3D printing 1to1: Fine Detail Resolution enables SLS parts in series quality

24.08.2021 13:12

According to vob 1zu1, Fine Detail Resolution (FDR) enables 3D printing of components with a detail resolution of 0.05 mm and a minimum wall thickness of 0.22 mm for the first time. The Vorarlberg-based high-tech company is now the exclusive development partner of Eos, a provider of industrial 3D printing systems, and is launching a new selective laser-sintering technology a year before its widespread introduction. Components printed with FDR can range in size from 5 to 40 mm. Prototypes and production runs of up to 1,000 units are said to be economically viable with components designed specifically for this 3D printing technology, and larger quantities are also said to be profitable. The combination of a very fine laser beam and the particularly tough and flexible material polyamide 11 (PA1101) means that an accuracy of 0.05 mm can be achieved. This means that for the first time, 1zu1 can use 3D printing to produce small parts with a wall thickness of just 0.22 mm.
1zu1-Technik Managing Director Wolfgang Humml is pleased "FDR opens up new fields of application for additive manufacturing. For us, this is a milestone. This level of detail, ultra-fine surfaces and sharp edges combined with stable mechanical properties were previously unthinkable in 3D printing." As a development partner of Eos, 1zu1 is offering the technology about a year before it is widely available on the market.
Ideal material and high-finesse laser

"Perfect conditions for small to medium series of 500 to 1,000 pieces, without tooling costs and delivered within a few days." Sees Markus Schrittwieser, head of the Rapid Prototyping Center and responsible for development and innovation at 1zu1, at the new technology. Fully functional, high-precision prototypes can also be manufactured in FDR, according to the report. "When customers discover the free design possibilities of 3D printing and apply the new technology to miniaturized components, it's especially interesting." For six months, 1zu1 has already tested production in Fine Detail Resolution and explored its potential and limitations
Schrittwieser describes "Such filigree structures can otherwise only be realized using stereolithography (SLA). Since SLA parts are temperature-sensitive and can hardly withstand mechanical stress, they are suitable primarily as photomodels. The FDR parts, on the other hand, are fully usable" Thanks to the material, the small parts are temperature-resistant and therefore fully usable. They are said to be able to be chemically smoothed and colored without loss of dimensional stability. 
"We spent half a year researching and exploring the high potential of this new technology, which is unique in the world. With success: today we can realize more than twice as fine components for our customers as with conventional SLS processes" says 1zu1 Managing Director Hannes Hämmerle with pleasure. There are many areas of application, for example in the electronics, automotive or medical technology industries - wherever high-precision small parts and complex geometries such as bores, undercuts or channels are required. Tiny screens, filter units, fluid guides or plugs are possible, for example.

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