RCBI expands additive manufacturing technology
Additive manufacturers and innovators will soon have access to two new state-of-the-art 3D printers to turn their innovations into reality.
With the recent installation of the Markforge Mark Two Continuous Carbon Fiber 3D Printer and the soon to arrive Formlabs Form 3 Stereolithography 3D Printer, the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) continues to offer a full complement of 3D printing options to the public.
The Mark Two is an industrial 3D printer that provides high performance parts right from the printing bed. The printer reinforces the parts it prints with materials such as carbon fiber, fiberglass and Kevlar to achieve unparalleled strength.
It can be used in the design phase to print initial prototypes and functional prototypes to allow for real-world testing. The Mark Two also can be used in manufacturing settings to produce 3D parts that are suitable for the factory floor, thus improving onsite repairs and parts management.
The Form 3, a commercial 3D printer that uses liquid resins to produce high-resolution parts for the healthcare, dental, and manufacturing industries – as well as the audiology and education fields – will soon be in operation at RCBI’s Huntington facility. From prototype designs for jewelry to dental models, custom-designed hearing devices and precision parts for the manufacturing setting, the Form 3 printer can help innovators move from design to market faster and less expensively.
“These new technologies have applications across a variety of manufacturing sectors – everything from consumer goods to aerospace,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI director and CEO. “For instance, we can 3D print parts that are very smooth and translucent and others that are incredibly strong yet lightweight and heat resistant.
“Currently RCBI has more than a half dozen entrepreneurs in our Accelerator designing and patenting new devices,” Weber said. “RCBI’s manufacturing experts combined with our advanced technologies are allowing our companies to add jobs and increase production by ‘insourcing’ efforts rather than ‘outsourcing.’”