Pressure Forming Process Combines With Twin Sheet For a Winning Combination
The InVision 3-D printer consists of 11 high definition parts. In addition to combining the pressure forming process with the twin sheet process, we’ve also used the vacuum forming and compression mold processes. This printer brings 3-dimensional printing to the masses with innovative features, high resolution model quality, and simple-to-use print software. ATI won the Society of Plastics Engineers 2003 Manufacturing Award for Parts Competition, Cut Sheet and Multi Part Assembly Product with this product.
As previously mentioned, this printer is made up of 11 high definition thermoformed parts. All 11 parts fit together in a uniform way with clean mating surfaces. This is a testament to the quality of the tooling, tooling design and process control of ATI.
Upper Front Panel
This is a large pressure-formed part with large undercuts on both ends, some of them creating “formed” openings. The part exemplifies crisp radii typical of pressure-forming. We used FR ABS material for this part, and it is then painted.
Top Front Panel
Female pressure-formed twin-sheet part designed for high stiffness and light weight. Part displays typical construction of a welded beams to create strength. We form this with a perimeter undercut around one side, thus requiring core-pulls the width of the part. Most significantly, we’ve concealed the parting line, which is typically evident in twin-sheet parts, as shown in Inset # 2. This part exemplifies the ability of twin-sheet parts to have very different molded surfaces on each side. The material we used for this part was the same FR ABS previously mentioned, and the part was also subsequently painted. We have constructed the front and rear of this part using two different gauges, thus reducing cost while not sacrificing stiffness.