EnvisionTEC and Sartomer develop water-soluble resin for cDLM 3D printers

EnvisionTEC, a global 3D printer and materials manufacturer, and Sartomer, a subsidiary of French advanced materials company Arkema, have collaborated to develop a water-soluble resin known as E-Aquasol. 

Designed for use on EnvisionTEC’s proprietary Continuous Digital Light Manufacturing (cDLM) 3D printing platform, the resin incorporates Sartomer’s UV-curable resin technology. “We are excited to collaborate with Sartomer in additive manufacturing materials development,” comments Al Siblani, CEO, EnvisionTEC. 

“Joining forces to design E-Aquasol resin for our professional-grade Continuous Digital Light Manufacturing DLP 3D printing platform supports our customers in achieving the best end results thanks to the advanced performance properties of this water-soluble material.”

The resin has been introduced by both firms at Formnext 2019. In a separate announcement at the leading conference for additive manufacturing, EnvisionTEC has also revealed that it is releasing its Envision One cDLM 3D printer into the EU market. 

3D printed medical device with Sartomer material. Photo via Sartomer.
3D printed medical device with Sartomer material. Photo via Sartomer.

cDLM DLP 3D printing technology

EnvisionTEC released its line of Envision One cDLM 3D printers in late 2018. Included in the range are two models: the Envision One cDLM Dental, which has a build envelope of 180 x 101 x 85 mm, and the Envision One cDLM Mechanical, equipped with a higher Z-height capability of 175 mm. 

Both 3D printers have a native XY resolution of 93 µm and a dynamic Z resolution ranging from 25 to 150 µm, depending on the material. Furthermore, EnvisionTEC’s patented Contour Gray Scaling technology enables 60 µm XY resolution in both models. Each of the Envision One systems also integrate a 385nm wavelength from a self-calibrated LED light source for higher accuracy, particularly on transparent parts.

The 3D printers utilize EnvisionTEC’s patented cDLM technology. Originally launched in 2016, the cDLM process is a version of DLP 3D printing that controls the pressure of oxygen and eliminates complications in the print job typically caused by separation forces and gravity. This, in turn, allows the build plate to constantly move in the Z direction without interruption in the print job.

“Envision One uses patented cDLM technology with zero separation forces during the build process coupled with a continuous movement option, allowing for the delivery of 3D printed parts at an incredible speed without any loss of accuracy,” explains Sobhi Aris, Managing Director of EnvisionTEC GmbH.

Other EnvisionTEC 3D printers utilizing its cDLM technology includes the Vida UHD cDLM, Micro Plus cDLM, Vida cDLM, and Vida HD cDLM. 

Vida cDLM 3D printer with sample print. Image via EnvisionTEC.
Vida cDLM 3D printer with sample print. Image via EnvisionTEC.

The E-Aquasol water-soluble resin

Working with Sartomer, EnvisionTEC has developed the new E-Aquasol resin for its Envision One cDLM 3D printers. Sartomer is an outfit of Arkema focused on developing advanced 3D printing materials. It has a range of photocurable resins including  N3xtDimension for UV-curable 3D printing, and SAR-GEL, which is used to detect water at the bottom of fuel tanks. 

The E-Aquasol resin is described as a suitable solution for 3D printing molds in a wide variety of industrial applications. Its water-soluble properties allow users to avoid the use of aggressive solvents. It was developed using Sartomer’s N3xtDimension UV-curable resin technology.

“Collaboration is at the heart of our 3D Printing Solutions by Arkema platform vision, aiming to identify new opportunities to support successful adoption of additive manufacturing,” added Summit Jain, Global Director for 3D Printing Business, Sartomer. “We are excited and eager to work with EnvisionTEC, a global leader in the manufacturing of production-grade 3D printers, leveraging our material and EnvisionTEC’s 3D printing expertise to bring advanced solutions to the market.”

Visit EnvisionTEC and Arkema’s stand at Formnext 2019 to learn more about the E-Aquasol resin. Arkema can be found at Booth C81 in Hall 11.1, whereas EnvisionTEC is exhibiting from Booth E99, in Hall 12.1. 

3D printers and post processing machines for UV Cured Resins at the Arkema facility in Pennsylvania. Photo via Arkema.
3D printers and post-processing machines for UV Cured Resins at the Arkema facility in Pennsylvania. Photo via Arkema.

Subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter for the latest news in additive manufacturing. You can also stay connected by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Looking for a career in additive manufacturing? Visit 3D Printing Jobs for a selection of roles in the industry.

Featured image shows the EnvisionONE 3D printer. Photo via EnvisionTEC.