DETROIT — On April 20, Dearborn-based EnvisionTEC unveiled a 328-foot chain of groundbreaking new material in the world’s longest chain printed from a 3D printer. The chain was printed over the course of 99 hours unattended and required a computer with extreme processing power.
The chain took more than two weeks to design and features more than 6,144 links, each measuring 1.5 inches, arranged in 16 layers.
The chain is made of a new material developed by EnvisionTEC called E-RigidForm. It is a polyurethane-like resin that 3D prints hard and stiff parts. The material is ideal for both prototypes and end use parts, according to a press release.
“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,” said CEO Al Siblani. “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 material was designed by EnvisionTEC 3D Builder Robert Montes, who received Digital processing and 3D printing support from colleagues Erica Finkowski, Jason Spurlock and Josue Nunes.
The chain will be on display in Fort Worth, Texas at the RAPID + TCT event for #D manufacturing in North America from April 24-26.