manner to unreinforced liquid SL resins, requiring no mixing or other special handling.'

NanoForm was first introduced at the Frankfurt Euromold fair in December 2003. 'Since that time, numerous companies have been successfully implementing it into their material offerings for medical, automotive and aerospace applications,' states DSM Somos Marketing and Sales Manager Ty Bacon.

Marc Lesko, Rapid Prototyping Product Designer for ConvaTec (leader in ostomy and wound care products) says, 'I've successfully used the NanoForm resin to produce vacuum form moulds and lab test fixtures. Its high temperature and hardness properties make it very useful for rapid prototyping and this resin has helped to speed the development process.'

VG Kunstofftechnik, one of the 3 European Beta-Test sites, tested NanoForm over a period of several months, providing customers in the automotive, electronics, medical-technology and bathroom-fittings sectors with a series of complex parts. Managing Director Dr Volker Griessbach, declared, 'Working with a 3D Systems Viper SL machine, we were able to build extremely precise and detailed parts in NanoForm, and our customers were impressed with both the accuracy and temperature resistance obtained. We have successfully worked with NanoForm at temperatures up to 120C, and the parts demonstrate overall characteristics which set them apart from other stereolithography material solutions. In particular, characteristics such as extremely low levels of moisture absorption and exceptional surface finish/quality - with practically no 'stair stepping' effects - generated extremely positive feed-back. We believe this material has good potential for free-form manufacturing in industries such as the electronics sector, where small-series of up to 500 pieces via free-form manufacturing is no longer an exception. With new materials such as NanoForm, stereolithography is set to move from rapid prototyping to rapid manufacturing.'

DSM Somos is currently the world’s second largest materials supplier to the rapid prototyping industry, providing stereolithography liquids and selective laser sintering powders used for the creation of three-dimensional models and prototypes directly from digital data. Somos’ patented ProtoFunctional(R) materials are used by a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, medical and telecommunications. Somos' corporate office is located at:

What is stereolithography?

Stereolithography (SL) permits the rapid creation of 3D pieces utilizing a computer-controlled laser that polymerizes light-sensitive resins. The process is highly precise and constructs the object in a series of 'additive layers,' providing the advantage of producing highly complex forms that are difficult or impossible to fabricate by machining or traditional moulding techniques. The evolution of advanced SL materials offers the potential of moving stereolithography from prototyping into production.

DSM Somos ProtoComposites are resins reinforced with various materials, such as ceramics and glasses, to produce functional properties not possible using individual components. DSM Somos ProtoComposite materials are a result of a significant research and development program investigating the potential for ACT-SL (Advanced Composite Technology for StereoLithography).

DSM Somos ProtoFunctional resins for stereolithography provide advanced technology to respond to the changing needs of new product development and industrial design. In 2003, DSM Somos announced ProtoTool ceramic-filled resins, the first member belonging to the new ACT-SL technology and the result of a significant research and development program. Traditional non-composite ProtoFunctional materials by DSM Somos satisfy a varying range of characteristics: transparency, superior humidity and heat resistance, and outstanding mechanical prop-erties, replicating those of many production grade plastics such as polypropylene, polyethylene, ABS and PBT.
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