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NPE2018 Show Daily - Monday

NPE is truly ‘Breaking the Mold’ as a multifaceted experience, with activities, discoveries and opportunities to satisfy the needs of anyone who works in the plastics industry or has a need to know about plastics

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MONDAY N PE 2 018 3D Prinঞng for Producঞon Takes Hold at Forecast 3D By Stephanie Hendrixson Addive Manufacturing To produce tens of millions of plasঞc parts, injecঞon molding is sঞll the process that makes sense. But what about batch sizes in the tens of thousands? Up unঞl recently, in- jecঞon molding would have been the an- swer—but for Forecast 3D, that's changing. Founded in 1994 in Carlsbad, California, Forecast 3D is a service bureau providing a full range of 3D prinঞng, machining and tool- ing soluঞons for prototyping and batch pro- ducঞon runs. The company has experience with a range of 3D prinঞng technologies in- cluding polymer selecঞve laser sintering (SLS) and stereolithography (SLA) as well as direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). It's also a power user of Mulঞ Jet Fusion (MJF), a polymer 3D prinঞng technology from HP. MJF that is enabling Forecast 3D to save ঞme and money in manufacturing polymer parts in volumes Forecast 3D's 3D Manufacturing Center in Carlsbad, California, supports high- volume part producঞon with 12 MJF 3D printers. The company has plans to add more of these machines soon. potenঞally ranging to the low millions. Mulঞ Jet Fusion uses a binder jeমng-like process to 3D print polymer parts by deposit- ing binding and detailing agents onto plasঞc powder. Each layer is fused all at once using infrared light to melt the areas held by the binding agent. According to HP, each layer takes the same amount of ঞme to fuse re- gardless of its complexity. This Forecast says that running all of its 12 MJF 3D printers 24/7, it would be possible to manufacture 50,000 unique iPhone 6 cases within a week. New to NPE2018, The 3D Prinঞng Work- shop, presented by Addive Manufacturing Media and Plascs Technology, is examining 3D prinঞng and addiঞve manufacturing technologies from a plasঞcs processing per- specঞve, including topics such as short-run producঞon, conformal mold tooling, design freedoms and technology opঞons. addiঞveconference.com layer-by-layer (rather than point-by-point) approach enables the process to be faster than laser-based 3D prinঞng systems. The speed of the system and quality of the result- ing parts enables Forecast 3D to compete with injecঞon molded parts, and help custom- ers get their products to market faster. Forecast 3D currently has 12 MJF 3D printers in its 3D Manufacturing Center, with plans to add more soon. Those printers are supported by five postprocessing staঞons for cleaning the parts and recycling powder, and 28 build units, wheeled removable build chambers that transport raw material and 3D-printed parts between the printers and postprocessing staঞons. Altogether, this equipment enables 24/7 producঞon. Fore- cast 3D says that running all the printers at this rate, it would be possible to manufacture 50,000 unique iPhone 6 cases within a week, or as many as 2 million of a smaller gear part which could be nested within the MJF printer build envelope. Forecast 3D highlights applicaঞons for Mulঞ Jet Fusion 3D prinঞng in Booth S23151, including Ken Burns, technical sales director, who will also share how Forecast 3D has validated MJF for customer use cases in a presentaঞon at the 3D Prinঞng Work- shop, scheduled for 1 p.m. on May 9. 87 M AY 7 TH NPE.ORG

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