Introducing Figure 4 by 3D Systems!
We have good news for printer operators who need fast print speeds and high-accuracy parts. Solid Print3D is now partnering with 3D Systems and bringing to you their Figure 4 Standalone 3D printer. The Figure 4 Standalone by 3D Systems …
We have good news for printer operators who need fast print speeds and high-accuracy parts. Solid Print3D is now partnering with 3D Systems and bringing to you their Figure 4 Standalone 3D printer.
The Figure 4 Standalone by 3D Systems is a powerful and affordable machine, capable of printing detailed parts at a staggering speed. Combined with its easy-to-use design and operating software, the Figure 4 is an ideal 3D printer for same-day functional prototyping and low-volume production.
Let’s take a closer look at what the Figure 4 is capable of and in which applications it shines the brightest.
Core Features of 3D Systems Figure 4
|3D Systems Figure 4|
|Technology||Digital Light Processing (DLP)|
|Ease of Use||4.3” colour touchscreen; Ethernet connectivity|
|Print Volume||142.8 x 70.2 x 196 mm|
|Minimum Layer Height||50 microns|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080 px, 60 microns pixel pitch|
|Materials||UV curable plastics|
|Software||3D Sprint, 3D Connect|
3D Systems Figure 4 Features in Detail
The Figure 4 Standalone is a versatile 3D printer that can excel in multiple industrial-grade applications. It supports a wide range of materials, that make it capable of producing everything from rough prototypes to detailed, hinged end-use parts.
The Figure uses Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology, which hardens liquid resins into solid objects by curing them with light. In this sense, it resembles stereolithography (SLA). The basic principle behind both technologies is the same:
- The printer lowers the print platform into a vat of liquid resin.
- The platform rises by the height on one layer.
- A light source hardens the layer.
- The process repeats until the finished part hangs upside down from the platform.
However, there is a crucial difference between the two technologies. SLA printers cure resin with a single laser that travels across the entire printed part point by point. The DLP-based Figure 4 instead projects light in the shape of the entire part layer, curing all points simultaneously.
This gives Figure 4 much faster print speeds than SLA. 3D Systems has taken the speed even further through careful technological optimizations. As a result, the Figure 4 can reach print speeds of up to 100 mm/hr and produce up to 500 parts per month.
Ease of Use
3D Systems leading design principle for the Figure 4 Standalone has been ease of use. Operators can set up the printer quickly and start producing parts the same day.
The Figure 4 features a clear 4.3-inch colour touchscreen to control the printer. A transparent chamber enclosure allows operators to monitor the print process while protecting their eyes from the bright light projector. To send print files to the printer, the Figure 4 supports high-speed Ethernet connections.
The Figure 4 has a well-sized print chamber, enabling it to create full-size product or part prototype. It has a maximum print volume of 142.8 x 70.2 x 196 mm (xyz). Combined with the fast print speed, the Figure 4’s chamber size gives it industrial-grade throughput potential, suitable for low-volume end-use production.
Minimum Layer Height
A 3D printer’s minimum layer height plays a significant role in determining the detail quality it can produce. In this regard, the Figure 4 doesn’t pale in comparison to anyone.
The standard mode layers height on the Figure 4 Standalone is 50 microns. This is on par with most resin 3D printers in this class and produces accurate details. Additionally, the printer offers six sigma repeatability, ensuring consistent part quality across print jobs.
However, 3D Systems notes that it’s possible for users to adjust the minimum layer height based on the application and used material. With the right combinations, the Figure 4 can produce layers as thing as 10 microns, providing incredibly crisp detail on printed parts.
With DLP printers, the resolution of their light projector also affects print quality. Like a computer screen, the projector project light as pixels. With low-resolution screens, this could result in curved shapes becoming blocky, just like those displayed on an old computer screen.
However, operators of the Figure 4 have nothing to worry about. It features a 1920-by-1080-pixel projector resolution — the same as an HD display. Together with its 60-micron pixel pitch, the Figure 4 delivers high detail and surface quality that requires little to no sanding for smooth surfaces.
The Figure 4 supports 3D Systems’ extensive range of materials, making it a suitable machine for a great variety of applications. Its material library includes:
- Rigid Materials: Figure 4’s rigid materials — such as TOUGH-GRY 10 or TOUGH-BLK 20 — look and feel like injection-moulded parts. They have high elongation, impact strength, moisture resistance, and long-term environmental stability.
- Elastomeric Materials: The elastomeric resins, like RUBBER-BLK 10, allow users to produce functional rubber-like parts with high degrees of shape recovery and tear strength.
- High Temperature Materials: The Figure 4 supports materials that can resist temperatures up to 300°C without additional post-curing and are ideal for extreme conditions.
- Speciality Materials: 3D Systems produces multiple speciality materials that enable the production of sacrificial tooling, jewellery casting moulds, medical tools, and more.
The Figure 4 ships with 3D Sprint, 3D Systems’ proprietary printer management software. It’s easy to use and enables operators to go from CAD to print within a single application.
3D Sprint provides simple job set-up and print queue management. It features automated tools for part placement, support generation, and build optimization, in addition to part editing and nesting.
The Figure 4 also works with 3D Connect. This software application enables secure cloud-based connection to 3D Systems’ support teams for maintenance and technical support services.
Advantages of Figure 4
Thanks to the technical features explored above, the Figure 4 Standalone provides users with significant advantages over comparable 3D printer technologies. These include:
- Affordable initial investment
- High throughput potential
- Same-day part usability
- Low operational and maintenance costs
- Application flexibility
Applications of Figure 4
As mentioned, the Figure 4 Standalone is a highly versatile 3D printer. It’s right at home at all steps of the production process, and can provide detailed parts for demanding end-use cases. The potential applications of the Figure 4 include:
- Functional Prototyping: Due to its material range and accuracy, the Figure 4 can produce highly detailed prototypes with moving parts.
- Design Verification: The Figure 4’s extreme print speed allows manufacturers to print design prototypes within hours, enabling them to go through multiple design iterations every day to significantly reduce design time.
- Low-Volume End-Use Parts: The high surface finish and mechanical performance of parts printed on the Figure 4 allow operators to print end-use parts that are ready for installation the same day.
- Jewellery Casting Patterns: The Figure 4 supports clean-burning wax materials, enabling jewellers to print highly detailed investment casting patterns.
- Rapid Mould Tooling and Master Patterns: The Figure 4 can work hand in hand with traditional manufacturing methods to produce accurate moulds and master patterns for injection moulding and other applications.
- Jigs and Fixtures: Due to its high speed and durable materials, the Figure 4 can create high-quality jigs and fixtures faster and cheaper than traditional CNC machining.
About 3D Systems
Headquartered in South Carolina, USA, 3D Systems is one of the pioneers of 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies. Founded in 1986, they’ve been at the forefront of additive manufacturing for more than three decades.
3D Systems has solutions for every 3D printing application. In addition to the Standalone model, they produce scaled-up modular printers utilizing the same Figure 4 technology. The company also has several ranges of SLA, SLS, Material Jetting, and metal 3D printers.
With the Figure 4 Standalone, 3D Systems and SolidPrint3D bring a high-speed, accurate solution to UK manufacturers.