Laser sintering is the most efficient and durable technology for making end-use products. This, however, mainly applies to white nylon (and sometimes black or alumide) products, as SLS is not very efficient when it comes to colored prints. That, incidentally, is what end users generally look for. While full color laser sintering is still a mirage, EOS founder Hans J. Langer – arguably one of the people that knows the most about the laser-sintering process in the world – wants SLS products to, at least, have a durable color coating. So, he has invested in the coloring technology developed by a Munich, Germany-based company called DyeMansion.
Invented by the company’s co-founders, CEO Felix Ewald and CTO Philipp Kramer, DyeMansion’s colouring technique allows for a stable, cost-efficient and scalable coloring solution that also has the benefit of improving other characteristic of the printed part, including surface appearance and dirt, water and abrasion resistance.
Felix Ewald explained that, with the increasing use of laser sintering in the production of additively manufactured serial parts, the demand for a simple, efficient and easily scalable coloring solution that provides, not only high quality, but also easily reproducible coloring results has intensified. “DyeMansion,” he said, “now offers exactly that solution. Thanks to the support of Dr. Langer and his group of companies, including the global market leader for industrial 3D printing technology, we now have the best possible conditions for making our vision a reality.”
The DyeMansion coloring process is already commercially available and parts are colored, polished, and waterproofed within two days of submission. DyeMansion currently offers eight standard colors (black, blue, green, yellow, purple, red, grey and pink), but eventually plans to offer the entire RAL color range. “A stable, cost-efficient and scalable coloring solution is an essential component for further developing additive manufacturing applications. In DyeMansion, we have found a good technology partner for that purpose,” Dr. Langer confirmed.
With a number of new SLS 3D printer manufacturers popping up in the market and, more soon to come along, EOS naturally wants to remain ahead of the curve. Securing the best SLS colouring technology is a great way to do it, and one that will benefit the entire 3D printing consumer products market.