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3D Systems Adds New Materials

30 June 1998

3D Systems Adds New Materials That Increase Range of Applications for Its Solid Imaging Products; Commits to Ongoing Development of New Materials for Actua and SLA Systems

    VALENCIA, Calif.--June 30, 1998--3D Systems Corp. Tuesday announced several new materials that greatly expand the range of applications for its solid imaging products -- the SLA Series rapid prototyping systems and the Actua 2100 3D printer.
    The new materials include SLA resins designed with specific capabilities and intended for applications demanding high durability, accuracy, productivity and humidity resistance. They join the recently introduced Cibatool SL 5210, a specialty resin that resists high temperatures, and bring the number of resins offered for the SLA Series to 11.
    The new Actua materials are offered in black and grey colors, and provide improved strength and flexibility.
    "The new materials show our ongoing commitment to expanding the range of applications for our customers," said Richard D. Balanson, 3D Systems' president. "We now offer the widest spectrum of solutions in a customer's product development cycle -- from concept to finished product -- and we'll continue to develop new materials for both SLA and Actua products."
    SLA rapid prototyping systems employ 3D Systems' patented stereolithography (SL) technology to fabricate solid objects from CAD/CAM input, while the Actua 2100 lets designers produce three-dimensional models -- as easily as a plot or a print -- for design verification and communication.
    The Actua and SLA systems help manufacturers bring products to market significantly faster and more economically, and are used worldwide by such companies as Eastman Kodak, Ford, General Electric, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Mercedes Benz, Motorola, Nissan and Rubbermaid.

New Durable Resin

    3D Systems' new Cibatool SL 5520 resin, for use in the high-end SLA-3500 and SLA-5000 systems, is the company's first resin designed for snap-fit applications, providing immediate form, fit and functional testing of new products in development. The new resin can make prototype parts and assemblies with robustness approaching commercial engineering plastics.
    It is low in viscosity, resists humidity and impact, and provides easy post-processing -- qualities especially important in the automotive, electronics, computer and other industries where many components are made of strong, sturdy ABS plastic.
    Unlike typical ABS engineering materials, SL 5520 is optically clear -- a key factor when producing intricate components and assemblies where visual confirmation of proper connections is required. The new SL 5520 resin can withstand the rigors of real-world use, yet hold the fine detail, surface finish and many of the physical characteristics of an injection-molded part.

New High-Speed, High-Accuracy Resin

    3D Systems Tuesday also announced Cibatool SL 5220, a new high-productivity resin for use in its SLA-190 and SLA-250 systems. SL 5220 is designed to surpass, in productivity, any commercially available material for the SLA-190/250, due to the new resin's fast photospeed and zero predip-delay requirement.
    Low viscosity makes SL 5220 especially suitable for applications where drainage of liquid resin is a concern. It provides easy post-processing and resists moisture, which allows parts made from it to undergo limited underwater testing.
    In addition, Cibatool SL 5510, introduced earlier this year for use in SLA-350 and SLA-3500 rapid prototyping systems, is now available for use in SLA-5000 systems, making it the company's first cross-platform resin.
    With performance characteristics that include exceptional humidity resistance, low viscosity and high accuracy, SL 5510 is ideal for master patterns and investment casting of metal parts. Parts made from SL 5510 retain high strength and accuracy when exposed to high levels of humidity and, due to this superior moisture resistance, are suitable for water immersion applications.

New Actua Materials

    The new Actua materials -- the first color materials for the Actua 2100 3D printer -- are TJ-75B and TJ-75G, which produce black and gray models, respectively. These new color options meet typical customer requirements by expanding a designer's palette and providing more realistic designs.
    TJ-75 thermopolymer material is stronger than previous material offerings for the Actua 2100, with increased flexibility that helps models withstand handling and shipping. The recently introduced TJ-65
-- available in ivory -- will continue to be offered as part of the TJ family.
    More information can be obtained from 3D Systems, 26081 Avenue Hall, Valencia, Calif. 91355. Telephone 805/295-5600 or (toll free) 888/337-9786; fax 805/257-1200; or visit its Web site at
    3D Systems develops, manufactures and markets rapid product development systems that let users move from communications models to finished parts faster, at lower cost and at higher quality than traditional methods.
    The company's systems -- through its patented SL and 3D printing technologies -- fabricate solid objects using digital input from CAD/CAM systems, which substantially reduces the time and costs of bringing new products to market.
    3D Systems was founded in 1986 and is recognized as the market leader in solid imaging. In addition, the company now offers 3D Keltool, a process for providing quality steel tool molds quickly and economically.

    Note to Editors: 3D Systems, SLA, Actua, QuickCast and Zephyr are trademarks and 3D Keltool is a registered trademark of 3D Systems, Inc. Cibatool is a registered trademark of Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp.