Objet Ltd. has revealed the Objet260 Connex, a compact addition to Objet's family of multi-material 3D printers. The Objet260 Connex is based on the company's patented inkjet 3D printing technology - the world's only rapid prototyping system able to jet two materials at the same time. This technology allows users to select from a large range of composite materials when building 3D models, such as Objet's recently released ABS-like material. The system can also print a model replica made of up to 14 individual materials in a single print run.
Commenting on the new 3D printer, David Reis, CEO for Objet said, "The compact Objet260 Connex brings our high-resolution, multi-material 3D printing to new levels of accessibility for front-line designers and engineers who demand the highest quality prototypes and true-product representation. And all this in a system that is quiet, reliable and small enough to run in the corner of any office."
The Objet260 Connex allows users to create prototypes containing distinct material elements, such as rigid walls with flexible, rubber-like joints or models combining transparent and opaque parts. According to Eli B. Hamou, R&D Product Manager for Medtronic, a leading medical technology provider, "The Objet260 Connex multi-material 3D printer allows us to produce realistic anatomical models and prototypes of our medical devices by printing both rigid and flexible material elements in a single print job. This has enabled us to develop better end-products in far less time. It has also opened up for us a whole new direction for future research, that until now we were unable to practically consider."
Lucien Hirschi, CEO for Zedax SA, a Swiss 3D printing service bureau said, "The new Objet260 Connex enables us to accurately simulate the real look and feel of the complex watch designs that we receive from watchmakers. As the only platform able to simulate the different material properties of assembled watches, the Objet260 Connex gives us a major advantage and enables us to expand our business opportunities."
The Objet Connex family of 3D printers is the recipient of the EuroMold 2007 Innovation Award, recognizing the most innovative developments from the fields of mold-making and tooling, design and application development. It is used at companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, adidas AG, Trek Bicycles, DRS Tactical Systems, Vista Technologies, IPF, Zedax, Medtronic, and many others.
The Objet Connex family of multi-material 3D printers feature:
Multi-material 3D Printing - Objet's inkjet-based technology is the only one that allows two materials to be jetted at the same time. This opens up a whole range of new applications for 3D printing, including the accurate representation of assembled goods and consumer products. For example, consumer device prototypes that require a particular tactile feel such as mobile phones can be accurately reproduced in a single print job using a hard material for the shell and a flexible material for the keypad.
Composite materials - Objet's inkjet-based technology is the only technology that enables the mixing of 2 materials to produce new materials with distinct properties, textures and colors. From a base of 14 cartridge ready materials, users can create up to 51 composite, Digital Materials based on various combinations of the original 14. Examples include Objet's newly released ABS-like Digital Material, able to simulate the toughness and high temperature resistance of ABS-grade engineering plastics.
Mixed parts - Using Objet's multi-material 3D printers, users can print a model or prototype made of up to 14 distinct material elements. Such prototypes and models can consist of soft, flexible rubber-like elements, seamlessly joined with transparent elements, or rigid elements, in a number of various colors and shades. This capability provides a unique user experience for simulating gaskets, seals, hinges, shoe soles, tires and many other soft-touch applications.
The Objet260 Connex can use Objet's range of over 60 printing materials which provide users with a wide range of mechanical, thermal and physical properties from rigid (Objet Vero family) to rubber (Objet Tango family) to clear transparency (Objet VeroClear) and ABS-grade engineering plastics (Objet RGD5160-DM).
The Objet260 Connex has a 260 x 260 x 200mm (10.2 x 10.2 x 7.9 inches) tray size and uses sealed material cartridges that are easy to insert and remove. Models are cured during the build process and can be handled immediately after printing. The system prints in 16-micron layers, producing models of unrivalled resolution detail and professional accuracy.