re: Application of 3D Systems' ACTUA 2100

From: Kevin Dyer (
Date: Tue Jun 03 1997 - 12:59:52 EEST


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 great. 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 arrives in a few weeks, we will use ACTUA to make RTV molds for
cast urethane parts. Other users report that this works well, although we haven't done this
ourselves yet.

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.


Kevin Dyer
InterPRO Rapid Technology Center
630 Industrial Park Road, Deep River, CT 06417
(860)526-8056 fax

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