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NCAM boosts 3-D printing capability for high-strength parts

New system will enhance polymer additive manufacturing capabilities

Posted on 17 Mar 2021 and read 858 times
 NCAM boosts 3-D printing capability for high-strength partsThe National Centre for Additive Manufacturing (NCAM), based at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry, has boosted its polymer additive manufacturing capabilities with investment in a Carbon M2 printer powered by the Carbon Digital Light Synthesis process.

The Carbon DLS process is a resin-based system that can print a wide range of high-strength, functional end-use parts. Thanks to the Carbon M2's ability to process high performance, engineering-grade materials, these components have found applications in a wide range of industries including automotive and aerospace.

The Carbon M2 printer is enabling the MTC to improve its overall polymer printing capabilities. Recent work has resulted in the MTC becoming a certified Carbon Production Network Partner, thereby demonstrating a proven capability in producing components in a variety of Carbon 3-D materials.

The MTC's Carbon DLS capability allows NCAM to offer new high-performance components with high temperature resistance - up to 230°C. The materials available also include engineering elastomers such as elastomeric polyurethane and silicone urethane, as well as two variants of engineering rigid polyurethane.

Carbon's high-temperature materials have potential in industrial applications such as heat sinks and manifolds, while elastomeric polyurethane is commonly used in automotive and consumer products, and silicone has potential in wearables.

Hoda Amel, senior research engineer at the NCAM, said: "The Carbon DLS process will help enhance our polymer offerings, allowing customers a great variety of material choice and functional, aesthetic parts for their polymer additive manufacturing projects."

Gary Miller, Carbon head of Europe partner and market development, said: “The NCAM has been influential in inspiring British manufacturing. By leveraging the Carbon DLS process and engineering-grade materials, the MTC is well positioned to highlight the discovery of applications that outperform at every step, while reducing cost. Carbon is excited to partner with the MTC and we look forward to developing applications together that are suited for our production materials.”

The NCAM at the MTC brings together one of the most comprehensive combinations of AM equipment and capability in the UK. It is also home to the European Space Agency’s Additive Manufacturing Benchmarking Centre.