Micro 3-D printing technology company Nanofabrica
has released information about recently produced parts that illustrate the precision and tolerances that can be achieved through the use of its Tera 250 additive manufacturing (AM) system.
The technology used by this Israel-based company is focused on a Digital Light Processor (DLP) ‘engine’, but to achieve repeatable micron levels of resolution it combines DLP with the use of adaptive optics.
This combination in conjunction with an array of sensors, allows for a closed feedback loop and is the reason that Nanofabrica’s Tera 250 can achieve very high accuracy while remaining cost-effective as a manufacturing solution.
Furthermore, Nanofabrica has developed its own proprietary materials (based on the most commonly used industry polymers), which enable ultra-high resolution in parts built.
One example of these parts is an industrial impeller (pictured). Used to increase the pressure and flow rate of a fluid, it is just 5.66mm in diameter x 2.87mm high.
Nanofabrica says the advantages of using its Tera 250 AM machine to make this impeller is that short-series runs can be undertaken economically — and the technology facilitates ‘exacting geometric complexity inherent in the micro part design’.
The impeller is manufactured for use in industrial MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) and micro mechanical mechanisms; and through the use of the Tera 250 the part is easily customisable and can be produced quickly and economically without the need for complex, costly and difficult-to-amend micro tooling.
The part is characterised by complex curves and ‘super sharp’ edges that would be difficult and costly to produce using conventional moulding technologies.
With the Tera 250, product development costs and production time has been dramatically reduced, and the machine’s 50 x 50 x 100mm build chamber allows for the production of high numbers of customised parts per build.
Avi Cohen, EVP global sales at Nanofabrica, said: “We are delighted to be able to release details of some of the successes we have had using our 3-D printing technology.
“It is only through the unique combination of hardware, software and material innovations that we can claim the Tera 250 to be the first 3-D printing machine to not only achieve such precision and accuracy but also do so while being commercially viable in terms of speed of production and cost of production.
“Design engineers and OEMs can now see that restrictions that they have to work within when designing and manufacturing for traditional manufacturing processes are no longer there.”