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Boston Micro Fabrication Launches Ultra-High Resolution 3D Printer

Image: Boston Micro Fabrication BMF microArch S230 3D printer
The next-gen microscale 3D printer produces prints up to five times faster than previous models.

Microscale 3D-printing pioneer Boston Micro Fabrication (BMF) today launches its new industrial-grade microArch S230 printer, plus three new 3D-printing materials. The new printer offers microprecision and speed for applications that require ultra-high resolution prints, achieving down to 2-μm accuracy.

The microArch S230 offers freedom of design and exceptional part resolution for researchers and manufacturers requiring micro parts with tight tolerances for prototyping through short-run production.

Using BMF’s patented Projection Micro Stereolithography (PµSL) technology, the microArch S230 delivers up to five times faster prints than previous models in BMF’s 2μm series. The new printer also has a larger build volume, 50 x 50 x 50 mm. PµSL technology enables rapid photopolymerization of a layer of liquid polymer using a flash of ultraviolet (UV) light at microscale resolution.

In addition, the microArch S230 features active layer leveling and automated laser calibration. It can also print higher molecular weight materials at viscosities up to 20,000 Cp for production of stronger functional parts.

Boston Micro Fabrication3D-printed parts

The microArch S230 printer produces strong functional parts at speeds up to five times faster than previous BMF systems.

Applications for the new 3D printer include microsensor packaging, used in optical measuring devices, and microneedles, which are a new format for drug-delivery systems. The printer is compatible with a growing number of engineering and ceramic resins used to print parts, including three new materials from BMF.

Those new materials include:

  • AL (Alumina) Ceramic, which is a biocompatible, chemical-resistant ceramic resin intended for high-temperature, -strength, and -stiffness applications such as tooling, casings and housings, and medical devices.
  • HT 200, a durable, high-temperature and -strength resin that can be soldered. An acrylate photopolymer, HT 200 was designed for use in electrical connectors and components.
  • MT (Magnesium Titanate) Ceramic, which features high dielectric constant and low dielectric loss. This material is compatible with millimeter wave applications, including antennae and wave guides.

Both AL Ceramic and MT Ceramic include a polymer. “Like other additive ceramic approaches, there is a binder and a ceramic component. The slurry is cured using our UV light source,” John Kawola, BMF CEO, told PlasticsToday.

BMF launched the microArch product line in February 2020, just before the pandemic struck. Since then, the company has installed more than 125 of its high-precision micro 3D printers globally.

“We believe our traction is due to two key drivers,” Kawola said. “One, our technology is delivering throughput, accuracy, and precision that was previously out of reach of existing additive manufacturing technologies. Many of our first customers are well versed with 3D printing and know what they haven’t been able to do. We are meeting that need. Two, the push toward miniaturization is all around us — medical devices, electronics, sensors, life sciences. We can be a valuable tool in enabling that trend,” added Kawola.

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