Re: Application of 3D Systems' ACTUA 2100

From: Brad Fox (
Date: Thu Jun 05 1997 - 16:10:03 EEST


My name is Brad Fox, President of Rapid Design Technologies. We are
one of the first 3D Systems Actua distributors - covering the North
Central United States. Rapid Design sells the Actua along with other
Rapid Product Developement tools, etc. Prior to Rapid Design I started
and operated a SLA service bureau.

I appreciated your comments about Actua. We've had our demo machine for
about three weeks now and found it to be an incredibly prolific model
maker. Interest in the Actua is going through the roof. The only
drawback so far is (of course) the material. TJ45 is fast and I think
works just fine for concept models, however the relentless push for
better and better materials make it a point of discussion. I understand
that TJ55 is 10X as strong as TJ45. TJ55 should be in our offices
within a week.

I'm curious to see what your feelings are regarding where MJM may go. I
think this is a big leap forward in RP. I also believe that the ink-jet
technology will allow for much more aggressive material development as
compared to SLA resins. what do you think?

One last thing, I trying to pull together an Actua Users Group, much
like NASUG. Would you (or anyone else out there) be interested in a
users group? Let me know so that I can put you on a mailing list.


Brad Fox
Rapid Design Technologies Corporation
2500 W. County Road 42
Suite 12
Burnsville, MN. 55337
Ph: 612-882-4660
Fax: 612-882-4662

Kevin Dyer wrote:
> Vincent,
> We have had the Actua installed in our office for about five weeks. The
> field service folks spent a morning installing it, and since then it has
> run constantly. Preparing a part from an STL file takes about two
> minutes. Parts build up to four times faster than our 26 mW SLA-250,
> depending on geometry, build parameters, etc. Supports are added
> automatically by the system. They resemble very thin shaving brush
> bristles, and remove easily.
> Regarding your question about applications:
> Obviously fast concept modeling is one, since the ACTUA is designed
> primarily to serve that role. The surface quality is excellent, except
> for the down-facing surface where the supports are. The feature
> definition is even better than SLA in some cases. We've built
> verticle walls as thin as 0.004". We sometimes split STLs to build
> parts in two halves. This removes any trace of supports. It also
> reduces build time by reducing z height. The z-layer thickness is
> hard-wired at 0.039".
> When our Camattini Protomix is installed in a couple of weeks, we will
> use ACTUA to make RTV molds for cast urethane parts.
> We've found the ACTUA parts to be about 3-5 thou undersized in general.
> By applying a compensation in our STL files, we are achieving accuracies
> within 3 thou. This is pretty good in our view.
> Given the accuracy, material properties (mostly wax), and surface
> finish, ACTUA parts are a natural for investment casting. Burnout
> parameters do not have to be modified, according to the foundries that
> have been using the ACTUA material (ThermoJet 45)in place of tradional
> foundry wax.
> I hope this helps. Please give us a call at the number below if we can
> provide any additional info or assistance.
> Regards,
> Kevin Dyer
> InterPRO Rapid Technology Center
> 630 Industrial Park Road, Deep River, CT 06417
> (860)526-5869
> (860)526-8056 fax
> email:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 22:39:41 EEST