2022-06-21 | NYSE:DM | Press release

  • 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 placed in an oven where the foaming agent creates closed cells inside the material in a tightly controlled process.
  • This innovative material can be programmed to expand a specific amount between 2 and 7 times its original printed size – allowing FreeFoam parts to be shipped in a compact form and expanded on demand in a furnace near the end point of use or assembly, saving shipping and inventory costs
  • While today’s 3D printers can turn photopolymers into lattice designs that simulate foams, FreeFoam is a true foam containing closed cells that can be printed in a lattice up to a fully dense design – offering advantages for automotive, home furnishings, footwear, sporting goods, health care and other industries
  • In addition to eliminating expensive tooling and waste associated with standard foam production, FreeFoam allows new design freedom and offers a high strength-to-weight ratio that produces lightweight, high-performance parts that can reduce shipping costs and improve efficiency in cars and the like. some products
  • The FreeFoam resin will be offered in a wide range of Shore hardness values ​​and will initially be 3D printable exclusively on Desktop Metal’s ETEC Xtreme 8K top-down DLP system from polymer 3D printing brand.

Desktop Metal (NYSE: DM), a global leader in additive manufacturing technologies for mass production, today unveiled FreeFoam™, a new family of photopolymer resins that produce durable, dimensionally accurate closed-cell foam parts without tooling – delivering all-new benefits for the automotive, home furnishings, footwear, sporting goods, healthcare and other industries.

This press release is multimedia. See the full version here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220621005363/en/

These automotive seats were 3D printed in an innovative new FreeFoam™ photopolymer resin that can be expanded in an oven after printing. The seat on the left shows the material after 3D printing but before expansion, while the seat on the right shows the seat fully expanded after a quick run through an oven. The seats were 3D printed on the ETEC Xtreme 8K top down DLP printer pictured in the background. (Photo: BusinessWire)

FreeFoam will be on display June 28-30 at Foam Expo North America in Novi, Michigan. Automotive seats 3D printed in FreeFoam, developed in partnership with camacoa provider of technical seating solutions, will be on display at stand 2336.

Parts made with FreeFoam are already being made with leaders in the automotive and furniture markets, with wide commercial availability of the FreeFoam material planned for 2023. A new video showing the process of producing 3D printed parts using the help of this innovative new material is now available on https://learn.desktopmetal.com/freefoam.

“FreeFoam is one of the most exciting and commercially important photopolymer solutions to come to industrial printing in years,” said Ric Fulop, Founder and CEO of Desktop Metal. “The market for conventionally made foam presents many challenges – from expensive molds that limit designs, to dense and heavy foams that absorb water and are expensive to ship and drive, to the inability to easily dial the Shore strength and hardness values ​​in specific foam designs.

“We are especially excited to unveil our FreeFoam innovation in the Detroit metro area, where our new foam material can help cars and light trucks while maintaining the performance and comfort expected of foam seating. With FreeFoam, Desktop Metal is ready to free the foam market from its many challenges.”

Several qualities of FreeFoam resins planned

FreeFoam was invented and developed by Texas-based Adaptive3D, a subsidiary of Desktop Metal which was acquired in 2021 and is a leader in the development of high-end photopolymers and elastomers.

FreeFoam resins are 3D printed like other photopolymer resins using DLP. After 3D printing, FreeFoam parts can be expanded on demand during a brief heating cycle in an oven at approximately 160-170°C (320-340°F). Printed parts contain dispersed heat-activated foaming agents that create closed-cell pores within the material. This highly controllable process allows FreeFoam resins to consistently increase 2 to 7 times their as-printed size depending on resin quality, resulting in final parts within desired tolerances.

This brand new process allows 3D printers to produce final foam parts much larger than the printers’ original build areas and will allow foam products to be shipped in compact sizes and expanded to the end point of assembly or commercial use.

While preliminary FreeFoam specifications are now available, Desktop Metal plans to offer several grades of FreeFoam resins allowing for different Shore hardness values ​​and other specific material properties such as water resistance for the furniture market. outdoors.

FreeFoam is part of the recently launched range DuraChain™ one-component, one-pot photopolymer that delivers breakthrough elastic and tough material properties through a light-curing induced phase separation process. When illuminated during DLP printing, these materials separate at the nano level into a material that hardens into a tough, high-performance polymer network. DuraChain allows FreeFoam parts to be foamed with control in an oven without a mould.

FreeFoam will initially be 3D printable exclusively on Desktop Metal’s polymer 3D printing brand ETEC Xtreme 8K descendant DLP system. Companies interested in this new material and process are encouraged to visit https://learn.desktopmetal.com/freefoam.

About Desktop Metal

Desktop Metal, Inc., based in Burlington, Massachusetts, is accelerating manufacturing transformation with a broad portfolio of 3D printing solutions from rapid prototyping to mass production. Founded in 2015 by leaders in advanced manufacturing, metallurgy and robotics, the company is addressing the unmet challenges of speed, cost and quality to make additive manufacturing an essential tool for engineers and manufacturers around the world. Desktop Metal was selected as one of the World’s 30 Most Promising Technology Pioneers by the World Economic Forum, named to MIT Technology Review’s 50 Smartest Companies list and the 2021 winner of Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Award in Materials and Fast Company’s Next Big Things in Tech Award for Sustainability.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “believe,” “plan,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intention,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “plan,” “ may,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “will,” “will continue,” “probably result,” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, therefore, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained herein, including, but not limited to, the risks and uncertainties set forth in Desktop Metal, Inc.’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, and Desktop Metal, Inc. undertakes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result new information, future events or otherwise. .

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