Fusion3 Embraces Open 3D Printing Material Philosophy, Adds 3 New Material Categories to Certification List
Time and again, we hear about 3D printer manufacturer Fusion3 and the vast range of materials their printers support. Back in 2015, when their commercial-grade F306 3D printer was still new, we mentioned that it could print using nearly any material. We talked about the desktop F400 3D printer‘s enclosed print chamber when it launched earlier this year, and how that made it possible for the list of compatible materials to grow even more. Now, they’ve announced a significant expansion of the number of materials supported by the F400.
Fusion3 has certified over 35 different formulations of both generic and specialty 3D filaments, produced by 13 of the world’s top 3D filament manufacturers. This means that the company now supports the widest range of materials of any 3D printer manufacturer. Every month, Fusion3 updates its list of certified materials and publishes turn-key configuration files (or ‘profiles’) for each material. This month, they added three new material categories to this certification list:
- ASA – this material is a staple in industrial injection molding, and has excellent UV, weather, and chemical resistance. It’s a great choice for 3D printed parts that will end up outdoors, or in other severe conditions, that need to retain their functionality.
- Flexible Materials – these are generally difficult to print, but the drive system in Fusion3’s F400 3D printer can handle most flexible materials just fine. It now supports NinjaTek SEMIFLEX, MakeShaper TPU 95A and 85A, and Taulman3D PCTPE.
- PETG – specially developed for 3D printing, PETG combines strength and high flexibility. It’s perfect for mechanical parts, due to its high impact resistance and durability. Many versions of this material are approved by the FDA for contact with food.
The Fusion3 certified materials are produced by many of the leading North American and European 3D filament manufacturers, including Atomic Filament, Proto-pasta, 3DXtech, and Verbatim. The company’s tested and approved filament categories include formulations of PLA, ABS, Nylon, Polycarbonate, Polyester, and Acrylics, among many others.
Chip Royce, Fusion3’s VP of Sales and Marketing, says, “Unlike many 3D printer manufacturers, we do not sell filament to our customers. Customers have told us they don’t like being locked into high prices and a limited choice of compatible materials. Fusion3 provides our customers the ability to shop across different 3D filament manufacturers, ensuring the best quality, price and customer service.”
Manufacturers interested in participating in Fusion3’s certification program should contact the company and request testing of currently available and pre-production materials. Fusion3 is able to give extra value for pre-production materials, by providing feedback to fine-tune their performance. They also distribute configuration files of the materials to their customers, set to coincide with a product launch.
So just how stringent is Fusion3’s material certification process? There are just two steps, but they’re incredibly important to the process. First, the company evaluates the material it’s testing for both performance and safety. For the materials that pass the test and make it to the next round, Fusion3 then creates those turn-key configuration files we mentioned earlier. These profiles are optimized for the F400 3D printer, to ensure successful results in the very first print. The F400 was designed around the company’s open material philosophy, and prints most any material that melts below 300*C.
“Most of our customers use industrial plastics in their daily operations and tell us they will adopt 3D printing technologies more quickly when these plastics are available as printable filaments,” said Chris Padgett, Fusion3 CEO. “Fusion3 has created a rigorous filament testing and certification program for new materials with our line of affordable, high-performance 3D printers. This program ensures our customers can select quality filament manufacturers in both the US and Europe, and leverages the development of new, innovative materials, ranging from high-temperature/high-strength plastics, novel flexible or metal, ceramic and organic material-infused filaments.”
If you’re interested in watching Fusion3’s printers in action, don’t forget to stop by the company’s booth at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month (register for the show here). Fusion3’s booth, #42842, will be located in the 3D Printing Marketplace, Sands Hall A-D, Level 2. 3DPrint.com will be at CES this year to check out all the 3D printing on display in Vegas! Discuss in the Fusion3 forum at 3DPB.com.
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