FreeFoam is a new family of photopolymer resins that produces durable and dimensionally accurate closed cell foam parts without tooling – delivering all-new benefits for the automotive, furnishing, footwear, sporting goods, health care and other industries.
Manufacturing Closed Cell Foam without Tooling in an All-New 3D Printing Process
FreeFoam is a new family of photopolymer resins containing heat-activated foaming agents that are 3D printed with Digital Light Processing (DLP). After printing, FreeFoam parts are briefly put into an oven where the foaming agent creates closed cells inside the material in a tightly controlled process. FreeFoam can be programmed to expand a specific amount between 2 to 7 times its original printed size – allowing parts to be shipped in a compact form and expanded on-demand in an oven close to the final point of use or assembly, saving shipping and inventory expenses.
While 3D printers today can process photopolymers into lattice designs that simulate foams, FreeFoam is a true foam containing closed cells that can be printed in as a lattice or as a fully dense design – delivering benefits for a wide range of industrial applications.
See How FreeFoam Works
Delivering all-new benefits for the automotive, furnishing, footwear, sporting goods, health care and other industries.
FreeFoam 3D Printing Production offers a variety of benefits that will change the foam production market.
- 3D prints closed-cell foam products in any volume without tooling
- Manufacture complex foam designs with ease, from lattice designs up to fully dense foam, without trimming or significant waste
- Print your design on a DLP resin 3D printer and then expand the design with accuracy during foaming in an oven at 160-170°C (320-340°F)
- Lightweight existing foam designs to improve product efficiency and reduce shipping costs. You can even ship your foam parts compact and expand or foam them at the final point of assembly or use
- Innovative new material delivers a high strength-to-weight ratio
- Iterate designs as desired, without the penalty of changing tooling
Standard automotive seating 3D printed in FreeFoam, developed in partnership with Camaco.
This all-new process allows 3D printers to produce much larger final foam parts than the printers’ original build areas and will enable foam products to be shipped at compact sizes and expanded at the final point of assembly or commercial use.
Manufacture complex foam designs with ease, from lattice designs up to fully dense foam
Expandable 3D Printable Resin Designed for Volume Production of Foam Parts
FreeFoam is part of the recently launched DuraChain™ category of one-part, one-pot photopolymers that delivers breakthrough elastic and tough material properties through a Photo Polymerization-Induced Phase Separation (Photo PIPS) process. When illuminated during DLP printing, these materials phase separate at the nano level into a material that cures into a resilient, high-performance polymer network. DuraChain enables FreeFoam parts to be foamed with control in an oven without a mold.
FreeFoam will initially be 3D printable exclusively on the ETEC Xtreme 8K top-down DLP system from Desktop Metal’s polymer 3D printing brand.
FreeFoam resins contain a heat-activated foaming agent, and are 3D printed into parts like other resins with Digital Light Processing (DLP). However, these parts expand controlled air pores during a quick oven cycle, expanding the part 2-7 times their original size.