Chromatic 3D Materials has launched ChromaScan, an additive manufacturing software for printing resin on non-planar surfaces.
This new technology allows manufacturers to 3D print durable, flexible materials directly onto substrates of any shape including metal, plastic and textiles according to the company. Chromatic says the result is industrial strength adhesion between the printed material and the substrate without post processing or assembly.
“Hyperbolic print paths are challenging for existing technologies. ChromaScan easily adapts a flat print path for printing on 3D surfaces. This opens up a world of design possibilities, as well as more streamlined, cost effective and sustainable manufacturing for our customers,” said Chromatic CEO Dr. Cora Leibig.
The process begins with software scanning an object that is placed on the print bed. It then manipulates the print path, yielding a “high-quality” print that conforms to the surface below. The print application is precise with higher pass rates and better print quality which improves overall production yields, according to Chromatic.
An example of an application that ChromaScan was used for is the 3D printing of trackpads for a 50-year-old antique tractor with a unique thread that was difficult to source. Chromatic printed rubber pads directly onto metal plates with protruding bolts. The new pads offered the same abrasion and durability of the original parts.
Chromatic shared that ChromaScan also has potential uses in footwear and apparel, with the company saying that using the software makes it possible to 3D print a shoe sole directly onto a last (mechanical form shaped like a foot), or 3D print aesthetic or functional elements onto finished clothing.
In September, Chromatic 3D Materials announced its new Smooth-Mode technology for 3D printing rubber parts.