Monday, November 19, 2007

Clear Resin Suits High-Quality Lenses

DSM Somos has released WaterClear Ultra, a highly clear, colourless stereolithography (SL) resin. In colour comparison testing, WaterClear Ultra has been shown to be the clearest SL resin available on the market today. Using a colourimeter, light transmission values were compared between WaterClear Ultra and various plastic samples, including a competitive polycarbonate-like SL resin and two commonly used clear engineering plastics: polycarbonate and acrylic.

Transmission data showed WaterClear Ultra closely mirrored the behaviour of the high-clarity acrylic and demonstrated higher clarity than the commercial grade polycarbonate sheet. 'Clear SL resins are in growing demand', says Somos Marketing Manager Eva Montgomery. 'Simply put, they translate into better looking prototype lenses, packaging materials,'. In the automotive sector, beta test feedback on WaterClear Ultra includes assessments that the resin's clarity resembles that of milled acrylic in both thin and thick sections.

Shawn Zindroski, President of Added Fabrication Studio Morpheus Prototypes, said 'In the past, clear SLA materials had a green or blue tint, or even appeared hazy'. 'Now, with WaterClear Ultra, not only do the parts come out of the SLA machine with phenomenal clarity and excellent side walls, but in secondary finishing WaterClear Ultra sands and takes automotive clear coats extremely well'. 'Also in the past, headlight lenses and inner lenses needed to be made out of milled acrylic, but with WaterClear Ultra we can now make them via the stereolithography process'.

'This reduces the turnaround time for my clients and opens the door for more clear part applications'. Martin Colombo, rapid prototyping Manager of Accelerated Technologies , states, 'WaterClear Ultra parts are so clear, they can be used right off the machine in many cases- saving finishing time and cost for my customers'.