The world of 3D printers is vast today. As you read, most certainly another startup or company is gaining momentum and preparing for a launch, sure to wow us all with new products and features, unprecedented speed, and the capability to create things we still never thought possible. From the individual or business perspective, access to the proper tools in terms of hardware is key, but after that, deciding what materials you will use in it is a major part of the quotient that can be equally frustrating and fun as you experiment—on any level.
Once the 3D printer has completed its job, however, it’s time to start thinking about the last phase: finishing. When you’re on the desktop end of this, finishing can be quick and easy with a metallic look, or you can head into an all-out painting project. For the industrial, additive manufacturing realm though, there are other larger considerations and requirements such as appropriate and necessary texture for products, weather durability, and longevity.
TruDesign LLC and Polynt Composites USA Inc. have all that in mind and more, partnering to create both coatings and finishes for larger scale additive manufacturing companies.
“Our company has been at the forefront of large-scale additive manufacturing since its inception. We have applied first class finishes to projects at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory including a replica Shelby Cobra sports car, the Willys Jeep, and the Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy demonstration project featuring a 3D printed building powered by a 3D printed vehicle,” said Tru-Design’s CEO Rick Spears.
“Partnership with leading national research organizations, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and IACMI-The Composites Institute enables rapid production of world-class innovative composite prototypes, such as the Shelby Cobra. We’re excited to partner with Polynt and bring product solutions to the market for additively manufactured commercial components.”
In this partnership, Tennessee-headquartered TruDesign, a forerunner in developing coatings solutions should enjoy a dynamic combination with Polynt (of Illinois) as a leading supplier in resins, gel coats, and thermoplastics for both coatings and composites. We’ve also reported on a project TruDesign was involved in extensively with Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the finishing of the 3D printed Shelby Cobra replica—quite a stunning accomplishment.
Parts being created for the Shelby
The 3D printed Shelby Cobra, completed with ORNL.
“This industry is in its infancy, and new materials are needed to make it viable for many market segments,” said Polynt’s R&D Director Steve Voeks. “Polynt and Tru-Design are committed to a successful business relationship that will bring this new processing technology to the market.”
With this collaboration, two new TD products are being kicked off:
TD Seal HT – designed to offer vacuum integrity to 3D printed molds for use in high temperature (350°F) and high pressure autoclave molding.
TD Coat RT – created as an additive applied coating that is easy to machine and sand to a desired gloss for parts, plugs, and molds designed for room temperature applications.
Both of these new products are meant for ‘exceptional bonding’ to the thermoplastics used in the additive manufacturing process.
Tru-Design, Polynt, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and IACMI-The Composites Institute will be exhibiting various TD produced and coated parts at CAMX 2016 in Anaheim, California. Tru-Design representatives will be at Polynt’s booth (N-1) to discuss their new TD coatings, and will have TD coated parts on display.