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February 18th, 2008

Nanotechnology makes a big difference to rapid prototyping and manufacturing

Leading suppliers of materials for rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing are finding that nanoparticles can dramatically alter the properties of finished components. Paul Stevens looks at what is available on the market and how another nanotechnology-based process is enhancing the properties of parts built from standard materials.

Nanotechnology is now finding applications in numerous consumer products, ranging from sunscreen and cosmetics to sporting goods and guitar strings. In the field of rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing, nanotechnology is also now offering advantages to new product development teams.

In this article we will look at materials for tooling and model building, as well as an innovative technology that improves the performance of standard materials used for rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing.

Heavily filled with non-crystalline nanoparticles, Nanotool resin is one of the Protocomposite materials available from DSM Somos. When cured, it is a ceramic-like material with a flexural modulus of 10,500 MPa, a heat deflection temperature of 260˚C (at 0.46 MPa after thermal post-cure), a Shore D hardness of 94 and very low linear shrinkage.


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