Forecast adds 3D printers for TPU material

CARLSBAD, Calif.—Forecast 3D, a prototyping and production service provider, added two HP Jet Fusion 5210 Pro industrial 3D printers, and will be offering a new elastic material thermoplastic polyurethane option.

The additions bring the total number of HP production printers to 26 in its 3D Manufacturing Center, according to a company news release. Forecast also is offering a new elastic material TPU option with BASF's Ultrasint.

The HP systems broaden access to more applications and markets with increased accuracy and repeatability, as well as improved speed. With the additional printers, Forecast has the capacity to print millions of parts with four different materials to accelerate the product development cycle.

Forecast said the new TPU material, Ultrasint, produces flexible and elastic parts, bringing its total materials options to four: Nylon PA 12, PA 12 glass beads, PA 11 and TPU.

All of Forecast's digital manufacturing up to this point has been in rigid nylon polymers, and the low-cost TPU alternative can expand opportunities for mass customization, President and CEO Corey Weber said. Combining the softer elastomer with 3D printing can improve impact performance and ventilation with lattice-type structures, which also can provide lower-weight product design options. Applications could include products such as helmets, body armor and sports braces.

Forecast offers a range of additive manufacturing technologies as well as urethane casting and CNC machining services, with more than 45 industrial 3D printers in-house and three facilities.

» Publication Date: 27/08/2019

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This project has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 745828