The State of Resin 3D Printing: Ilya Mirman, Desktop Metal

We continue our look at the State of Resin 3D Printing with insights from a company that many might not traditionally associate with photopolymers. 

Having acquired EnvisionTec (now ETEC), Desktop Metal is now very much in this market. So how does the company view the world of resin 3D printing? Ilya Mirman, CMO at Desktop Metal took the time to let us know about Desktop Metal’s expertise in this field. 

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ETEC 3D Printers. Image via ETEC.
ETEC 3D Printers. Image via ETEC.

3DPI: How have you seen resin-based 3D printing develop in recent years?

Ilya Mirman: To date, most applications of resin-based 3D printing have been around prototyping and low-volume niche. The good news is that advances over the past several years in the areas of industrial-grade DLP projectors, materials science, and printing systems have resulted in part costs, build speeds, accuracy, surface finish, and material properties finally rivaling  injection molding.  Manufacturing can finally reap the benefits of AM – optimized designs, mass customization, rapid time-to-market, streamlined supply chains.  Across many applications – automotive, consumer products, life sciences, etc. – 3D-printed photopolymers are disrupting traditional manufacturing of end-use parts, making resin-based printing a viable alternative to injection molding.

3DPI: What do you consider the next technology hurdles for photopolymer-based 3D printing to overcome?

Ilya Mirman: 3D printed elastomers are a very exciting space to watch.  Expect some great things here – high performance shoe midsoles, ergonomic seat cushions, foams. 

3DPI: Where are opportunities for materials development in regards to vat photopolymerization technology?

Ilya Mirman: We see a ton of demand for high temperature, high-reliability components for challenging environments (e.g., under-the-hood, aerospace, etc.); and elastomers and foams for consumer applications. 

3DPI: What LOCTITE resins are validated on your printing platforms? 

Ilya Mirman: Loctite E-3843, Loctite IND 405, Loctite MED 413, Loctite IND 406, Loctite 3955 HDT280 FST, and Loctite IND 147 HDT230 Tough.

3DPI: What applications are end-users leveraging using LOCTITE 3D resins on your platform?

Ilya Mirman: Loctite resins help to unlock the ability to produce end-use parts; we see lots of interest in using DLP + Loctite for end-use low-mid volume parts production. This is specifically true for smaller, complex parts that would be traditionally injection molded. With the XTREME 8K you can print a few thousand pieces in a day or two with materials that meet or exceed those of traditional injection molded plastic; of course, all without having to invest in and wait for a tool.

3DPI: Can you explain the value that LOCTITE 3D resins bring to your platform? How does this complement your existing/ proprietary material portfolio? 

Ilya Mirman: Loctite adds a variety of hard plastics and high-temperature materials to our portfolio. One family of materials of specific interest is high-temperature materials that manage not to be brittle which is challenging to do with resins. IND 406, 3955, IND147.

3DPI: What LOCTITE resins have seen the most interest/use on your platforms? Any insight into why this might be? 

Ilya Mirman: 3955 – the only resin (that I know of) to meet aerospace standards for FST and a few other requirements for parts to fly.

3843 – very similar to ABS (which is super well known) and is printed with an incredible surface finish on ETEC machines which is a requirement for end-use parts.

IND 405 – very tough material, something that hasn’t often been seen in resins

3DPI: How do you anticipate your printer platforms that leverage Loctite resins will grow in 2022?

Ilya Mirman: We are determined to continue to offer the broadest range of materials to our customers to ensure that no matter what application they have, we have a material for it. We will do this through EnvisionTec Exclusive Materials, ADAPTVE3D Exclusive Materials, and 3rd party material providers such as Henkel Loctite and Convestro.

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