Dearborn EnvisionTEC Creates World’s Longest 3-D Printed Chain

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EnvisionTEC in Dearborn, a global manufacturer of desktop and full-production 3-D printers and materials, today announced it has 3-D printed the world’s longest resin chain in a single piece.

The company printed the 328-foot chain from its new material, E-RigidForm, a polyurethane-like resin that 3-D prints hard and stiff parts. Weaker materials would have sagged during the printing of the chain, causing a print failure. The chain was created on EnvisionTEC’s Xede 3SP, the company’s largest resin printer.

“E-RigidForm is a breakthrough material for use on our 3SP line of 3D printers, which offer very large build areas without sacrificing speed and accuracy,” says Al Siblani, CEO. “A print job of this size and complexity would not have been possible before, simply because of the stiffness required during the 3D printing process for so many links and layers.”

The chain took more than two weeks to design and features more than 6,000 links, each measuring 1.5 inches and arranged in 16 layers. It was printed unattended over 99 hours spanning more than four days. A computer with extreme processing power was used to generate the layers and supports for the job.

EnvisionTEC was founded in 2002 and sells 3-D printers based on six technologies that build objects from digital design files. The printers serve medical, professional, and industrial markets, and the company has more than 140 pending and granted patents.

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