BCN3D introduces Viscous Lithography Manufacturing (VLM)™
In line with the vision of production freedom, in which companies will have the tools to design and manufacture their own products and full control over their life cycle, the new VLM BCN3D technology has appeared.
BCN3D introduces Viscous Lithography Manufacturing (VLM) ™ - a new resin-based 3D printing technology.
Viscous Lithography Manufacturing (VLM) ™ is the first 3D printing technology that offers both high productivity and uncomplicated, trouble-free operation.
Arkema, a specialist materials company with which BCN3D has a development agreement, confirms that VLM is opening the way to thermosetting resins, thus enabling the further development of mass production and the production of functional parts.
Leading manufacturer of 3D printing solutions BCN3D has announced a new 3D printing technology with the modernization of FFF solutions: Viscous Lithography Manufacturing (VLM) ™. This innovative technology was developed to fulfill BCN3D's vision of unlocking production autonomy where all manufacturers can fully control every step of their production processes. VLM is a breakthrough. After 3 years of work, the BCN3D R&D team has made a groundbreaking breakthrough. It is thanks to the new perspective of using high-viscosity resins that even better mechanical properties can be obtained, which, combined with a huge increase in performance and availability, meets all the requirements for achieving production autonomy.
"If 3D printing is to be the future of production, which involves local production, customization, supply chain control and sustainability - all the" players "in the industry should move in this direction. At BCN3D, we believe that today is the first step to achieving this. with the new Viscous Lithography Manufacturing (VLM) technology. We want to show 3D printing in a new light to make it a focal point in production "- Xavier M. Faneca, CEO BCN3D
High viscosity resins for excellent part performance
VLM is a patented lithography-based 3D printing process in which thin layers of high-viscosity resins are laminated onto a transparent transfer film, producing high-performance parts quickly and inexpensively. What sets VLM apart from other resin technologies on the market is its ability to process resins 50x more viscous than the industry standard to date.
The mechanical system allows the resin to be laminated on both sides of the film, allowing strategies to be implemented to speed up printing times, and even the combination of different resins to create multi-material parts and easily removable support structures.
No Viscosity Limitation - Chemical companies gain freedom of formulation as a whole new set of ingredients and modifiers can be added to the resin to achieve the desired thermal and mechanical properties. VLM processes resins that achieve 3 times greater impact resistance and a 200% increase in tear strength compared to industry standard formulas.
Arkema specialty materials is part of this process. A Joint Development Agreement (JDA) in which both companies undertake to develop new materials to achieve properties that cannot be achieved with other resin-based 3D printing processes. As a global key player in the 3D printing industry and a pioneer in the design of high performance resins, Arkema has leveraged its decades of experience to deliver the highest quality resins to VLM.
"Thanks to VLM's ability to produce high-viscosity resins, we hope to develop new building blocks that meet requirements that have not yet been met with existing photocurrency technologies." - Hélène Egret, Europe 3D Market Manager at Arkema.
BCN3D has also partnered with Prodrive - a world-renowned motorsports and high-tech company. Prodrive is one of the first companies in the world to test VLM technology by fitting end parts to off-road vehicles made with VLM.
"The VLM technology seemed to combine all the best features of the various additive manufacturing technologies, and even to offer unique advantages. For Prodrive, materials are key to the production of durable end parts. VLM allows us to continue to use the engineering materials we know and love, while offering better quality. The material is much more homogeneous, making the finished parts resemble traditional injection molded parts. "- Callum Harper, Design Engineer at Prodrive
Highest productivity and affordability
By using a light source consisting of UV light and an LCD screen, VLM gives you constant time per layer, whether you are printing one or 100 parts at a time. No dimensional, temperature or component constraints, a larger LCD screen - this combination of quick layering time and large surface area make VLM the most productive additive manufacturing solution on the market.
The partnership between BCN3D and the automotive glass manufacturer Saint Gobain illustrates these benefits perfectly. 7,000 positioning fixtures were produced in 7 days with the VLM, for € 0.79 per part and a subsequent annual saving of € 70,000.
"VLM technology has allowed us to discover many benefits. Our main goal is to reduce dependence on external suppliers and in-house manufacturing using technologies such as VLM. Doing so gives us the power of production autonomy." - Alberto Rodriguez Fernandez, Saint Gobain's world-class production manager
Hassle-free work available to everyone
It cannot be disputed that 3D printing has evolved from a rapid prototyping tool to a clear manufacturing trend. Until now, the only thing missing was an inexpensive solution to reach all corners of production. From small to medium-sized businesses. Unlocking production autonomy with 3D printing should not only be available to Fortune 500 companies, but to anyone else that develops and produces concepts or products, in any industry. VLM-based solutions will cost less than € 50,000.
This availability at a reasonable price, combined with a large print volume and high throughput, puts the argument of savings on the pedestal. Thanks to the implementation of VLM, the cost of producing one part is significantly lower than in the case of powder and resin technology.
VLM also uses room temperature single component resin formulations to avoid pot life limitation and shorter preparation times. With VLM, no waste becomes a reality: With proper preparation for resin filtration and recirculation, every drop of resin ultimately becomes a printed part.
VLM technology implementation program
To enable the entire industry to take advantage of this breakthrough, BCN3D has developed a VLM Deployment Program, targeting companies of all sizes and in a variety of sectors. The new Application Center will be operated by dedicated AM specialists and will provide hardware solutions based on VLM. Partakers will join Saint Gobain and Prodrive as the first to discover the new VLM and experience its full potential.
Coexistence of FFF and VLM
In 2021, the company passionately committed to investing in a new portfolio of FFF equipment, as well as software solutions. These events marked the start of the acquisition of Astroprint and the new US logistics center, which finally took place last July. BCN3D plans to continue to improve its existing FFF solutions and invest in new ones this year.
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